David Rizzo, whose 12-year-old daughter has autism, offers hope and guidance for parents who want to help their children with disabilities grow in their spirituality and experience God in a deeper way.
Its hard enough for todays parents to raise faith-filled children. But for the parents of kids with special needs, the challenges can be almost overwhelming; these parents own spirituality may suffer amidst the daily obstacles of raising a child with disabilities, and they may wonder howor even iftheir child can ever experience a meaningful spiritual life.
In Faith, Family, and Children with Special Needs, David Rizzowhose 12-year-old daughter has autismoffers great hope for parents who want to grow in their own spirituality while helping their children with disabilities experience God in a deeper way.
Throughout the book, Rizzos abiding though sometimes tested Catholic faith is made clear as he thoughtfully explains everything from the practical, such as how parents can maintain sanity during Mass when the child with special needs becomes disruptive, to the profound, such as how parents can understand God in a way that is relevant to their predicament. At other times, Rizzos advice is intended to help the child grow in his or her own faith, as when he explains how kids with special needs can participate meaningfully in the Eucharist.
By looking at big-picture issues of faith while also providing specific tips to nurture spiritual growth in parents and in their children with disabilities, Faith, Family, and Children with Special Needs will serve as a highly useful and inspiring resource for anyone in the community of faith who interacts with children with disabilities.
David Rizzo is a physical therapist who specializes in working with adults and children with developmental disabilities. He and his wife, Mercedes, have four children and live in Marlton, New Jersey.
"Adversity is the mother of the Gospel too! Jesus taught it, but David Rizzo makes this truth obvious and very compelling. His maturity, compassion, and in-depth understanding of Christianity shines here for all to see and all to imitate."
--Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM
Life with a special needs child is a drama. David Rizzo does an artful job in meeting parents with children with special needs where they live and reminding them of the most important things in life. As parents who have been blessed with an autistic son, we recommend, Faith, Family, and Children with Special Needs to every parent invited to this path.
--Curtis Martin, Fellowship of Catholic University Students
"Faith, Family, and Children with Special Needs is a terrific little book packed with gentle wisdom, hard-earned experience, a deep sense of the spiritual dimension of both the special needs parent, and keen insight into the unique spirituality of developmentally disabled children. Every catechetical program in America needs to give it to teachers involved in special needs ministry, and parents of disabled children will find comfort and guidance in its pages."