Tuesday, November 20, 2012

January First by Michael Schofield

It is terribly hard to know what exactly to say about this wonderfully written, gripping and yet harrowing narrative that Michael Schofield has written about his Mentally Ill daughter January and the struggles he and his wife endured trying to find help for their daughter and preserving the life of their son Bodhi who became the target of Janni`s frustration and anger and increasing violent outbursts.
There is nothing in the detail that is left out and the reader finds themselves ploughing head first into any parents nightmare magnified by the force ten gale that is the ever changing, unpredictable Janni..
Schofield`s efforts to protect, nurture, nourish and find the help his daughter so desperately needs are truly humbling and if at times you would like to give him a shake, you can only be awe struck at the devotion he shows and in the face of so much stonewalling by the professionals his perseverance is mind blowing, he and his wife`s love for their flawed daughter and their desire that she be able to live life is simply inspiring.
Having had much experience with autistic children, I didn`t find the violence evidenced by Janni or whatever she wanted to be called on any given day as harrowing as those who have never experienced it may feel, ducking flying chairs and missiles really doesn`t faze me.
I think that Schofield raises any number of points that would be evidenced world wide that show how hard it is even with the best intentions to get a child with severe issues treated humanely and how even in this day and age trying to bring a child through this type of illness to the point where a life with some light can be lived is no walk in the park.
Schofield, his wife, son and daughter personify to me courage and bring true meaning to the term unconditional love, quite frankly I found these people to be amazing, I equally found with the odd exception those charged with being the professionals in this field to be dinosaurs living in another world altogether.
While this book is not an easy read by any means, it is a good and enlightening one, with
 an array of characters, some you will like, others you will loath but I hope like me you will get to know and love January and her remarkable family.
Michael Schofield has done a wonderful job with this book.

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