Newsline Volume 31, Number 1

Book Review

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Fasten Your Seatbelt: a crash course on Down syndrome for brothers and sisters
By Brian G. Skotko and Susan P. Levine. (Woodbine House. 2009. 191 pp)

Fasten Your Seatbelt: a crash course on Down syndrome for brothers and sistersBrothers and sisters who have a brother or sister with Down syndrome get asked lots of questions. They also have their own questions to ask. The purpose of the book is to provide answers to those questions, and help prepare siblings to not only answer questions they are asked, but also share correct information.

The authors traveled to workshops and conferences across the country where they hosted brother and sister meetings. At each meeting they asked attendees to write their questions then discussed the answers. This book is a compilation of 100 of those questions about Down syndrome, family issues, feelings, dealing with uncomfortable situations, and more.

This book, the result of research, commonsense and experience, while written for siblings, has useful information for all family members, as well as friends, teachers, coaches, and others. If you need an answer fast, the summary points at the conclusion of each chapter provide great guidance, even if you haven’t read the entire chapter or book. And there’s a wealth of local and national resources in the resource chapter.

Woodbine House has donated a copy of this book to the Federation, which you can borrow by calling 617-236-7210. Learn more about the Special Needs Collection at