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In Time with Love

Marilyn Segal

In Time with Love - Caring for the Special Needs Baby
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Reviewer: Allison Martin

In Time with Love - Caring for the Special Needs Baby by Marilyn Segal is an excellent resource for parents who are raising a baby who has specific special needs or disabilities or who was born premature. Her book puts the guidance directly in the hands of those who need it - parents raising their special children. Dr. Segal provides an overview of various developmental areas in which young children might need extra assistance and then gives detailed advice on how best to meet their needs as they grow. Her tone is straight forward and compassionate. Dr. Segal has years of experience as the director of the Family Center at Nova University in Florida, and this is evident in the depth of coverage and practical suggestions in her book.

In Time and with Love starts with a look at the early period of adjustment to having a baby with special needs. Topics include stresses on your marriage and coping with reactions from relatives. Part 2 explores issues of "everyday living," as your baby/toddler begins to adjust to his or her surroundings. Topics include reading your baby's clues and social skills. Part 3 looks at your child's growth as they play and learn. Dr. Segal helps parents with the complex but vital developmental areas of self-awareness, motor skills, language and problem solving. The book concludes with encouragement and advice on making decisions for the future.

While parents of babies and toddlers should supplement In Time and With Love with books on specific issues or disabilities, this is one of the best holistic looks at raising a young child at risk for special needs available. Additionally, Dr. Segal tackles issues that other books rarely address - for example, differences of style or viewpoints between parents, helping your baby tune into their environment, and coping with aggression. Written in 1988, the language is slightly dated, but the concepts and presentation are still quite applicable to parents today. In summary, this book remains one of the best overviews for new parents with infants and toddlers with special needs.

Quote from the book:

"The ways babies signal stress are often very subtle: a change of expression, a tightening of the lips, a curling of the toes, or a slight change in color. Other stress signals include hiccupping, spitting up, turning dusky, or having a bowel movement. When your baby is showing signs of stress it is important, of course, to reduce the amount of stimulation. Equally important is helping your baby organize her own resources and learn self-calming strategies. Sometimes putting your hand on your baby's stomach or back is enough to help her reorganize. At other times you may be able to give her a pacifier, or put her arms close to her body and her finger near her mouth."

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