Patricia E. Bauer is a journalist who has served as senior editor of the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine; special assistant to the publisher of the Washington Post; reporter and bureau chief at the Washington Post, and pundit on public affairs television in Los Angeles. Her articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and many other publications.
Bauer is a former member of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) at UCLA, where she participated in the ethical review of federally funded medical research on human subjects, and has addressed national and regional conferences on the rights of patients and people with disabilities. During the Carter years, she worked in the White House press office as editor of the White House News Summary.
She is a member of the President's Leadership Council at Dartmouth College, the Pacific Council on International Policy, and the board of trustees of the Riverview School in East Sandwich, Massachusetts.
Bauer and her husband are among the founders of the Pathway Program at UCLA, a post-secondary program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. They are the parents of two young adults, one of whom has Down syndrome and is a survivor of leukemia.
“Kathryn Soper's The Year My Son and I Were Born is a story of how sometimes life's lessons come at great personal cost—but that if we allow our hearts to open, even a mother's deepest despair can be transformed.”
—Jennifer Graf Groneberg, author of Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son's First Two Years with Down Syndrome
“Kathryn Lynard Soper is a wonderful writer. Her prose is spare and achingly honest. With her talent for to-the-bone expression, she has produced this remarkable memoir about the birth of her Down Syndrome son and the inevitable life changes he brought to her family—and to her own life. It is at once heart-wrenching and redemptive, a memoir not just for someone dealing with a child's disabilities (whatever they might be), but for anyone coping with a hard surprise. Soper is candid about the difficulty of embracing the unexpected, and leads her readers through the transcendent process of recognizing and loving the gift at the core of the challenge.
In one chapter, another of her children looks at his toy and asks, “When can I exchange my Transformer?” The baby of the Soper family, with his unique needs and difficulties, is their “transformer”—and not to be exchanged. This book is itself a sign of its author's transformation, and will be a guide and a comfort for any reader.”
—Margaret Young, Creative Writing Instructor, Brigham Young University
“Gifts is honest and life affirming, a chorus of mothers proclaiming what every obstetrician and gynecologist should know--that life is a gift and an extra chromosome is not the end of the world.”--Beverly Beckham, Boston Globe
“Through Gifts we hear the powerful voices of mothers who said ‘yes' when others might have been saying ‘no.' These mothers take us on their journey filled with wonder, courage, and the belief that children with Down syndrome can and will succeed.”--Brian G. Skotko, M.D., M.P.P., Children's Hospital Boston and Boston Medical Center and author of Common Threads: Celebrating Life with Down Syndrome
How one mother learned to bond with her disabled son and gained a new perspective on life