Schuyler's Monster by Robert Rummel-Hudson
A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter

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Synopsis

Schuyler’s Monster is an honest, funny, and heart-wrenching story of a family, and particularly a little girl, who won't give up when faced with a monster that steals her voice but can’t crush her spirit.
When Schuyler was 18 months old, a question about her lack of speech by her pediatrician set in motion a journey that continues today.  When she was diagnosed with Bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria (an extremely rare neurological disorder caused by a malformation of the brain.), her parents were given a name for the monster that had been stalking them from doctor visit to doctor visit and throughout the search for the correct answer to Schuyler's mystery. Once they knew why she couldn’t speak, they needed to determine how to help her learn. They didn’t know that Schuyler was going to teach them a thing or two about fearlessness, tenacity, and joy.

Schuyler’s Monster is more than the memoir of a parent dealing with a child’s disability.  It is the story of the relationship between a unique and ethereal little girl floating through the world without words, and her earthbound father who struggles with whether or not he is the right dad for the job.  It is the story of a family seeking answers to a child’s dilemma, but it is also a chronicle of their unique relationships, formed without traditional language against the expectations of a doubting world.  It is a story that has equal measure of laughter and tears. Ultimately, it is the tale of a little girl who silently teaches a man filled with self-doubt how to be the father she needs. Schuyler can now communicate through assistive technology, and continues to be the source of her father's inspiration, literary and otherwise.

 

 

About Robert Rummel-Hudson

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Robert Rummel-Hudson has been writing online since 1995.  During that time, his work has been recognized by the Diarist Awards at diarist.net and has been featured in the Austin Chronicle, the Irish Times, the New Haven Register, the Dallas Morning News, Wondertime Magazine and Good Housekeeping, as well as on American Public Radio's “Weekend America.”Robert and his family currently live in Plano, Texas, where Schuyler attends a special class for children who use Augmentative Alternative Communication devices.  Much of her days are now spent in mainstream classes with neurotypical children her age.
 
Published January 6, 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Schuyler's Monster

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More than a third of the way into the book—apparently adapted from the author’s contemporaneous blogs—Dad and Mom got a singularly unhelpful diagnosis: Schuyler had “pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified.” Other experts were consulted, and, when she was three, her affliction w...

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Red Room

During her first three years, as her parents seek to find out what hidden “monster” is causing her wordlessness, they endure “two years of questions and tests and at least one unsatisfactory diagnosis.” But while Rummel-Hudson initially rages at God for giving Schuyler “a life that would never ev...

Jan 07 2008 | Read Full Review of Schuyler's Monster: A Father'...

Red Room

Knowing that there are many people like Robert, Julie and Schuyler who play their difficult hand with grit, tenacity and love makes this world a much better place in which to live.

Jul 06 2008 | Read Full Review of Schuyler's Monster: A Father'...

Red Room

When the instructor of the Lamaze class that Rummel-Hudson attended with his pregnant wife said, “So the first thing the nurse will do is hand the new baby to you, mommies, so you can count their little fingers and toes...” Rummel-Hudson added, “And heads!” Weisenheimer moments like this pepper ...

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