In Touchstone, Denise Park Parsons tells the story of her daughter’s life with Aicardi Syndrome, which becomes the lens through which the reader views the author’s life over thirty years. The book tells how Park Parsons encountered the “three Ds”—death, disability, and divorce—and remained on her feet. It is a candid, revelatory look into one woman’s struggle to advocate for Emma in an indifferent educational system and an often confounded medical system. In the process, Denise and her husband started a newsletter in 1983 for parents of Aicardi Syndrome children. That newsletter has matured into a global network that is a testament to what empowered parents can accomplish for their children and families.
How do you accomplish all that and maintain a loving, vibrant family life? Park Parsons succeeds, and she will succeed also in making you cry with her, flinch at the seemingly insurmountable difficulties, and rejoice at the delight nestled within adversity. And through it all you will be rooting for her and for Emma, who became the touchstone by which her mother measures what is valuable and good in life.