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Schuyler's Monster

A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter

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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.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jan 07, 2008 – The monster in this heartfelt memoir is polymicrogyria, an extremely rare brain malformation that, in the case of Rummel-Hudson’s daughter Schuyler, has completely impaired her ability to speak. 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 ever be what we’d imagined it to be,” his depiction of her next four years becomes a study not only in Schuyler’s vivacious and resilient personality, but also in the redeeming power of understanding and a “stupid blind father’s love.” As he describes how Schuyler eagerly takes to various forms of communication, such as basic sign language and an alternative and augmentative communication device that provides whole words she can type to express her thoughts, Rummel-Hudson effectively and compassionately shows how the “gentle strangeness about her, like a visitor from some realm where no one spoke but everyone laughed,” leads him to understand that “she was the one teaching me how to make my way in this new world.”

Customer Reviews

Just Read It!

Reading "Schuyler's Monster" was like looking in a mirror. As the parent of a child with a rare brain malformation, reading the experience of another family going through a similar ordeal was so gratifying. Everything from diagnosis to the IEP process remained true to life and informative. The experience of reading about Schuyler herself makes this book worth at least double the asking price!


As the father of a disabled daughter with a rare genetic disorder I loved how this book was from 'Daddy's' perspective. It made me cry a number of times...especially the letter to Schuyler! Medical condition differences aside, every part of this book hit home...the unanswered questions searching for a dignosis...the frustration with doctors and schools...the feelings of simultaneous joy and helplessness...and the personal struggles as well. ABSOLUTELY worth the read!,,

Another monster

My granddaughter Aisllyn was recently diagnosed with polymicrogyria after many attempts by my daughter to get questions answered by her pediatrician about Aisllyn's inability to use her left arm or leg and not meeting any of her milestones in her 1st year. Aisllyn is almost 16 months old now and working with PT and OT with noticeable improvements. This wonderful book has given my daughter and myself hope and a belief that Aisllyn will excel. Thank you Rob, Julie, and Schuyler for a journey into this scary world! You have given us an amazing outlook as to what is possible with love, dedication, and the determination to give Schuyler the tools she needed to be successful! Thank you for this book and I wish you all the love and peace to continue to touch lives!

Christine Kryger
4890 Bridle Point Pkwy
Snellville,GA 30039

Schuyler's Monster
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  • $5.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Parenting
  • Published: Feb 19, 2008
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 250 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings