Dr. Thomas M. Caulfield
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (06/19)
“Ephphatha” by Dr. Thomas M. Caulfield is an eye-opening read based on the life of his son, born profoundly death. Much of the information in this book comes from a journal Dr. Caulfield kept for over two decades. This amazing and powerful story will leave you cheering, breathless and sometimes angry.
Some of what I learned is as a parent(s) you are the strongest advocate for your child; you know them best and what works best for them. Also, focusing on abilities and not on disabilities. As a former Psychologist who worked with and trained teachers on working with different ability children in the public school system, I found so many teachers were not trained properly nor were the administrators. They didn’t want to put much effort into what was needed to be done or make changes that would benefit their students. Readers will find throughout this read that the Caulfield and their son Christopher met the same obstacles, but that didn’t deter them.
The author does an excellent job of providing insight into having a child with different abilities, how it impacts his family and how children can be cruel in their own way. Often doctors deal with congenital deafness in a medical, diagnostic way and do not see the emotional and personal side. I have often said doctors need to deal with the whole person, not just the illness.
Christopher is talented and gifted in the basketball arena but experiences some lagging in reading and speaking academically. Therefore his parents provided education during the summer and with the help of his older sister, he improved.
I loved the fact that the author wrote about this experience as is one were having a friendly chat that was informative yet frank. The initial goal of journaling was to provide Christopher with his amazing journal later in life. However, Dr Caulfield realized it might be beneficial to other parents going through the same issues.
“Ephphatha” is enlightening and encouraging, I think all medical, school personnel and case managers should read this emotional journey. I highly recommend “Ephphatha” for the personal journey and information for every age. Hopefully, it will have readers re-think their perceptions about special ability individuals.