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Volume Full of Hope

September 17, 1987|ROSELLE M. LEWIS

After the Tears by Robin Simons (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: $12.95).

Some couples know immediately that their child is blind or profoundly deaf, or perhaps is born with Down's syndrome or suffers from some severe handicap; others discover the truth, as in the case of mental retardation, more slowly. For parents who suffer initial grief, anger and guilt in the full knowledge that they must perforce remain custodians forever of a handicapped child, it's often heartbreaking.

But this slim, 80-page book, powerful in its comforting advice, which is never intrusive or directly imperative, holds out hope. Drawing on the experiences of parents in the same situation, Robin Simons gives gentle hints on how to deal with frequent medical crises, how to preserve a marriage under the tremendous emotional and physical strain the care of special children requires, as well as ways to deal with relatives, including grandparents. No matter how well-intentioned, the latter often convey a sense of "double grief" over both a grandchild's handicap and their own children's pain.

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