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My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome
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My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  34 reviews
All parent stories about raising a child with Down syndrome are special and unique, but in the hands of a good writer, they can have the power to reach, change, and resonate far beyond family and friends. And that is the case with My Heart Can't Even Believe It, by journalist, blogger, and NPR contributor Amy Silverman.

Amy bravely looks at her life, before and after her
Paperback, 225 pages
Published April 15th 2016 by Woodbine House
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4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  107 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2016
This is a wonderful book, and it's very hard to sum it up. I've always been curious about people's lives if they have disabilities, especially intelectual ones, so reading an actual first-hand experience memoir on it was wonderful. Especially because I've recently read a book about a patient with Alzheimer's, and DS is quite connected to Alzheimer's, as it turns out.

You could say I was glued to the book for the two or three days I was reading it. God, I even went to a bubble bath with the kindle
When her younger daughter Sophie was born with Down’s syndrome in 2003, Silverman had no idea what to expect. The long-time Arizona journalist put her investigative skills to work, finding out everything she could about the discovery of Down’s and how patients have been treated down the decades. She learned some distressing physical realities: many Down’s children have heart defects that require surgery and, given that Alzheimer’s is caused by plaque on chromosome 21, which is where the Down’s t ...more
Louise Wilson
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Amy Silverman is a journalist, blogger and NPR contributor tells how her life was before the birth of her daughter and how her life has changed since. Sophie was born with Down's syndrome.

A well written, touching and honest memoir.

I would like to thank Net Galley, Woodbine House and the author Amy Silverman for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book, involving and... educational! It inspired me to look up for academic information about Down and other trisomic disorders. The book itself also taught me many things. I was surprised, moved (when Sophie struggled finding play dates and friends...) and in love with this little Sophie.
Laurie Notaro
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal story, honest writing, this book is hard to put down. Sometimes shocking, always on target, My Heart Can't Even Believe It is part memoir, part investigative reporting, part social studies lesson. A must-read.
Michelle Hofacker
Mar 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
SO negative! My son with Down syndrome is the light of our lives, so I can't even imagine how anyone could think otherwise. No one has the right to judge someone's true feelings, so I'm not saying that the author was wrong to feel or write the way she did. Personally, though, I can't even begin to comprehend how anyone could think that way. My son (who is 12 right now, 2018) was a surprise in every way. I didn't plan to have more kids. I didn't expect to have a child with any disabilities. The n ...more
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. it was honest, touching, funny, interesting, and informative.
Julie Haigh
An excellent memoir.

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review. This is the author's account of the special little girl who is her daughter and who changed her outlook on life. Sophie has Down’s syndrome. What a beautiful quote by Sophie-and one which became the title of the book: "I love you so much my heart can't even believe it". There are many photos in here, delightful ones, at the start of each chapter (black & white). You can’t help but be touched by this
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know who Amy Silverman was (sorry!) other than the author of a book about having a child with Down syndrome. I read this book because I have a little friend with Down syndrome. She lives on the other side of the country so my interaction with her is filtered through her mom and Facebook. I wanted to learn more about Down syndrome, how it effects the child, and how it impacts those around the child. This book did just that! Ms. Silverman was brutally honest, saying things that might caus ...more
Sandra Guerguy
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Raw, honest and emotionally charged ; this memoir makes one understand the trials, tribulations and joy in having a special needs child. I laughed out loud ( I know the players!) and cringed with Amy when she recounts her family's story.
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this so much. I knew I would, but still. So much truth about parenting a kid with DS. I need to reread it already. Sequel please! I'm going to need a handbook for the teen years. And beyond.

Maren Showkeir
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Funny. Profane. Touching. It made me think about things that are hard to think about, which is what I expect a good book to do for me.
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a great book. I love how honest Silverman is about her genuine reaction to learning she has given birth to a child with Down Syndrome (DS). I appreciate that she didn't try to make herself look good, but instead shared her real journey which was initially a grieving process from what it sounds; her daughter Sophie is now 14 or 15 (she also has an older "typical" daughter Annabelle, about 16 or 17). She has come to fully accept, embrace and celebrate her daughter with special needs. I think ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
My Heart Can't Even Believe it is a book that combines a mother's personal experience having a child with Down syndrome, along with interesting background information about all sorts of things having to do with the syndrome, as well. I especially enjoyed the part about the Unified movement (an offshoot/alternative to the Special Olympics) in Arizona, where the author lives. However, my favorite parts are the personal anecdotes about life with her daughter Sophie.

One tip: at the beginning I was
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Amy Silverman was 6 months pregnant with her second child when a health professional suggested the child may have Down syndrome. There was some confusion whether Sophie actually had Down syndrome but eventually she was diagnosed. This is the story of how a mother learned to let go of the expectations she had of her child and opens herself to the new experiences she has by having a child with Down syndrome.

