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Spring 2001 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Book Review: What's Stopping You? Living Successfully with Disability

By Gail Beukenkamp, Parent, Amarillo, Texas

Editor's note: I want to thank Gail for graciously agreeing to write a book review for SEE/HEAR. We will be periodically including reviews on books and similar resources so that families and professionals can get an idea of what new materials are out there for them. We welcome the opportunity to publish other book reviews written by family members or professionals. If you are interested in doing one, please feel free to contact Edgenie Bellah, News & Views Section Editor.

A disability can become a reality at any time in a person's life. It may be a gradual change or an overnight change in lifestyle caused by a sudden accident or illness. A disability not only effects the person who is disabled, but also has a major impact on other family members, caregivers, and friends.

What's Stopping You? Living Successfully with Disability is written by Mark Nagler, Ph.D. and Adam Nagler, father and son. Mark Nagler, Ph.D., was born with cerebral palsy and has triumphed over his disability. By living with a disability, he is able to give a personal view and help teach people how to cope with challenges. This book is about disabilities in general. It is divided into four parts.

Part one describes living with a disability. This part contains a very good section on advocacy and laws protecting the disabled. It explains the importance of advocacy and describes the different types. The author discusses the effect of a disability on family and friends and changes that take place in the home and at work.

Part two explains the role of caring for people with disabilities. Much like the individual who has the disability, caregivers have to go through an adjustment process. You have to accept that life has changed and make new arrangements. The authors emphasize throughout the book that a positive attitude is very important for the disabled person and the caregivers as well. They state that a positive attitude is necessary to triumph over a disability.

Part three gives advice about protecting the future of the disabled person. It describes the types of insurance, power of attorney, and the importance of financial planning. Advice is given on how to ensure your legal protection such as the necessity of having a will and information about filing a legal claim. The information is simplified to make it easy to understand.

Part four is a resource section. It explains how to search a disability on the Internet, and gives an extensive list of health and disability related web site addresses. There is also a directory of numerous organizations, which includes addresses and telephone numbers that serve people with disabilities. Fourteen sample letters are included to help the disabled request the services they need.

What's Stopping You? is a very good resource if you are looking for information about disabilities in general. The book answers many questions about living with a disability or caring for an adult with a disability. There are many personal accounts throughout the book of adults living with disabilities. The book does not mention children specifically, but gives good advice for future planning.

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Last Revision: September 1, 2003