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Amelia & Me : On Deafness, and Parenting by the Seat of My Pants - Melinda Hildebrandt

Amelia & Me

On Deafness, and Parenting by the Seat of My Pants

By: Melinda Hildebrandt

Paperback | 27 April 2017

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Perhaps in a moment of compromise – of forgiveness and flexibility – we might arrive at the same destination from separate points of departure and find that it was the journey itself that made it all worthwhile.

She was born under the sign of Capricorn. Bonny and pink and perfectly formed. Her arrival as longed for as the break from the heatwave melting the streets of Melbourne that summer. Amelia was finally here; the hard part was over.

Except it wasn’t. Hard things were lying in wait. They always are.

From an exciting new Australian author comes a powerful, funny, raw and at times heartbreaking memoir about a mother’s battle to raise her daughter who is deaf, autistic and feistier than ten Tasmanian Devils.

About the Author

Melinda Hildebrandt is a former film researcher and cinephile with a doctorate in British cinema. She has contributed to key texts such as The Oxford Companion to Australian Film (1999) and The Encyclopedia of British Film (2003). The seeds of her passion for the movies were sown from early childhood with parent-sanctioned screenings of films like Lawrence of Arabia, Seven Samurai, Psycho, The Searchers and Duck Soup. She has worked for over fifteen years as a senior administrator in the university sector. Long before disability became a part of her family life, her work was driven by a commitment to equity and access in higher education and student-centred projects for young people at risk.

Melinda loved writing from a young age, but it wasn't until she started blogging about raising her deaf and autistic daughter Amelia in 2013, that she discovered the power of words to express the turmoil, grief, wonder and hope of her daily life. Posts from her blog 'Moderate-severe/profound... quirky' have been published by Mamamia, ABC Ramp Up, Catherine Deveny and The Limping Chicken (UK deaf news and deaf blogs). Other pieces have been featured in parent support-group publications by Aussie Deaf Kids, Parents of Deaf Children and Aurora School Early Intervention.

Melinda lives in the gentrified northern suburbs of Melbourne with Amelia and her husband. Her interests include gardening, distance running, Pilates, alt-country music (especially with fiddles), German football, Marlon Brando and loud soprano singing in the shower. Sometimes Amelia makes it an operatic duet.
Industry Reviews

Review quotes

"Melinda Hildebrandt is an incredible writer with an amazing story. One she tells with insight, humour and brilliance. You must buy this book for everyone you know." Catherine Deveny

"Melinda Hildebrandt's incredible, no-holds-barred memoir exploring her journey of raising a daughter with hearing loss and autism is a brilliant combination of deeply inspiring, humorous and heart-wrenching. An exceptional story of one family's struggle, perseverance and triumph in helping Amelia find her voice...This book should be mandatory reading for all families of children with hearing loss and/or autism, their families, carers, and all who interact with them." Julie Postance

"I was captured by Amelia & Me from the beginning, and was completely drawn into the honesty and frankness with which Melinda Hildebrandt tells her family's story - it cuts deep. She has a fantastic turn of phrase, and a wicked sense of humour (I was laughing out loud in places), and other times she reached in and ripped my heart out. There aren't a lot of writers I've read who can do that, and I've read a lot of writers." Amanda Spedding

"Melinda's writing is suffused with love and poignancy about the yearnings and achievements of her deaf daughter, Amelia." Donna McDonald

"Melinda extends a hand and takes us on a journey through the new and sometimes bewildering terrain traversed by the parent of a child with disabilities." Miki Perkins

"There are tears in this book, there is some deep reflection on what disability and mothering means, but there is also an awesome and proud little girl starring in the show who will win you over in the end. Buy this book." Dr Belinda Barnet

"Melinda's writing is moving and informative and gives a real insight into deafness from a mother's perspective." Charlie Swinbourne

"This book will make you cry, it will make you laugh, but most of all it will help you walk in the shoes of a Mum and a little girl who together are taking on the messy journey of life." Professor Jane Burns

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