Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Review: Your Cleft-Affected Child by Carrie Gruman-Trinker

Title: Your Cleft-Affected Child: The Complete Book of Information, Resources, and Hope
Author: Carrie Gruman-Trinker
Usefulness Rating: 7/10
Referral: Found on Amazon
Source: Ordered used from Amazon
Books I've read this year: 136

While A Parent's Guide to Cleft Lip and Palate was a more useful book from a medical perspective, there were things I really liked about Carrie Gruman-Trinker's Your Cleft-Affected Child. Gruman-Trinker's son Aidan (the fifth child in her family) was born with pretty serious bilateral cleft lip and palate, and the book is part memoir, part information resource, and part cheerleader. One of the things I like best about the book is the short set of profiles of other people who were born with clefts (including Tom Brokaw, Jesse Jackson and Joaquin Phoenix). I also appreciated reading about her experiences with Aidan.

However, Aidan was still a preschooler at the time the book was published, and I'd love to hear how a cleft lip and palate affects a child as she grows. Part of the reason why I'm interested in that is because I'm making this research do double duty. In my fiction class we were assigned to write a short story that we had to do some research to write about effectively, and since we got our referral of Rose shortly after we got the assignment, it seemed natural to write about cleft lip and palate. I don't want to write the story from the point of view of a young child, and I'm finding it hard to get information on the lasting effects of this birth defect (is birth defect a p.c. term? Gruman-Trinker uses it in this book). It served my purposes as the mother of a child, (but only hand-in-hand with the more technical books about cleft lip/palate) but not my purposes as a writer. 

1 comment:

rabidrunner said...

Hi there. My coworker (Katy) told me about you. Said I'd enjoy your blog as you are a bellow book-nerd and runner (nerd is a compliment, by the way.)

My brother, now 48, was born with a severe double cleft palate. Back then it was traumatic. His nose was completely open, his cheek bones had not formed correctly, and there wasn't a roof of his mouth. He had somewhere around four major surgeries up to age 13, another facial reconstruction-type thing in high school, and then, finally, he had some cheek bones and permanent teeth added in his 30s.

It's amazing how far the medical industry has come since he was born. It is my understanding that most corrections can me made in the first few years – not well into your 30s.

I will say this about my brother, however. He is honestly one of the most pleasant, understanding, easy-going fun people I know. There's something about struggle that breeds spectacular human beings.

Anyway, my two cents.