Patty Chang Anker is not adventurous by nature. While other kids were out climbing trees and skinning knees, she was inside reading Laura Ingalls Wilder and memorizing show tunes. A GLEEk before her time. That is how she grew up never really learning how to ride a bike, do a handstand, or dive into a swimming pool. And why she started blogging Facing Forty Upside Down (www.upside-down-patty.blogspot.com) 3 days after turning 39.
The mother of two daughters with special needs and a yoga teacher for kids with special needs, Patty realized she couldn’t expect her children and students to go outside their comfort zone all the time if she wasn’t willing to do it herself. “We don’t let our kids ‘opt out’ of trying new things,” Patty says, “and we don’t let them give up if it doesn’t come to them easily. I realized I was giving myself a free pass to say ‘I’m too busy or tired or self-conscious to do that’ when what I really was, was scared.”
Patty declared a year of saying yes to things that frighten her, and in Facing Forty Upside Down, takes readers boogie boarding, diving, ice skating, fishing, river rafting, and eye-to-eye with a crocodile in the wild. Along the way, we meet her raucous and irresistible daughters G (age 9) and R (age 4) and a cast of colorful characters (one of whom wields a machete).
Adventures and quiet moments of grace unfold alongside the ups and downs of daily life, and Patty’s stories are often funny, often poignant, and always full of love.
A marketing a public relations professional, Patty is a former Director of Media Relations for The New York Times and veteran publicist for the publishing houses of W.W. Norton, Taunton Press and Basic Books. Her campaigns have included the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times series “How Race is Lived in America,” Michael Lewis’s The New New Thing, Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin’s series, Brian Greene’s The Elegant Universe, Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel, and Andre Dubus III’s House of Sand and Fog.
Patty is a certified yoga teacher (trained at the Integral Yoga Upper West Side in New York City), Thai Yoga Bodyworker, and Reiki practitioner who believes in the power of yoga to uplift and heal. She is certified to teach prenatal yoga and yoga to children with special needs. The mother of two daughters with special needs adopted from China, Patty works with parents on issues surrounding attachment, special education, and special needs parenting including Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, Anxiety, Sensory issues and PDD.
Patty lives in a village north of New York City with her husband and two daughters.
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