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Can Your Child's Identity Shape Yours?

By NPR/TED Staff | NPR
Thursday, December 26, 2013

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Identities.

About Andrew Solomon's TEDTalk

What is it like to raise a child whose very identity is fundamentally different than yours? Writer Andrew Solomon shares what he learned from talking to dozens of parents and how the experience shaped the identities of both parent and child.

About Andrew Solomon

Andrew Solomon's latest book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children, but also find profound meaning in doing so.

Solomon's startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, and many other types of identities.

While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal. Woven into these stories is Solomon's journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision to become a parent.

Solomon's last book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, won the 2001 National Book Award for Nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, and won fourteen other national awards.

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