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Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon – Review by Lyndsey Fairley

Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs ParentLighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had this book years ago when our special needs journey started. Its very isolating and all you want is someone in your corner saying you are doing everything you are supposed to be doing and no ones path is exactly the same.
As a mother of a special needs child this hit home and gave a voice to thoughts ive had for 13 years. Reading about her and her daughters journey felt like talking with a friend.
I recommend this to anyone even if you dont have this journey to walk yourself, chances are you know someone or you will and this helps open your eyes to many things we go through and how you can just be there

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Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon – Review by Faith Jackson

Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs ParentLighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book had me with just the title till you tune into what’s being written within the book. Once you learn to take in all the knowledge from the doctor but also apply it to your daily life. The detail-oriented lessons from life and approaching special needs is very helpful and gives the reader a better understanding for the way we treat special needs children or just special needs in general. This book is impressive and incredibly written for readers and parents alike.

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Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon – Review by Dawn Daughenbaugh

Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs ParentLighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 Stars
Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon

Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent is a wonderful yet very emotional book that broke my heart . As a care giver or even a parent of a special needs child there are many circumstances you face. This author gives us incredible insight and suggestions on how to handle them. Sometimes we find ourselves feeling very overwhelmed with dealing with situations this book gives helpful information on how to handle them as well. You can feel how much love and pain this author went through with every page of this book. I pretty much used a box of kleenex as my emotions were extremely high. God Bless all parents and care givers along with anyone who is involved in the caring for a child/ adult of a special needs. It’s the hardest yet most rewarding job you will ever face. This author made it easy to understand as she experienced everything she wrote about . So rather you have a special needs child or you know someone who does I highly recommend reading this book.

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Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon – Review by Roxsanne Lesieur.

Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs ParentLighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is an inspiring collection of experiences, thoughts, feelings and emotions centred around life with a special needs child. It is a life of struggle, hardship, ups and downs but overall rewards as you see them flourish despite their many challenges they face. Marcia Nathai-Balkisson talks about all these things and more, as she explores life before and after the birth of her second child Emma in Trinidad and Tobago, where she lives with her husband, Emma and her first born some Brian. She talks about the challenges she has faced and how she has overcome some and is working on overcoming the rest, as each chapter focuses on a different subject, it is a compendium of information, hints, tips, experiences, and advice, with a checklist at the end of the important things to be taken away from that particular chapter, but it is not just for those in the same situation as she is, there are things within this book that anyone can take on board and use in their own lives.

The book starts with the story of Emma’s birth and the defects they found which led to the need for open heart surgery as she grew and the complications which arose because of it, leaving her brain damaged, her mobility and motility reduced, as well as experiencing pain, spasms and a high sensitivity to touch. The book progresses through Emma’s life, explaining her challenges between that age and the age of nine when the book was written. It then moves on to explain how important it is to acknowledge what happened, acknowledge how it made you feel at the time and acknowledge what changes have had to be made and what needs to be done now. The next talks about coping with the situation and the need to take it day by day, task by task and finding what the single most important thing to achieve on that day is, how important self care is to staying healthy in order to be able to support your family and yourself, how to relieve stress and how essential it is to start the day in the right way, it also explains how these things can impact on the child and their stress levels if not done properly. There is also a section on planning for the future, both immediate and in the years ahead, this includes financially, personally and familially, some of which is expanded on further into the book.

One key thing is on how to recognise isolation and loneliness, how to recognise the signs of it and how to reduce it, it talks about relationships with family and friends, how they can grow and diminish, as well and what it takes to maintain them, how to deal with your feelings and how important connections can be, even if they are only on the internet and especially within support groups, as well as the importance of sharing your story with them. It also looks at how to create your vision for the future, how to connect it with your emotions and then the importance of looking back on it and updating it on a yearly basis to see just how far you have come, even if you don’t realise it at the time. The next section focuses on spirituality and how this can support you in your darkest times, as well as the need for research into what interventions can be done at home to improve the development of your child, as well as finding the right medical professionals and therapists who you can fully work with knowing they see things from your perspective, trusting your intuition and being your own advocate when you go to speak with them. Learn all you can about other children with the same medical and developmental issues, but don’t forget about any other children in the family and ensure that you still take time to show them you love them in the way best suited to them, keep looking at their development and help them as much as your special needs child and prepare for their future just as much as the other child too.
Another important thing is to keep your own and your families health at optimum levels and take the same care that you would with your child, look at nutrition, sleep and emotional resilience, as well as financial security and how to keep a balance between work, play, caring duties and your own physical and mental health, make shared decisions and compromise where you need to, do not neglect yourself or your partner and celebrate what you have achieved regularly. Make sure that the little milestones are recorded and acknowledged, celebrate how far you have come, this will help in the future when the challenging times rear their heads, which will happen.

