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Raising Blaze: Bringing Up An Extraordinary Son In An Ordinary World (2003)

Raising Blaze: Bringing Up an Extraordinary Son in an Ordinary World (2003)
3.77 of 5 Votes: 4
0060004339 (ISBN13: 9780060004330)
harper perennial
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Raising Blaze: Bringing Up An Extraor...
Raising Blaze: Bringing Up An Extraordinary Son In An Ordinary World (2003)

About book: Basic Summary: Debra Ginsberg wrote a memoir about her years in the food industry (Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress). Waiting was full of spelling and grammar error; which I found funny since she stresses how she ended up working with a book packaging company and reading manuscripts/etc for a living..and this book is only slightly better in the amount of errors. As I typed this sentence, I discovered that she has actually 8 books, which is about 6 more than I thought she had. Anyways, she had a son, named Blaze - (really?) who had a very rough entrance into the world. His umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck. As he got older, his school requested to place him in special-ed as, he was displaying inappropriate social behavior and a severely low academic gain. She is convinced that they're all nutbergers and her son is a genius with a unique look on life. Her and her parents think all doctors are wrong, all the time and that all test results regarding everything are wrong. She goes as far as burying a psychiatrist's evaluation (which said that tests leaned towards something on the autism spectrum and clearly noted that they were inconclusive) in a pile of papers and not turning it into the school because she felt it was a "betrayal". Then, she decided to start the 4th grade WITH HIM. Joined his class. To sit there with him. Quit her well-paying job and went back to waitressing so she could impair her son's education. And that's where I am so far.. Final Impression: There is absolutely no denying that the author is an extremely loving and dedicated mother. I just don't think we'd get along based on her parental choices; but that's what made the book so interesting to read. She was nasty to all the teachers she met, they were nasty to her (from her perspective?), she ignored every single diagnosis and advice about her son and even pulled him out of school to homeschool him in lieu of addressing his behavioral problems. I disagreed with just about every move she made but I've never lived it so I maintain major respect for her devout dedication to her son.

I was obsessed with Torey Hayden books when I was a teenager. There was something so compelling about the honest way in which she wrote about her experiences teaching special ed and in the almost painful way she opened up her life for closer inspection. Torey Hayden always came across as admirable and vaguley heroic to me, but she certainly wasn't afraid to show you her very human flaws and the holes in her own reasoning and approach. And this memoir by Debra Ginsburg is similar in the sense that the author doesn't hold back, she presents her life with such candor that there's no room for judgement. Anyone who has ever dealt with an unimaginative, closed-off teacher/doctor/specialist will be able to relate to this author's struggles to find a competent and compassionate education system for her son Blaze.
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A bit sad and disturbing, this book chronicles Debra Ginsberg's struggles with the school system when her son is growing up. She struggles to find a diagnosis for him, as he seems alternately creative and talented in some areas, but unable to function in a school environment, at least in other people's eyes. I thought she did a nice job of raising questions in the reader's mind because the way she sees her own son is so different from the comments of school officials and the conflicting reports of psychiatrists. Yet one psychologist asked if her son would simply have been considered eccentric if she had been wealthy. The end of the book seems to conclude he has some form of autism, but the book still raises a lot of food for thought, beyond the diagnosis.If you wondered why a writer like Debra Ginsberg just worked as a waitress instead of having a more ambitious career, this book gives you the reason why; she was preoccupied with advocating for her son.I found it interesting but sad. I think it would be very hard to be in her shoes, but I see how her son is also a joy to her. A fast read.
Rita Glick
Beautifully written book.. I read it in 24 hours. Having worked in classrooms with children who have no diagnosis, my heart ached. I would like to see this as required reading for mainstream teachers, but I'm afraid they would blow it off as the writings of an over-protective parent; so many of them don't get it and too many don't want to. Ginsberg admits her own eccentric background almost as an excuse. But aren't we all eccentric in our own way? I was happy to read so much about her family and how they were able to work together as adults to help raise Blaze. I was saddened when Ginsberg spoke of her family as if there was something wrong with the way they lived. I don't think she meant it to come through that way, but it did for me. Her family seem to be compassionate, caring, loving, and successful people. Debra Ginsberg has an incredible talent for mothering and for writing and I highly recommend this book.
I like this author's voice. She writes very well, using words in a beautiful way to express herself. I appreciated her honesty: each time she seemed adamant in her opinion about something regarding her son, such as her refusal to turn to medication, she pauses and is willing to consider the other side. As she recounts her struggles with the educational institutions and personnel, she is never bitter or unkind. This really endeared her to me. I admire her devotion to her son and her perseverance in advocating on his behalf. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
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