“This brisk and honest account through a mother’s eyes of her two children, from infancy to adulthood, is a power story of struggle, uncertainty, determination, hope and triumph. It demonstrates the need for both formal and informal supports – in healthcare, schools, workplaces, and the community – with the knowledge and instincts to help. It tells how two young people managed to find their place in the world and how their parents learned to celebrate it. And it provides a distillation of what was needed for the journey.”
-David S. Goldbloom, OC, MD, FRCPC
Senior Medical Advisor and former Physician-in-Chief, Center for Addiction and Mental Health
Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Jan Stewart never thought she would live with fear in her own house. Hold on Tight: A Parent's Journey Raising Children with Mental Illness describes her raw and emotional journey raising two children with multiple mental health and neurodevelopmental disorders. Jan details the roller coaster lives and challenges that both children have faced in detail, from the time they were born to the present as young adults in their 30s. Pulling no punches, Jan describes moments of terrifying fear, pain, and hopelessness, as well as of awe, pride, and hope. The roller coaster ride never stops. While brutally honest, Hold on Tight is a love song to Jan's children. The book educates and empowers parents so that both they and their children can lead more fulfilling lives. Healthcare professionals, as well as families, friends, educators, employers, and others who interact with these families, get an inside look into the lives and unique perspectives of these parents.
Compelling parental advice includes:
- Trust your gut.
- Persevere in identifying the right professionals, diagnoses, and treatments.
- Insist on an integrated partnership approach with all those involved in each child's care.
“I laughed, I cried. Anyone with a child who has a mental illness or developmental disability should read this book and learn that they are not alone in the challenges they face.”
President and Chief Executive Officer, Kerry’s Place Autism Services
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