This post contains affiliate links. Do you ever form an impression of someone and later find out that you were completely wrong? Humbly, I say that happened to me recently with Sally Clarkson. I’ve read and enjoyed many books by Sally Clarkson, but I often dismissed her suggestions because I felt that they wouldn’t work for my family. My family is a bit too chaotic and, with our special needs kids, her ideas would never work. It must be easier for her because her kids are probably all neurotypical and compliant. However, after reading Different by Sally Clarkson & Nathan Clarkson, I see how wrong I was.
About Different by Sally Clarkson & Nathan Clarkson
I was on one of my Facebook groups for parents with children with autism, and one member said she’d been reading this book, and my interest was piqued.
Wait–life isn’t a bed of roses for Sally Clarkson? She struggles with her own kids? Her kids struggle?
The next day I got the book from the library, and I loved it! I felt like I had a friend in Clarkson.
Clarkson has four kids, but it was her third-born child, Nathan, who routinely gave her a run for her money. After years of seeking doctors and therapists, they finally determined that Nathan had OCD and autistic tendencies, among other things. His extrememe OCD constantly interrupted the family’s life, but Sally found ways to work around that and make the family function.
My Thoughts on the Book
What I enjoyed about this book is that each chapter alternates–one is told from Sally’s point of view, the next is told from Nathan’s. I find too often parents share their perspective about a challenging child, but this book took it to a deeper level by also showing the child’s perspective.
This book was filled with simple truths that really, only one parent of a child with special needs to another parent of special needs would understand. Sally says, “Until you have had a child with a severe mental or emotional difference–OCD, autism, clinical depression, PTSD, or others–you just don’t know how constant the disruption can be every day, all the time.”
“Sometimes the time and energy for self-care may seem nonexistent. But making a plan to live a sustainable life amidst the difficulties that come with parenting these children is a necessity to avoid burnout and to make home a source of life for everyone who lives there–including you.”
If you have a child with special needs, I highly recommend you read this book.
I give Different by Sally Clarkson & Nathan Clarkson 5 out of 5 on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.
Note: I did not read this book this year. I found this review in my drafts and felt the book was too good not to share!