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Reviews

Some reviews of An Accidental Advocate… 

“Insightful and candid…written with humor and from the heart … An Accidental Advocate should serve as a roadmap for other parents of exceptional children." Lorrie Goegan, Immediate Past Chair, Learning Disabilities Association of Canada

“An Accidental Advocate is a phenomenal read. Kathryn Burke’s relentless journey of advocacy for her son, chronicled in the book, will help professionals and those in the world of education see the ‘other side.’ It will also empower parents of children with exceptional needs to advocate in a collaborative manner.” Lori Fankhanel, Founder and President – SPD Canada

"I have had a chance to read your book The Accidental Advocate that was given to me as a gift at the end of Monday’s workshop. It is excellent. What an incredible story – and so well written. I hope that many parents have found this book to be useful and supportive in their own efforts to become advocates for their disabled children." Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina (In personal communication to Kathryn Burke)

“Every parent with a child who has learning challenges should read An Accidental Advocate. Kathryn’s story is both personal and inspiring as she describes her journey from the joys of new parenthood, through denial that her son was experiencing more than simply short-term challenges, to embracing her role as advocate, not only for her son, but the entire LD community.” Michele Pentyliuk, Immediate Past President – Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta

"I laughed, I cried, I felt angry, I felt hopeless, and then I felt encouraged and full of hope. An Accidental Advocate is a compelling story." Kieran Leblanc, Executive Director, Book Publishers Association of Alberta.

"…a compelling account of a family's tortuous journey to find help for their son with dyslexia…It is also an inspiring story of how a family's love, determination and faith in each other can give us hope for all children with special needs." Dr. Linda Siegel, Special Education, University of British Columbia

“This is an insightful, focused and moving account of a mother’s journey through the perilous pathways and joys of parenting a child with exceptional abilities which are different from those expected of a “normal” child. So different, in fact, that they are generally labeled in terms of learning disabilities. Kathryn Burke found herself becoming an advocate, politician, writer, journalist, blogger, manager of expectations, fighter, imagineer, change agent and counsel to others in a way that she never expected. She does this work well, as all who know her know. This account is a handbook for those living through such an experience but is also a handbook for those who find themselves an accidental advocate, whatever the cause. You will laugh, cry and reflect – all a reader could ask for.” Stephen Murgatroyd, PhD FBPsS FRSA, Chief Scout, Murgatroyd Communications & Consulting Inc.

"Kathryn Burke has written a sensitive, informative, heart-grabbing book that is a testament to the critical importance of advocacy in the face of systems that are too often so overloaded that they lose sight of their true mandate. This story of a family that refused to accept uncaring bureaucratic responses when it came to the education and development of a beautiful child impaired by disability will serve as an anchor, a sword and a shield for any family with a child whose abilities don’t follow the norm. Every parent will learn valuable lessons from this book, and parents of children with disabilities will be introduced to knowledge and insights that can help them turn failure into success.

Ms Burke’s fearless honesty about her own life journey and her commitment to seeking the best for her bright but exceptional son is a roadmap that will encourage and inspire other parents. The book ends when her son, 15 and on his way to a successful adulthood, asks his mother “How have you coped with me?” Her answer brought tears to my eyes. It is a joy." Fil Fraser, Broadcaster, Journalist, Television and Feature Film Producer, Human Rights Activist, Adjunct Professor of Communications Studies at Athabasca University.

"I never really understood what my parents went through for me. I respect my parents but now I have come to an understanding of how lucky I am to have them.April, Adult Living with Learning Disabilities