Married with Special Needs Children: A Couples' Guide to Keeping Connected
This book looks at the ways in which having a child with special needs can make it more difficult for a marriage to thrive and how a child's intensive needs can change the structure of a marriage. The authors examine many of the underlying stresses and common pitfalls: a couple's differing coping mechanisms and expectations of a child, communication breakdowns and difficulties resolving conflicts, for example. They then present a wide range of strategies for handling or preventing these problems. Marshak and Prezant also describe what makes a marriage strong, such as continuing to share connections outside of parenting roles, keeping a sense of autonomy, and sharing childcare responsibilities. Parents get advice about the importance of romance and intimacy and the benefits of finding time for each other even when they feel too tired or overwhelmed. In addition, the book deals with serious marital troubles and divorce considerations.
In writing this practical, empathetic guide, the authors draw on their combined professional experience in marital counseling and parent training, as well as on the experience and advice of hundreds of parents of children with special needs with insights from husbands and wives throughout.
This book is also invaluable to mental health professionals, giving them a realistic view of what many of their clients are dealing with on a day-to-day basis.