Entwined: Sisters and Secrets in the Silent World of Artist Judith Scott

By Joyce Wallace Scott Beacon Press, 2016, ISBN: 978-0-8070-5140-5, 215 pages, $26.95 The cover of “Entwined” caught my eye immediately. I can’t resist a cover with a photography of a baby and this one has two babies — twins Joyce and Judy. I could also see that one baby appeared to not be as happy as the other in the photo. I opened the jacket and read the introduction to the book and then proceeded to turn to the pages entwinedwith photographs of the twins on the book was to chronicle. I began reading and could not put it down. I am not educated in the clinical issues of children with Down Syndrome, but through this book I came to see and understand, so much more about Down Syndrome. Joyce Scott, describes in her heart-felt, only a twin could know words, what her twin sister Judy is as a person with Down Syndrome. I think if you were to read a clinical book about Down Syndrome, you would never get as much information as to how Judy’s life was lived. Clinically, Judy is diagnosed before the age of 7 as “mongoloid idiot, profoundly retarded, IQ 30.” This “Clinical” diagnosis defined Judy as a person and therefore determined her care, or lack of care, in an institution. Unfortunately, her “clinical” diagnosis neglected to also report that Judy was profoundly deaf. If this had been diagnosed earlier, Judy’s treatment could have taken a much better course of care. Joyce gives a non-clinical understanding of who Judy is as a person. Judy expressed without understandable words so much love, and probably a lot more understanding than we as “normal” people could ever express. Joyce tells the story of Judy’s unfortunate institutionalization as a young child, only to be left there until adulthood. Growing up Joyce always felt like something was missing in her life without her twin. When Joyce was in her thirties she decided to file for guardianship of her twin Judy. After gaining guardianship things started to change for the better both for Judy and Joyce. Joyce started to find peace being near her twin again and slowly started to let go of all the resentment she felt from her past. . Judy’s life story will fill your heart with hope and help you to understand how a person with Down Syndrome is misunderstood, mistreated, basically disregarded, until someone is willing to fight for them and care for them as they truly deserve to be. Joyce was able to find a home for Judy with people who care about people with disabilities and treat them fairly. Judy also was able to participate at a school for people with disabilities called Creative Growth. At Creative Growth Judy was able to express her thoughts through art becoming a famous artist. These people helped Judy to bring her artistic talent to life. Some of us never find what truly makes us a happy, fulfilled person, but Judy finds her happiness and fulfillment through creativity, love, passion and color. Judy will remain a picture in my mind and I am grateful for Joyce sharing Judy’s life journey and sharing what a wonderful person Judy was. In the times and troubles of our world today, this book can be uplifting and empowering to teach people to care and love more. I would recommend this book for anyone who has been through hard times, separated from a loved one, or who has or knows someone who has been institutionalized before having a disability was acceptable. — Reviewed by Annette Fischer and Monica Budd, a long-time special education elementary teacher in Wyoming

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