Uncommon Fathers, linked by the unique experiences they've shared with their children and families, combining their stories into one fantastic book. It is a fascinating book illustrating the difficulties and joys of being a parent to a disabled child. I chose to discuss three articles from this collection, which are all very closely related.
The intended audience of these three articles is most definitely directed at those who do not know what it is like to have a disabled child in the family. Not only could the intended audience be these people, but also those who are experiencing what it is like to raise a disabled child. Encouraging stories and realities would be very beneficial for such readers.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Daddy discussed the difficulty in sending a disabled child away from their families to residential school. Like the other two articles, it also talked about the frustration that parents of disabled children have to face every day. The initial horrors of knowing your child will never really know you seemed to be unbearable. Was it more important to send these children where they'll have all they physically need, or should they be kept within the love of their own family? The parents for these children experience grief in such an

extreme way. It was said that this grief is the same grief you feel when someone passes on in life, only these children don't die. The reader might have found the author's view on seeing their lives with the handicapped children as a continuing roller-coaster ride, believable. The author noted that we must all take chances, and accept that life is "random and unpredictable".

In the article, Heroes Come In All Shapes; the difficulties of raising a disabled child are also discussed. The father in this story had difficulty in determining what to let his child experience, and what to shelter him from. I felt that even though this was a special needs child, that all parents experience the same feelings. What do you let your children find out for themselves, and what do you shelter them from? It is difficult to talk about certain things like sex and girls to a mentally disabled child, but it does not mean that they don't have these desires and feelings. The little boy in this story was quite aware of girls, and his father had to address the issue in a slightly different manner than someone would with a "normal" child. The author expressed the importance of trying your best to see the world from your child's point of view. If you have no understanding or way of relating to the children, then it is very difficult to see where they are coming from. The title of this article, Heroes Come in All Shapes, was referring to the way the author looked at his son. The author seemed to ask the unanswered question of who was more courageous, the father or the disabled child?
The final article being discussed is Best Friends, an interesting article about the friendship between a disabled child and his father. The family has learned that you must not take anything for granted, and to be proud of whom you are. Although all families with disabled children go through an enormous amount of stress and difficulties, it was stressed in this article that it is important to develop close relationships with family and friends to help you along. Having a disabled child involved making sacrifices for this family, but the father has realized that he learned the true meaning of being a father and true love through his child. These children have an enormous capacity to enjoy life, which reflects on the people surrounding them in their lives.
I believe that the purpose of putting these three articles together (along with several other articles) into a book on raising disabled children is to show the world the difficulties and rewards of being parents of these disabled children. Not only this, but to reach out to those who are going through the same thing who have children similar to the article's children. The combined authors of these articles do a very good job of this.
The honest and open way that the various authors use