Ability Therapy by Sarah Mueller

Ability Therapy, published in 2013 by Abbey Press, is a book by Sarah Mueller that encourages those of us with disabilities, whether physical or mental, to keep a positive attitude. In her book, Sarah also dispenses wisdom regarding how to help people without disabilities understand, relate to, and help us. Statistics tell us that one in five people have a physical disability, so the book serves as a gentle reminder that if you yourself do not have a physical disability, odds are that someone you know does.

Ability Therapy is arranged in thirty-six concise chapters, each with an accompanying picture drawn by R.W. Alley. The illustrations are elves in various situations that match the discussion of each chapter. This is an unique and whimsical idea that makes you smile as you read. The style of the book is perfect for several reasons. It is a short book that is easy to read in one sitting. The small dimensions of the book mean it can be stored and easily referred to whenever you want to reread it. And you are going to want to return to the book regularly to enjoy it and review the wisdom in its pages.

The thing I like most about Ability Therapy is how it encourages us to adopt a positive attitude in the face of our challenges. Perseverence in the face of failure. Doing as much as you can and pushing your limits. Always respect yourself and others. These are some of the lessons Sarah exhorts us toward in her book. Having a physical disability myself, I related to so many things mentioned in the book. I know from experience that the lessons Sarah shares are hard won. One of the chapters that talked about dealing with doubts when it seems you have an “invisible” disability was familiar for me. I find that a lot of people know me for quite a while before learning that I have a disability. I am sure that young people (and even not-so-young people) who read this book will beneift from the advice in these pages.

We will welcome Sarah on our on February 27. On a personal note, I am particularly excited about talking with her. She has Spina Bifida, the same physical disability I have. We have exchanged electronic messages for a while. But this will be the first time we have talked by phone.

Jim (a.k.a. Niles)

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