Leah’s Voice The Book #giveaway #backtoschool

by Teresa B

Theresa, 5m4m contributor, shares her insights on this review and giveaway for Leah’s Voice. While we were compensated to write this review, all opinions listed are her own.

back-to-school-2013

Someone once told me my son was weird.

When my son was younger, my husband’s cousin told us he didn’t want his kids playing with our son because our son had so many issues.

My father-in-law told me last month that my son had no decorum and could I find some medication to fix his condition.

These statements break my heart into a million pieces. These statements make me want to build the biggest invisible shield and place it around my son and walk around with him all day long, protecting him from these harsh words.

Deep, deep down, amongst the devastation and doubt, I know I can’t.

What I can do, {after I take a deep breathe}, is try to explain so there is more understanding. My son is a special needs child. He suffers from sensory modulation deficits. Our girls know this and they just go with it.

Leah’s Voice tells the story of two sisters facing these very same challenges.

leahs-voice

About the book

Leah’s Voice is a story that touches on the difficulties children encounter when they meet a child with special needs such as autism. Children who have a brother or sister with special needs may find it difficult to explain to their friends, or feel disappointed when their friends aren’t more understanding. Leah’s Voice tells the story of two sisters facing these challenges. Through her kindness and devotion, one sister teaches by example the importance of including everyone and showing acceptance.

Leah’s Voice is a recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award, Silver Honoree. The Mom’s Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services.  A sampling of the judges includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Eleven-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of Reading Rainbow ; Jodee Blanco, New York Times Best-Selling Author; and LeAnn Thieman, Motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soulbooks. Parents, educators, retailers and the media look for the Mom’s Choice Awards seal when selecting quality materials and products for children and families.

About Our Family

Our family motto is love and kindness. Inside our home my children have figured out on their own how to thrive in their relationships with each other. It is amazing to watch, especially if you see my son outside of our home. My children harmonize with each other well and it makes my heart sing.

They are all best friends and they stick up for each other. My son and my daughter have been best friends for as long as I can recall. My daughters don’t see my son any differently than their brother, who they love and adore. My son has a very difficult time making friends and he refuses to speak to anyone outside of our immediate family. His sisters seem to instinctively understand this and mediate to always include him. It is a beautiful thing.

I only want the very best for my children. Each child of mine is special with many unique gifts and challenges. I hope by teaching them all to always put kindness in front of any other behavior, they will respond with love, grace and humor far beyond their years.

 Enter to win

2 winners will get the chance to win a copy of Leah’s Voice. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter this giveaway. New to Rafflecopter? Watch this 45-second video on how to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit the main Back to School post to find all of our Back to School related giveaways. You don’t want to miss out on the amazing prizes.

Teresa is a family lifestyle photographer who is happy homeschooling her three children in the Christian classical education theory in the suburbs of Chicago. You can find her on her blog Tiaras & Tantrums or on Twitter as @tiarastantrums.



Email Author    |    Website About Teresa B

I am a Chicago momma to 3 little poppets whom I happen to homeschool. I have many passions, photography (see my portfolio) When I meet you, I'll be sure to share the good lighting with you. See me at http://tiarastantrums.com and I tweet at @tiarastantrums

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Barbara August 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

We have talked extensively over the years about how God made each of us special, just the way we are. We’ve also taken opportunities to serve others, which elevates their empathy and shows them that we all have special needs. Thanks for the chance to win this book; it’s a keeper!

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2 Wehaf August 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I am hoping to win this for my friend, whose son is on the autism spectrum. I don’t know how she handles rude and insensitive comments.

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3 michelle b. August 8, 2013 at 3:10 am

I don’t have a special needs child, but have watched my cousins special needs child. If it is a stranger I just kind of say very little.

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4 Krystal August 8, 2013 at 5:15 am

My child has really severe speech delays. He has a hard time playing with other kids, because he can’t communicate well with them. I try to help others find ways they can talk to my son. Through sign and gestures, and being really patient with him. It’s hard but it’s worth it.

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5 Barbara Platt August 8, 2013 at 7:15 am

I don’t have one

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6 Melinda willfond or August 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

I am disabled and I dont handle negative comments well

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7 happymomc August 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm

I don’t have one but if I did, I would be very protective

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8 Kelly D August 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I would try to explain to them the challenges my child had to open their minds.

