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They called him Owen. Born on January 3, 1960, he was fair and blue-eyed, and he seemed as healthy as his four brothers and sisters. Today Owen lives in a school for the severely disabled near Frankfort, Kentucky. For his parents, Charles and Mary Callanan, the years "since Owen" have brought a continuing struggle to cope and an unending search for answers. They desperately needed information- information they couldn't always find in medical journals or the out-of-date pamphlets displayed in agency waiting rooms. The more they learned, the more they wanted to share what they learned with other parents. This book is the result. "Since Owen" is more than one family's story. It is both a comprehensive guidebook and an information-packed resource for parents of children with disabilities. With compassion, common sense, wisdom, and good humor, Charles Callanan shares what he and his family have learned in the nearly three decades "since Owen"- from one parent to another. "Since Owen" explores topics ranging from genetic counseling to placement in an institution, from the many causes of birth defects to planning for the child's future "after we're gone".
It describes hospital personnel and procedures. The transition from hospital to home. The daily routine of raising a child with special needs. National organizations and support groups. The child's right to an education- and how parents can fight to make sure that right is upheld. A concluding section looks at the disabled child as an adult and discusses such topics as living arrangements, sexuality, and religion. Most important of all, "Since Owen" gives families the reassuring message that they are not alone.