Category Archives: Priscilla Gilman

April 27, 2011, 11:35 am

Love, Literature, and The Art Of Making A Life In Priscilla Gilman’s “The Anti-Romantic Child”

Priscilla Gilman’s new memoir, The Anti-Romantic Child:  A Story of Unexpected Joy (New York:  HarperCollins, 2011), is this week’s recommended reading.  It is mostly about Gilman’s struggle to help her son Benjamin overcome a set of developmental disabilities that make him sound quite charming and interesting — as well as a challenging child who gives intricate meaning to that imprecise phrase “special needs.”  While she gestures at specific diagnoses, she resists the comprehensive and categorical workup with which so many of my students arrive at college.  She also refuses medication, which seems to be the go-to solution for the vast majority of kids who see a neurologist nowadays, as it seems to affect Benj’s brain chemistry in dramatic and unhelpful ways.  Intensive therapy, however, helps, and that story is going to be very instructive and encouraging for parents who are finding …

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