There have been some electronic stumbles out of the self-publishing gate but the Amazon paperback and electronic versions of “Some People Even Take Them Home:” A Disabled Dad, A Down syndrome Son and Our Journey to Acceptance are now available. Other electronic versions such as iBooks will come online in the next week or two. If you want the paperback copy in your bookstores you will probably have to ask for it.
The book has been a long time in preparation, like 20 years. I first started putting together thoughts and notes in the early 90’s. I revisited it every few years until I got serious in the spring of 2013 when I took a sabbatical from my professor position at The Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Rewrites, bouts with agents, prospective publishers and the decision to self-publish in today’s chaotic book atmosphere have brought us to today. The book will have to explain itself but I have had several questions about the title.
Astute observers will note the title is in quotes: “Some People Even Take Them Home.” On April 7, 1979 a shamefully remote professional descendant of Hippocrates actually uttered those words. In his horribly misguided attempt to be humane the doctor telling us that Jason had Down syndrome, informed us that we could put Jason in a foster home or an institution. The tone of his voice indicated, in fact, that was the preferred decision. Then he uttered those incredibly insensitive words which shaped our conversations since that day: “But, some people even take them home.” That word “even” sounded as if it was in capital letters and over the years the type has gotten much larger.
Later we found out there was a philosophical battle raging among pediatricians, especially in the central Florida area, over whether keeping a Down syndrome child at home was advisable. Doctors hesitated to subject their patients to what they felt might be “undue influence” to persuade them to take the children home. I thought our pediatrician bent over too far the other way and left us with the impression we would be more than a little nuts if we took Jason home.
That ugly story juxtaposes with the fact that when I was born badly crippled in 1949, (yes, that was the word in 1949) many of my Dad’s friends urged him to immediately commit me to the State Mental Institution which happened to be in our home town. Thankfully my parents resisted and my wife, Jean, and I took Jason home.
This book is the result of those two momentous decisions. I hope you will order a copy. I pray you will like it. I ask that if you do, you ll write positive reviews and then send the book and the review to a friend. I will need your help to make the book go viral.