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9 Marci W. August 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Educate the adults directing the comments to the inappropriateness of their comments or stares. Education my son on how to handle kids who are rude or don’t understand him (though most of the time he doesn’t even notice it – I do).
Educate everyone we come in contact with what it is like for him living in a world where every sensation (wind blowing in his face, strange smells, itchy tags in his clothes or soft touches) feels like a brick falling on his head.

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10 cheri August 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Usually, I get mad and flustered.

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11 meredith August 8, 2013 at 9:47 pm

I dont have a special needs child, but I can imagine I would get angry and protective

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12 Brandy W. August 9, 2013 at 1:19 am

I’m very thankful that I do not have a special needs child… I would probably lose my temper with rude strangers more than I’d like to admit..

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13 latanya August 9, 2013 at 9:22 am

I do not have a special needs child

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14 Mary Beth I August 9, 2013 at 7:22 pm

I did not use to handle them very well. I have gained a thicker skin over time and try to be rational in my response

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15 Heather Hayes Panjon August 9, 2013 at 10:50 pm

I Get Frustrated At Others For Their Lack Of Respect, And Try To Educate Them The Best That I Can.

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16 Jenette August 9, 2013 at 10:59 pm

I do not have a special needs child so I am not sure how I would handle it. I would imagine I would be very hurt. I am pretty hot headed at times so I would probably spout off.

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17 Samantha wagner August 10, 2013 at 11:33 am

I don’t have a special needs child, but I know I would be protective as any mother would and treat them as normal as possible so that they themselves don’t look at themselves differently

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18 Jessica August 10, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I don’t have a special needs child, but I teach my children to accept everyone as they are and not to stare or say anything rude.

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19 Chelsea August 11, 2013 at 12:19 am

I nanny for a child with a disability and it’s hard to watch people stare at him or make comments but the best thing I feel like I can do is smile and act politely to make him stay as comfortable as possible

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20 Ellen B August 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Are you trying to make me cry? Well my grandson (age 8) finally got diagnosed with a form of autism and I can see his struggles. I thought that is what he had – the doctors kept saying it was other things – but I knew. Anyway, his older brother (age 10) has no understanding of his condition and tells friends that he is retarded. My granddaughter (age 6) helps him so much! She is like his voice! I love them all but the special needs grandson is well “special” to all of us.

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21 mamotts August 12, 2013 at 11:46 am

say it like it is- I tell adults how I feel- as far as other kids subtle

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22 Brandy W August 13, 2013 at 7:13 am

I tell people to walk a mile in their shoes or shut up

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23 Kerrie Mayans August 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Normally I ignore them but if they are outrageous or crazy or really insulting, then I will address the person in a calm way and try to explain the special needs of my child and why he is acting the way he is.

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24 Shirley August 14, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I pretend I didn’t hear them.

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25 Tammy S August 15, 2013 at 9:52 am

I just pretend I didn’t hear them or I try to educate them. It depends on the situation.

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26 Catherine August 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Quite honestly, I’m blunt with people. I have a 15 year old son who was born with severe disabilities and we have had many challenges along the way. He wasn’t suppose to live past 2 according to the doctors. The longest living child born with all the symptoms of CMV that he was born with (that we know of) was 5 years old. So when someone wants to tease him, we tend to it immediately and let them know that he has more determination and will power than any kid I have ever known or heard of. Since he started going through puberty a couple of years ago, along with his physical, mental and emotional disabilities, he has developed psychiatric disabilities too. His mental age is that of an 8 year old while his body is that of a growing man so he has a lot of confusion. His big sister (who is a senior this year) makes sure that the kids at the school know that she doesn’t tolerate anyone teasing her brother and I have made sure that every teacher, principal and staff realize that I will go to the top and let things roll down hill if they don’t do their jobs. If we find out that another child is being teased due to similar problems, the schools all know that we will help make sure those other children and their families get the help. I guess we are quite sensitive on the matter.

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27 Nicole Sender August 17, 2013 at 1:50 am

Handle them with grace and continue on!

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28 Stephanie Larison August 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I don’t have a special needs child, but I let my daughter know they’re just as special as we are. They just have different ways of communication, etc.

