Out of the blue, one January morning in 2017, Beth Cottone, research scientist, marathoner, and mother of three, had a massive stroke. In its aftermath, she has had to relearn how to balance, walk, speak, swallow, and even breathe independently. With an academic background in the science of learning, she understood what was at stake in her recovery. In this, her second book, the author examines the emotional and practical struggles involved in returning to a functioning life - and even the possibility of happiness - after such devastating loss.
Cottone's book delivers an empathetic understanding of the challenges faced not only by stroke survivors and others with neurodivergences but also by parents, former athletes and performers, and those who have lost a "gateway skill" like vision, hearing, speech, or language. With quotations from other stroke survivors, a parent of special needs children, a former athlete, and a person with aphasia, the author illuminates the slow, painful work faced by those who lives require reinvention after traumatic change.
The author explains, "Identity foreclosure (when you can no longer meet your expectations of competence in an area that formed a principal part of your identity) is the great equalizer. It cuts across all socioeconomic levels. ... Happiness may only be found with acceptance, when we give our past self a friendly nod and move on."
If you love down-to-earth inspiration from an author with a compelling and relatable story, you'll love Elizabeth Cottone's hard-won wisdom. Buy REINVENTION: New Life After Traumatic Change and begin taking steps toward happiness today.
About the Author
Following a massive cerebellar hemorrhagic stroke in 2017, Elizabeth Cottone, PhD founded and now manages a brain insult support group. She has secured part-time work as a stroke survivor advocate, and has written two books, all while committing fully to PT, OT, speech therapy, and rehabilitation.Elizabeth works hard to reinvent herself, doing new things like horseback riding, singing, and unloading the dishwasher. She is also relearning a lot of basic skills like walking, typing, brushing teeth and hair, and swallowing, to name only a few. For an achievement-oriented woman in her fifties, these adjustments continue to be as difficult as they can be rewarding.Prior to the stroke, she was a research scientist (Assistant Research Professor) for 11 years at The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), part of the University of Virginia's School of Education and Human Development.She is fascinated with the process by which people survive and thrive after traumatic change. Her research interests include dyslexia, stroke, investigating pathways from economic disadvantage to poor outcomes for children, and understanding families in poverty through a resilience lens.Her FUN-R (Foundation Underlying New Reading) method incorporates her broad experience as a research scientist and as a tutor for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.Elizabeth Cottone has discovered similarities among stroke survivors like herself and people with dyslexia and ADHD. She works to support recovery, advocacy, and education for all people who have undergone trauma.Her book, Dyslexia: A Universe of Possibilities (4 Peas Press, 2021) combines case studies, education theory, neuroscience, special education policy, and more, to highlight a path forward for the countless curious, inventive, creative, and challenged students born with dyslexia, ADHD, and other neurodiversities.Visit elizabethcottone.com
Beth Cottone has given generously in this book about how experiencing stroke has changed her life. She has opened up her own life story so that other survivors of brain injuries and those who care for them can see what is possible in the aftermath. She has included entries from her personal journal that show her progress, while also providing insight into the scientific basis for her injury and recovery. Beth Cottone's book is both a very personal reflection and a clear interpretation of the neurology of stroke. Richard G. Tedeschi, PhD, Executive Director, Boulder Crest Institute for Posttraumatic Growth
Beth Cottone is determined to use her cruel experience to learn about life and teach others how to overcome difficulties, how to persevere, how to keep fighting, and not give up. Her writing is full of her love of life. Her fight for a meaningful life after a tragic event is an inspiration for us all. From the Foreword by Barbara K. Lipska, PhD, author of The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind and past Director, Human Brain Collection Core, National Institute of Mental Health It was an honor to read this beautiful and important book
. Michael Shutt, actor, stroke survivor, playwright of A Lesson in Swimming What a treat. It was like a conversation where all I wanted to do was listen and to savor what I was hearing. The information was so accessible and relatable. I feel uplifted. Julia Blodgett PhD, Educational Psychologist
This book is a real inspiration. Beth's journey is truly extraordinary. It's such a compelling story and an encouragement for others who have experienced trauma. I admire her spunk and optimism, even though I know it's so very hard at times. Crish Kresge, NeuroMovement(R) practitioner
The chapters are intriguing and spot on. Congratulations to the author for all she's doing not only for herself but for so many others. Nina Solenski MD, Neurologist, University of Virginia
A powerful, real, and hopeful voice. Her raw and emotional account explores a crucial mindset shift: "how to hold the negative and the positive in your hand at the same time." I myself am moved beyond words. Claire Marie Barbao, Speech-Language Pathologist, University of Virginia
Many life lessons that would be pertinent to any reader. Deb Zehner MBA, Director of Applied Research, Connected Commons