With contributions from parenting expert Melissa Hood. Drawing lessons from the transformational journey of a young man who was written off by society but went on to become a budding entrepreneur, “My Child’s Different” explores the enabling role that parents can play in maximizing the potential of children who are seen as ‘different’ or ‘difficult’. In “My Child’s Different”, Elaine Halligan – a mother of two – tells the true story of her son Sam, who by the age of seven had been excluded from three schools and was later labelled as having a whole host of conditions, ranging from autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) to pathological demand avoidance (PDA) to severe dyslexia. He had become the ‘alphabet kid’. His parents never gave up on him, however, taking positive parenting courses and researching all kinds of different therapies to support him. They believed he was a good and capable person, and that belief in turn gave Sam resilience, grit and an ability to persevere in the face of adversity.
As a mother, grandmother and retired teacher, I was delighted to be given the chance to read and review “My Child’s Different” by Elaine Halligan.
The author describes the journey her family made to unlock her son’s potential. Sam had a very difficult start, being diagnosed with various syndromes, but still being labelled as “naughty” and “disruptive”. Eventually, after a turbulent ride through the education system, Sam’s parents found the right setting for him. By the end of the book, we see the young man that Sam has become – resilient, creative, well able to cope and thrive in the world.
This is not only a memoir of a family trying to cope with a child with Special Educational Needs; it is much more. Each chapter includes a contribution from Melissa Hood, a parenting and behaviour coach, who gives her expert advice and guidance on how to support children as they grow – and often struggle – towards maturity. I was particularly interested in the sections about descriptive praise and emotion coaching. Seeing how these approaches were used with Sam was very helpful and encouraging – I wish I had been able to learn about these many years ago!
The book is well written, interesting and informative. Not only a guide for parents of children with special needs, it provides strategies and ideas for all parents to use. Elaine Halligan has included a list of resources and books for further reading, which certainly adds to the value of this excellent book.
I would like to thank Lovereading for the opportunity to read and review this excellent book.
Video of Elains Halligan
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