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My Heart Can’t Even Believe It

A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome
Amy Silverman


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isbn# 978-1-60613-274-6
6" X 9"
282 Pages

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"A great read -- grabbed me with her question, 'Do people with Down syndrome ever have curly hair?' Because I've never met one who does! Her investigative reporting skills take us through her journey to acceptance of her daughter's diagnosis, discovery of the many strengths her daughter possesses, all with scientific facts. And historical research woven throughout. A great read, entertaining and educational. Where do you ever find that combination? You will find it here! Now I can't wait for the sequel!"
-Sandra McElwee, mom of Sean, star of Born This Way

"Silverman deserves a standing ovation for not only having the courage to share her story, but for dealing so nobly, passionately and compassionately with the hand she was dealt."
-Read the entire review at Independent Publisher

"Amy Silverman's book offers a wonderful demystification of DS for all mom and dads of Down syndrome children, as well as education for the rest. And maybe some inspiration for those suited to making inroads on the scientific affront to this chromosomal genetic disorder"
-Midwest Book Review: Reviewer's Bookwatch, September 2016 / Chutsky's Bookshelf

"This book is heartfelt and almost gritty in its honesty. Amy Silverman, journalist and parent of a daughter with Down syndrome, bares her soul in her personal reflections on topics from the moments after her daughter Sophie was born, to thinking back to the weeks before her birth when she knew Sophie might have Down Syndrome. Ms. Silverman knew she would not have an abortion and she knew did not want to be the mother of a child with Down syndrome. She decided to take things as they came, but was determined to get her questions answered.

I recommend this book to parents to parents at all the stages of learning about acceptance of their child with special needs, especially the first two chapters. When parents feel the book is getting too far ahead of where they are, I suggest they put it away for awhile and move ahead at their own pace."
-Newsline, Federation for Children with Special Needs

"Silverman goes from ‘woman with no background or interest in special needs cases’ to ‘mother of a baby with Down Syndrome’. The sudden shifting of worldview would be tremendous to anyone and Silverman doesn’t hesitate to go into some of the darker and more personal line of thoughts she had when she was first told that her daughter had Down Syndrome. The road to not just acceptance, but love and enlightenment threads through the narrative well, and is both honest and touching as the reader sees a mom grow along with her daughter."
-Read the entire review at Library Thing

"The book is like a prism. It takes the stark, clinical reality of a Down syndrome diagnosis and refracts it into a human, multihued spectrum."
-Read the entire review at raisingarizonakids.com

"It's a fast, enjoyable read, and particularly if your child with Down syndrome is young, it's a lot of fun to read about the author's daughter, Sophie, who is now a pre-teen."
-Read the entire review at Connection Blog, Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area

"More than the insight gained, it's the author's response that stands out. There's little philosophizing or attempt to find spiritual meaning in the situation. Silverman also, for a time, eschews the idea of local support groups. She finds that a popular encouragement in the special needs parenting community—Emily Perl Kingsley's 1987 'Welcome to Holland' essay—is sentimental. And yet, there's little sense of regret. The work offers a refreshingly human, intelligent perspective that navigates pain at its own pace, that doesn't paint daily life in terms of heroics. Silverman avoids the mantle of a warrior mom; she exposes vulnerability, ugly emotion, and beauty in equal measure. Sophie's victories, whether in the classroom or on stage, at home or on a family vacation, become moments to appreciate for being expressions of a full life."
-Read the entire review at ForeWord Reviews

"The book, which Silverman wrote over a 10-year period, reveals a brutally honest and personal account of parenting a child with Down syndrome and includes plenty of self-deprecating as well as humorous moments."
Read the entire review at JewishNews.com

"I've read a lot of books about Down syndrome in my nearly twenty seven years with Sarah and truthfully I was just not sure I needed to read another. Until this one came out. I have been a longtime follower of Girl in a Party Hat, Amy Silverman's blog. She has gads of professional writing credentials and perhaps that's where she developed her style that I so admire. Perhaps it's her continual fascination with why our daughters have straight hair, when ours bushes out with just the mention of the word humidity. Perhaps it's her approach to parenting Sophie...I'm not entirely sure. I just know I LOVE this book. My Heart Can't Even Believe It. I highly recommend it."
-Joyce Hillick Ely, mom of Sarah Ely, on her blog

"Amy Silverman poignantly straddles the roles of mother and reporter while presenting her joyful and pained experiences raising a child with Down syndrome. Somehow that press-pass suit of armor allowed her to unabashedly share her intimate story.

