The heartwarming and hilarious part-memoir, part-guide from comedian and father-of-six Ashley Blaker, on parenting, adoption and raising children with special needs.
‘We had such a variety of experts visiting our home, we really needed a revolving door. All these professionals would watch our son playing while shaking their heads and making tutting sounds, like builders considering a bad job you wanted them to fix. “Tut tut tut. No speech, disordered social skills, sensory issues. This is going to cost you!!”’
Ashley Blaker has six children, three of whom have an SEN diagnosis. Between endless meetings, countless therapists, public humiliations, failed playdates, surreal monologues and occasional violence, it’s certainly not what anyone would call a ‘normal’ household – but would he want it any other way?
Normal Schmormal is part-memoir, part how-to guide, highlighting the many challenges, as well as the hugely rewarding elements, of parenting children with additional needs. Written with humour, compassion and a lot of love, it’s a must-read for parents, carers and teachers of children with SEN, either looking for a bit of support or in need of a very big laugh.
Ashley Blaker is a comedian, writer and father.He has performed two Off-Broadway shows and several programmes on BBC Radio 4 including his family comedy Ashley Blaker: 6.5 Children.As a writer and producer for TV and radio, Ashley has worked with many considerably more successful comedians.Normal Schmormal is his first book.
ADVANCE PRAISE -
”'From tissues of doom to playdates and beyond, Normal Schmormal is a laugh out loud, touching memoir of advice where embracing the weird becomes something wonderful. Every parent should have a copy.” - - Emma Kennedy
”'A very funny and honest account of Ashley’s extraordinary ordinary life. There is treasure here for all parents, non-parents and children of parents, and that is surely most people.” - - Alex Horne
’Incredibly funny and yet so poignant. This book is going to both entertain and bring comfort to so many people, giving them hope for the future’. - Matt Lucas -
”'A vivid record of a father’s love for his children and a plea for others to follow suit, whatever their kids may be like. A gorgeous book.” - - Jeremy Dyson
”'Ashley is a superb comic writer and this is a brilliantly funny and often incredibly emotional memoir.” - - David Walliams
”'Chipped away at my ignorance and made me laugh at the same time. A neat trick.” - - Mike Wozniak
”'Inspirational, moving and massively funny. A beautiful schmeautiful book.” - - David Schneider
”'This is a must read. Ashley Blaker has a special brand of comic magic. His gift is in making the toughest life challenges seem relatable and even joyous.” - - Rob Rinder
ADVANCE CRITICISM -
”'Utter rubbish” - - Adam Blaker
”'Just lies to make us look bad” - - Ollie Blaker
”'The words are too bright for my ears” - - Dylan Blaker
”'If it sells a million copies, how much LEGO will I get?” - - Edward Blaker
”'iPad not working” - - Zoe Blaker
”'Can I have a drink?” - - Bailey Blaker