The Apple Tree : Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane
Her story begins not with her children but with her own childhood spent traveling the country in the backseat of her parents' car (her perpetually restless dad had post-traumatic stress disorder from WWII), often with very little money and few provisions. Where someone else might have seen deprivation and isolation, Petersen viewed her unusual childhood with a sense of wonder and gratitude. After marrying young and giving birth to a son who was legally blind (and who went on to earn a PhD on full scholarship), Petersen and her husband adopted four more special needs children and fostered many others. Each child has their own special story about overcoming tremendous physical and emotional difficulties in order to be able to succeed and enjoy life. Her honesty, wit, and terrific storytelling make this a book you want to read rather than one you feel you should read.
- Paperback | 192 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 11.18mm | 349.26g
- 11 Apr 2015
- Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
- United States
- black & white illustrations
About Linda Petersen
Professionally, in the field of blindness and rehabilitation for the past thirty-three years, Linda Petersen has established many programs for adults and children who are blind. In addition to her regular work as the Director of the Early Intervention Program for infants and toddlers who are blind, and the Director of the Independent Living for Elderly Federal Program, she has been the director of a summer camp for children who are blind, deaf/blind and multiply disabled which she established twenty-two years ago. Advocacy efforts include in participation in establishing legislation to mandate the vision screening of all children in the state, to establish a central agency for the provision of educational services to children who are blind, and to establish NEWSLINE, a newspaper reading service for the blind coordinated by the National Federation of the Blind. Having a BA in Social Work, and MA in Rehabilitation Counseling, she has completed additional advanced graduate work in Educational Psychology. Public speaking is an exciting passion of hers, regularly speaking and educating professionals statewide, regionally and nationally. In addition to being educational, her presentations are casual and humorous. Many state, regional and national awards hang on her office wall, including the Lions Clubs International's prestigious Helen Keller Award. Despite her professional success, her family has priority. She has had to leave many an important meeting to tend to the special needs of her children, even to the point of keeping a "hospital bag" in my car containing all of the essentials for a long wait in an emergency room with one of the children. In her profession and in her life, she believes in full inclusion; that is, all individuals with disabilities can lead an active, happy and full life. Having a brother who is deaf/blind and raising five children with disabilities has enabled her to put my philosophy into practice with amazing results. Her children have not only survived, but also thrived. Happy endings DO exist, and the journey there is exciting!