This book is amazing for its honesty. Amy had an extremely hard time understanding what Dow
Linda Atwell
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book and the way Amy Silverman talked about the relationship between her daughter and herself. I too have a daughter with special needs (although Silverman may prefer not to use that label, she also appears not to be offended by a label I elect not to use). Silverman's daughter has Down syndrome while my daughter has an unidentified syndrome. Still, although our children have different struggles, as I read, I felt the commonality in our lives. This book has all the elements of a great ...more
Paula Turow
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting perspective on a subject a knew little about - admittedly the author didn't either at first. I found the stories engaging although overall thought the book was non-linear. The author is extremely honest and thoughtful about her own reactions as she came to terms with having a daughter with Down's syndrome. Not a challenging but still a worthwhile read.
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful book. I learned so much and an so impressed with the author's obsession with learning. She is an amazing mother and I am inspired by her.
Heidi Weinmann
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm far more educated now than before I read this book. Amy Silverman masterfully weaves personal anecdotes about life with Sophie throughout this surprising book. I say surprising because there's so much scientific and historical information about Down Syndrome and yet the text is anything but dry. The main takeaway for me is that there are no one-size-fits-all answers when it comes to DS, but I suppose that's true of anything. Read Amy's story, you may see some things in a new light as a resul ...more
“But although I’ve come to love all things that make Sophie different, I wasn’t always so Zen about the whole thing. Far from it. In fact, Sophie is the first person with Down syndrome I ever met. Which wouldn’t have been so awkward if she wasn’t my daughter.”

I don’t know exactly what attracted me to this book. I know part of it is the picture of Sophie on the front cover. She is so cute. What kept me reading was Silverman’s honesty.

I don’t think there are many people who would admit to what Si
Michelle Kidwell
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My Heart Can’t Even Believe It

A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome
by Amy Silverman

Woodbine House

the Special-Needs Collection
Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Families

Pub Date 15 Apr 2016

I am voluntarily reading and reviewing My Heart Can’t Even Believe It through the publisher and their partnership with Netgalley:

Amy Silverman talks about learning that her daughter Sophie had Down Sydrome she talked about many doctors appointments, appointments with specialists. She talks about d
Jun 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Lots of good info on Downs and raising a child with Downs IF, and that is a big IF, you can stomach Silverman. Do you throw around the word retard? Stare at disabled or different people? If the answer is no, and you actually try to treat everyone like a human, Silverman will bother you. She has the popular confessional tone, but I can't even begin to relate to how she sees others. Her husband mostly comes off as the better person except for seeing an overweight Downs person ruins his whole day- ...more
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“Having a baby with a heart defect is a medical crisis. But having a baby with Down syndrome is an existential crisis,” writes journalist Amy Silverman in this unflinching, honest and funny memoir of how she and her family have navigated both. In this page-turning, powerful blend of science, history, disability rights, education and parenting, Silverman reflects about the realities of caring for a sick baby, worrying about her daughter Sophie’s future, fighting for her rights, and realizing how ...more
Lisa Lambert Nicholson
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amy Silverman just takes it on, full frontal, sharing her experience, sharing the inimitable Sophie, honestly and skillfully with us. We want to go on this ride even with all of its bumps and bruises. We all do this "specialness" differently and isn't appreciating differences the heart of it all?
But not all of us can tell our story so fearlessly and with so much humor. I heartily recommend it to all parents who are on a journey to truly see their child and accept them as a separate valuable per
Elizabeth Naranjo
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My Heart Can’t Even Believe It is a strikingly brave and beautiful memoir that blends investigative journalism and personal narrative to explore what it means to raise a child with special needs.

Silverman, whose daughter Sophie has Down syndrome, asks hard questions about biology, history, motherhood, and herself. She may not find all the answers, but she reveals with witty humor and moving honesty her most important discovery--the depth of a mother’s love.
Terry Greene
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Carrying on with the heart theme, my heart can't wait for My Heart Can't Even Believe It to arrive at my doorstep. Why? Because I know the author and her work - she's an NPR contributor, a nationally known award winning writer and a mother who wrote a real book. One that isn't sugarcoated. A story of science, love and raising a child with Down Syndrome.
Mandy Bublitz
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I like Amy's writing ( so when she wrote a book, I knew I would read it. I didn't know how it would captivate me. I lost count of how many times it made me cry (in mostly the best kind of way). It's witty and funny and moving and believable.
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is such a great book! As a special educator in Arizona, I could relate to so much of what Ms. Silverman wrote about her experiences advocating for Sophie. Ms. Silverman's voice is genuine, honestly including joys and frustrations, often with humor.
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thank you for the journey this book took me on Amy. I laughed, cried, learned, and grew! Such an enjoyable and worthwhile read.
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Amy Silverman is managing editor at Phoenix New Times and a commentator for KJZZ, the National Public Radio affiliate in Phoenix. Her work also has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in The New York Times. Amy holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. She lives in Arizona with her husband Ray and daughters Annabelle and Sophie.