The minute online publishing came along I put my story up on iUniverse’s Disability Press, which at that early time offered free printing for writers on this topic. Perfectly Normal tells of my early years as the mother of a child born with a chronic medical condition.
Daryl was born in 1965 with hydrocephalus, a neurological disorder in which spinal fluid accumulates in the head, causing abnormal growth and other problems, sometimes including brain damage. A surgical procedure kept him alive; now 48, he lives independently. But 1965 was still the Dark Ages for people with disabilities, and I learned motherhood under a bombardment of self-blame, denial, fear, and resentment. The medical profession was not quite up to providing support, the educational system was intended to meet the needs of “normal” children only, and most of the ‘helping’ professionals who stepped into my life uninvited ranged from timid to judgmental. The experience radicalized me regarding attitudes and treatment of people with disabilities; by the time Daryl reached adulthood I was writing about the growing Disability Rights Movement. In Perfectly Normal and elsewhere I wrote not only about my personal difficulties, but also of wider social injustice. I told my story devoid of false inspiration. I told the truth.
Available as paperback or e-book on iUniverse and Amazon.