Life With a Superhero: Raising Michael Who Has Down Syndrome

020714_mishmash_bookBy Kathryn U. Hulings
University of North Texas Press, 288 pages

Get ready for some humor and sensitivity training in biographical form. This is the life story of a Down syndrome boy and his very special family, told by his remarkable and loving mother, Kathryn Hulings.

It isn’t just Michael who is a superhero; his parents have their own super powers. The author, beset with her own physical challenges, and her husband adopted Michael at infancy. This big, loving family raises Michael with the intent of his reaching his maximum potential. Nothing stands in the way of reaching that goal: not school systems, bad educators, social attitudes, illness or Michael’s seeming limitations. From Michael’s earliest days — through education, employment and courtship — the reader sees the creativity and courage that goes into raising Michael.

Among the book’s great strengths is the aut-hor’s enchanting writing style. From the table of contents, poetically written in progressive tense, to the ending acknowledgments’ sincere gratitude, the writing is often lyrical and sensitive. A resource appendix is an added bonus.

This is a biography with great charm, wit, courage and candor. Sometimes there is a little too much candor, but it doesn’t affect the message of the book. It is both an eye opener and a soul lifter. It will not only change the way you think of people with special needs and their families, it also may have you thinking differently about your own life.

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