All in all this book is full of useful information and experiences, but it does not replace medical or legal advice.

Reviewed by @roxsannel

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Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon – Review by Jenni Bishop

Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs ParentLighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon is an emotional read. Marcia shares her heart and soul and a life of having a special needs child. She tells of the fear, the unknown, the pain and loss and not having the support and advice and trying to navigate the new situation she found herself in. She has written this book t be able to share her experiences, dreams and hopes that it will help someone else on their journey to a new reality and strange new world.

The gift Marcia has given to share her heartbreaking story is immeasurable.

Reviewed by @jennadb

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Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon – Review by Shelly Kittell

Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs ParentLighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an amazing book. It takes a lot to share a story this personal. The author has my respect for sharing such a personal story about her daughter, Em, and her experiences with her and raising her family. Being the mother of a son with special needs and now raising a grandson with special needs, this book will hold a special place in my heart. Every thing she writes of is true. The praise and the judgement of others. The looks, the condemnation because others don’t believe in what you are doing for you child. She gives tips that every parent of a child with special needs should know and remember: coping with the situation after diagnosis; you are not alone – getting support; create your vision – what do you want for your child; getting interventions together; don’t forget the rest of your family; and other topics. My biggest take-away from this book is do not forget self-care. It is so easy to forget when you are tied up taking care of your child. You need to take care of yourself or you will end up run down and sick. You can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself first. The fact that she did a lot of this in Trinidad and Tobago, where there was not a lot of medical care available shows how strong “special” parents are. We will do anything for our children. Thank you for sharing your story, Ms. Balkissoon.

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Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon – Review by Melissa Pongracz

Lighting the Path is a beautifully honest account of what it is truly like to walk in the shoes of a special needs parent, caring for a child with significant challenges. Dr. Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon gives a glimpse of what life is like while caring for a child affected by a severe brain injury. This book provides guidance to parents facing similar challenges in their families, from someone who has walked this path. Despite all the challenges, Dr. Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon finds joy in the simple moments, and through this, provides hope to others. This book is a must read for parents on a similar journey, raising a child with unique challenges.

Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon – Review by Heather Lovelace

Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs ParentLighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When is say that this book rings true, boy does it ever. My heart needed this book than I even realized. As a parent of a child with special needs I truly appreciated the perspective the author shared. To be reminder that you aren’t alone truly has so much value. This book is one that everyone should read. For perspective. For validation. Just truly wonderful.

Reviewed by @heatherlovelace
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Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon – Review by Erica Fish

Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs ParentLighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lighting the Path by Dr. Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon is a book that I will never forget reading. She took me on a journey of life with a special needs child, She is a parent of a special needs child. She gives great ideas of who, what, where, and how to deal with a journey with a special needs child. I took this story to be a great guide to assist anyone who has a special needs child(ren) in their life. Her journey with Emma and her ups and downs. She gives great resource information so that you do not feel alone in the journey. There are a lot of emotions not only the caregiver go through but the other members of the family. I finished this book in one sitting and had to have kleenex next to me. I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone who wants to understand what the family unit endures. Thank you Dr. Marcia for your wonderful story.

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Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent

Lighting the Path: Leaning into a Hopeful Future as a Special Needs Parent by Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t say enough good things about this book. I felt so many different emotions with this book including those on a very personal level. Being the mother of a child with disabilities, tears were shed. The authors emotions were extremely present in this book. I felt as if I were truly in the story and it hit so many places close to my heart. I felt as if I were in a heart to heart therapy session with a dear friend and she was telling me everything that I needed to hear. This is a book that every mother should read especially mothers who can relate with all the same struggles and victories. This book came to life for me and it is a book that I will refer back to for not only help but for inspiration.

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