About Our Altered Life
Taken from Our Altered Life website
"I have spent the past 9 years compiling my thoughts on our journey along with school and medical reports, doctors notes and diaries. The result is Our Altered Life ~ an honest account of the shock, grief and struggle as well as the acceptance, joy and fierce love that my children have brought into my life."
My review of Our Altered Life
Harry has Goldenhar syndrome, which means that he was born with only one eye, no eye socket, no nose, one ear and with a short jaw. I had never heard of this syndrome before and so read with great interest. Harry also has Global Learning Delay, is non verbal and has Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As Charlie so eloquently writes, life has its challenges, but is also, so very rewarding.
Our Altered Life is a powerful read. As I've mentioned, this is an incredibly raw account of raising a disabled child. Charlie writes it as it is, warts and all, and that's what I find so refreshing about this book. I knew absolutely nothing about Goldenhar syndrome, but now I feel that I do. She writes so honestly about how she felt when she first saw her newborn baby, how she found the bonding process difficult, and that for a very long time she blamed herself. This must have been so very difficult for her to write down on paper, to express in words, and yet she has managed to do
so, and so eloquently, in her quest to raise awareness and discussion surrounding the realities of raising a child with Harry's disabilities.
For me, this book touched me on a personal level, with Charlie's descriptions about her son's autism, and what life is like on the spectrum. My youngest son is autistic, and I like to read personal accounts from parents who are in a similar position to myself. Charlie's words seemed to jump out of the page at me. I found myself nodding, and saying, 'oh yes, my son does that', and 'Oh, I know what you mean.' Her words gave me comfort. I also liked the descriptions of the two brothers, as their relationship slowly grew. The bond between them is so palpable on the page. It also reminded me of my two sons, and once again, Charlie's words gave me comfort.
Our Altered Life is a powerful read, but ultimately, it is an uplifting one. The message here is that life never quite works out the way you planned it, but you know what? that's ok. Charlie writes about the struggles, her inner most feelings and how she has had to learn and adapt to a different type of life. Nothing is sugar coated, but that's the beauty of this book... Its honesty. Charlie's love and passion for her boys shines through.
Our Altered Life is a book for everyone. It will help teachers and TA's learn more about caring for a disabled child from a parental point of view. Health care professionals will also greatly benefit, as will parents of disabled children and their families.
It is an emotional rollercoaster of a read. It's an important read and one that can help shed light on the taboos and myths surrounding raising a disabled child.
This simply is a must read.
About the author
Find out more about Charlie and her journey:
Catch up with the tour...