From the author:
After my memoir, Uncommon Voyage, was published, parents reached out to me for support, for direction and ideas, and for a boost. They asked me what to do, what else I knew—I never stopped learning—and I found myself explaining in more detail what I discovered for Seth, how it shaped our family, and how it shaped me.
The more I listened, the more I learned.
What I realized was that throughout the journey, the deeper questions about life keep surfacing. Many of the questions I was asking as Seth’s mother—a parent of a special-needs child and his sibling—I was asking as a person examining her life.
In this guidebook, I consider those universal and recurring questions and weave them into a practical guide. I made this edition of Uncommon Voyage a vehicle for your story, your voyage—how you see it, tell it, and are informed by it. I lay the groundwork in a brief narrative that describes my personal journey.
I conceived the voyage in nautical terms thinking about a ship’s fulcrum—how the shifts in a family’s life are like the swinging pieces of a mobile, relocating to attain balance like a vessel rocking on the sea. As changes come along, we continually recalibrate our internal and external compasses to balance and to be able to pivot when necessary.
I developed this guidebook and organized the chapters based on the different aspects of being the parent of a special-needs child. Each chapter offers Navigation Points marked by compasses, and lighthouses illuminating Laura’s Insights.
- Navigation Points are tasks to help you chart your course and identify what tools you have and what tools you need.
- Laura’s Insights are comments offering support. They give context for the endeavor to help you maintain your course.
You decide how far you journey, you determine the pace, and you judge when and where you double back or venture into uncharted waters.
Within Uncommon Voyage there are an array of resources and experiments to explore. There is a suggested reading list within each chapter, and at the end of the book you will find a glossary, appendices, and additional suggested reading lists.
Additional resources, including links to websites and organizations reside on the Uncommon Voyage web site, and I invite you to join the Uncommon Voyage community through Facebook and Twitter to interact with me and with others.
I encourage you to ask questions and to share what you know. We learn from one another.
I hope there is enough here to help you feel less alone while you fight to give your child the best chance at a future of promise and discovery.
The miracles are not what you expect, but they are there.