Heart of This Family
Lessons in Down Syndrome and Love
1966, the Beatles and "Leave It To Beaver" reign, the Vietnam War and Civil Rights rage, feminism is unheard of, and Linda's first baby is diagnosed with Down syndrome. Linda refuses to institutionalize him, determined to raise Steve at home. For the two more sons who follow and her husband, Linda tries to fulfill cultural norms as a homemaker, a woman whose voice is seldom heard or valued. But it isn't her nature to be meek.
Linda struggles to provide Steve an education at a time when disability rights don't exist. Her advocacy focuses first on integrating him into the community, then, as he grows into adulthood, landing a real job and independent housing. Pioneering what's now called "inclusion," Linda follows her heart to help Steve develop his fullest humanity.
Over these same decades, Linda learns to advocate for herself as well, starting with a career in public education. When she unexpectedly falls in love with a woman, her life path takes unforeseen turns. Linda must dig deep to accept her new identity before she's ready to meet her true soulmate. Throughout, unwavering love for all her sons is her lodestar.
Sidekick Press, 9781734494501, 294pp.
Publication Date: August 18, 2020