Her book, My Heart Can’t Even Believe It, the name derived from a lovely quote uttered from her special-needs daughter Sophie’s lips, is part therapy, part blog, part girl chat, part scientific journal. A fluid memoir that offers up some life therapy alongside life’s miracles."
-Midwest Book Review, Reviewer's Bookwatch, September 2016

"Silverman's journalistic talents shine as she is able to tell an intricate, personal, yet academic story of raising her sweet Sophie."
Arcadia News

"Reading Amy Silverman's memoir, My Heart Can’t Even Believe It is like spending time with a best friend who knows she doesn't have to censor her thoughts."
—Kimberly Moran, Freelance Writer
Read the entire review at Linkedin.com

"Silverman is a warm, funny and devoted parent—and a tireless advocate for her daughter. She’s also a wonderful writer and an unflinchingly honest observer of herself, her family and the sideshows of modern family life."
—Read the entire review at Raising Arizona Kids

"La autora es periodista y madre de Sophie, actualmente una preadolescente con síndrome de Down. En su vibrante relato, se muestra franca: su hija fue la primera persona con síndrome de Down que conoció. Y muestra sus luchas interiores para amarla, para hacer frente a sus propias preguntas, sus miedos, su incertidumbre. Al tiempo que nos descubre su interior con honradez no exenta de humor, va desgranando y ofreciéndonos su creciente conocimiento sobre los variados aspectos del síndrome: genética, diagnóstico, salud, pubertad, educación, reacciones de la comunidad, aparición en los medios. Es un testimonio claramente personal, a veces duro, a veces divertido. El título copia una frase que su hija Sophie le dijo: "Mamá, te quiero tanto que mi corazón ni siquiera lo puede creer"."
-Revista Virtual June 2016 Número 181/2949, Fundación Iberoamericana Down21

"Silverman's fierce account of coming to terms with having a child with Down syndrome is at once precise, mordant, and compassionate, and ultimately is exquisitely human. It's an inspiring account for any parent of a child with significant special needs, and a humbling recalibration for those filled with angst and frustration in far less challenging circumstances."
—Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult

"Raising a child with a disability is not for the faint of heart. Amy Silverman's honest, funny, and heart-warming account of her family's journey is a must-read for anyone who not only plans to endure something hard, but believes that rising above it is their destiny."
—Keith Harris, father of Tim Harris, restaurant owner, social-media icon, and inspirational speaker, who also happens to have an extra 21st chromosome

"Amy Silverman tells a story of struggle and triumph, but more than anything else, it's a story of love. Every parent will be grateful for the chance to join her on her journey and to learn from Amy and her family's courage and commitment to the possibilities of every life, and to being a game-changer for a more welcoming and inclusive future for all."
—Timothy P. Shriver Ph.D., Chairman, Special Olympics

"A refreshingly comedic look at parenting a child with a disability—this book is sorely overdue!"
—Eliza Woloson, author of My Friend Isabelle

"Amy Silverman has accomplished something rare: a book about disability that is both fiercely honest and impeccably reported. She blends genetics and medicine with personal narrative to create a portrait of a mother raising a child with Down syndrome that is funny, true, and—most of all—loving."
—Kristin Gilger, Associate Dean, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Executive Director, Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism

"Smart, fascinating, and sometimes painfully honest, My Heart Can’t Even Believe It is a love letter to the complicated and extraordinary world of parenting a child with Down syndrome. Amy Silverman manages to write as both a clear-eyed reporter and an unabashed fan of her daughter. I closed the book smiling."
—Quinn Cummings, author of Notes from the Underwire and The Year of Learning Dangerously

"With stunning bravery and unwavering honesty, award-winning journalist and mother Amy Silverman creates an engaging, surprising, and, at times, shocking memoir that is unparalleled in its research, precision, and enormous helpings of determination. My Heart Can't Even Believe It is a remarkable journey through the territories of science, truth, and above all, love. Amy demolishes the status quo and insists on nothing but the best opportunities for her daughter Sophie. Like the unforgettable Sophie herself, this book will resonate with readers for a long time to come."
—Laurie Notaro, New York Times best-selling author of The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club, and Autobiography of a Fat Bride

"My Heart Can't Even Believe It is entertaining, enlightening, and emotionally devastating. Amy Silverman has managed to write a book that addresses history, medical science, parenting, and her own daughter's Down syndrome with fearlessness and wit. I have not stopped thinking about it."
—R. Bradley Snyder, author of The 5 Simple Truths of Raising Kids

"A candid testimony of love, parenting, and spiritual growth, My Heart Can't Even Believe It is thought-provoking and profoundly inspirational. Highly recommended!"
Reviewer's Bookwatch, May 2016

"Journalist, blogger, and NPR contributor Amy Silverman recounts the impact on her life of the birth of her daughter, Sophie, and the gradual evolution of her attitudes about Down syndrome."
NADS News (Newsletter for the National Association for Down Syndrome), May 2016

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