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29 Natalia August 18, 2013 at 11:56 pm

I just ignore them, or make some jokes

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30 LaVonne August 21, 2013 at 10:51 am

I don’t have a special needs child but I want to teach my own daughter not to make comments or be mean to children with special needs.

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31 Eve August 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I’m a therapist for children with autism spectrum disorder and I just try to passively educate those that are ignorant and if not I ignore it.

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32 Barbara August 21, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Head on. Firm, but direct & short. Then move on. I was a special needs nanny in my early 20′s, so I developed my style long enough ago to be very confident about dealing with it, even when caught off guard.

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33 Mozi Esmes mom August 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I just get out of there…

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34 Shelly Leatham August 24, 2013 at 3:43 am

My nephew is autistic, and I am very protective of him. He does not understand why people treat him differently, but he just walks away and keeps to himself.

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35 Kelly Brown August 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I have a special needs brother and it always upset me about how mean people can be! I am not sure if they knew their stares, giggles, etc., were hurtful, I want to help educate my sweet Kindergarten students about how special needs people need to be treated the same as everyone else. This would be a great book to help me educate my kids!

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36 Anne Lehnick August 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm

My son is not special needs, but I was told many times by a care provider that we needed to ask our pediatrician to check him for ADD or ADHD. She said we didn’t want him to get labeled with that once he got into school. I was hurt and angry at the comments. After talking to the pediatrician and being told his behavior was perfectly normal, I decided the care provider didn’t know what she was talking about. I was very concerned when he finally started elementary school and had behavioral issues the first week (in fact, he was sent to the principal the 2nd day of kinder). I learned a few things: my son STILL doesn’t have ADD or ADHD; there are plenty of other kids who exhibit the same behaviors at one time or another; and it’s actually a great thing to have your child “labeled” in school because then the school can work to make sure they learn all they need to. No diagnosis yet and hopefully we never get one, but I’m okay with it if we do.

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37 Barbi August 28, 2013 at 4:25 am

What comments? I don’t hear a thing.

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38 chana August 28, 2013 at 6:23 am

explain similarities rather than differences

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39 nikki August 28, 2013 at 7:42 am

i think its always best to talk about comments that we hear and try to help explain why its wrong to hurt others feelings

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40 Stephanie Bodine August 28, 2013 at 9:06 am

My daughter doesnt have any special needs, but I explain to her how everyone is different and how to treat others.

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41 Benita August 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I hope to win this for my classroom library located in a school where there are many special needs students.

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42 The Gang's Momma August 28, 2013 at 1:06 pm

How I handle comments and questions about my daughters’ special needs largely depends upon the way in which the question or comment has been presented (tone, context, intent, etc.) and whether or not my daughters are present when the question or comment is posed. I’m still learning what to say, when and how much. I think my older kids are actually better at it sometimes than I am. It’s a long process to learn how to graciously and guardedly answer appropriately. And we have the added layer of fairly obviously being a family built by adoption to deal with too!

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43 Melanie August 28, 2013 at 11:05 pm

To be honest, I’ve never been able to come up with a good solution for handling other people’s comments. Normally, I get very angry and defensive which probably doesn’t help.

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44 Saver Sara August 29, 2013 at 11:05 am

I don’t currently have a special needs child and pray my to-be born baby will also not have any. I did however spent years withing with special needs adults and my children have been raised to not treat anyone differently.

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45 katklaw777 August 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I don’t have a special needs child, but my grandaughter has been teased about her glasses.
We joke about it because her mother says four eyes are better than two!

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46 T.h.Ransom August 30, 2013 at 9:38 am

My daughter doesn’t have any special needs but her best friend has a speech problem. They were in the same class last year and when kids teased him, she stood up for him and told her friends to stop that Alex was a cool kid. Since then, none of the kids picked on him and learned to accept his speech problem.

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47 Meegan Whitford August 30, 2013 at 10:25 am

We have not had to deal with this yet its hard to say how i would react since i usually say before i think so i might fly off the handle until i figure out how to answer peoples comments.

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48 Cathy H August 30, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I do not have a special needs child, but I do have one with speech difficulties and she is a very late reader. When someone says something, we respond matter of factly with the truth of the situation. We find that often a little understanding is all that is needed to turn a negative opinion into a positive one.

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