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Married with Special-Needs Children A Couples' Guide to Keeping Connected

Authors: Laura E. Marshak, Ph.D. & Fran P. Prezant, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

ISBN: 978-1-890627-10-2


This book describes the challenges couples face as they raise a child who has special needs, with one of the co-authors being the parent of a child with disabilities. Here is an excerpt from the publisher’s description:

“Married with Special-Needs Children looks at the ways in which having a child with special needs can make it more difficult for a marriage to thrive and how a child's intensive needs can change the structure of a marriage. The authors examine many of the underlying stresses and common pitfalls--a couple's differing coping mechanisms and expectations of a child, communication breakdowns and difficulties resolving conflicts, for example. They then present a wide range of strategies for handling or preventing these problems. Marshak and Prezant also describe what makes a marriage strong, such as continuing to share connections outside of parenting roles, keeping a sense of autonomy, and sharing childcare responsibilities. Parents get advice about the importance of romance and intimacy and the benefits of finding time for each other even when they feel too tired or overwhelmed. In addition, the book deals with serious marital troubles and divorce considerations. Throughout are quotes from husbands and wives, offering special insight into what was especially difficult for them, what solutions they've discovered, and what they wished they'd done differently.”

It was reviewed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Tina Cairo, who has a son with disabilities. The review was positive, a paragraph:

“Now that I can look back on that period from a distance, it's interesting to read about the broad strokes of what my husband and I were going through. Like many mothers of young children with special needs, I had become quite consumed by the implications of the diagnosis (cerebral palsy) and what I could do to offset future problems. My husband, on the other hand, was much more accepting of our son's condition and inclined to take things day by day. Although we were both very committed to our son, we often disagreed about what was best for him -- so much so that I began to pull away from my husband and, increasingly, to manage the special needs care on my own.”

Here are the Chapter titles:
1. The Structure and Foundation of a Good Marriage
2. No Longer Cruising Down the River: The Early Stage of Adjusting to Disability
3. Practical Solutions to Practical Problems
4. Communicating and Problem-Solving as a Couple
5. Romance and Sexual Intimacy
6. Negotiating and Implementing Livable Roles
7. Stress Management and Coping Strategies (or, Don't Forget to Breathe!)
8. Heartfelt Conflicts: Opposing Views on Protection, Expectations, and Helping Your Child
9. Supports Outside of Your Family
10. Serious Marital Troubles
11. A Marriage Transformed
12. Divorce Considerations
13. Remarriage: The Need to Do It Differently
14. Learning From Long-Term Marriages
15. A Closing Thought

Description excerpt and chapter titles copied from publisher’s website - 5/3/10 (www.woodbinehouse.com/main.asp_Q_product_id_E_1-890627-10-0)

Review excerpt copied from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website on 5/3/10

Contact Info:
Cost:Out of ptint, varies based on availability on websites like Amazon or Bn.com

Web Links

View the description on Amazon.com

View the description on BarnesandNoble.com

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