Woody Allen, in Annie Hall, said that he felt that life was divided into two groups - the horrible and the miserable. The horrible he thought were terminal cases, and blind people, and those with severe disabilities. He said, “I don't know how they get through life.” 

Yet many don't have that choice, as Jeff Schechtman points out in this week's Specific Gravity interview.

For parents of children with severe disabilities it appears that "horrible" is what they have to deal with every day. However for many of them, it’s not horrible at all. It is difficult, it’s often painful, but it’s also a powerful lesson about unconditional love, about finding strength in broken places and about redefining one's identity. Often by entering an alien world, that sometimes turns out to be a place of love, and safety and enrichment. A world where we celebrate differences and understand how much we are really capable of, in the name of love.

This is the world that National Book Award winner Andrew Solomon lays out in Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity.

Listen to Schechtman's interview with Solomon here:

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