Resources for Families

30 Prayers for Special-Needs Parents
by Sandra Peoples (Editor) &‎ Caroline Flory (Editor)
Publication Date: September 17, 2015

Written by the Not Alone (specialneedsparenting.net) blogging team and friends, this book covers topics important to special-needs parents, like waiting for a diagnosis, wanting a friend who “gets it,” and missing milestones. Contributing authors include a verse from Psalms or Proverbs, a devotion, and a prayer on each topic.

Includes devotions and prayers from: Kelli Anderson, Lorna Bradley, Kathleen Deyer Bolduc, Sarah Broady, Faith Clarke, Jeff Davidson, Shannon Dingle, Barbara K. Dittrich, Mike Dobes, Cindi Ferrini, Caroline Flory, Ann Holmes, Jennifer A. Janes, Sandra Peoples, and Debbie Sutherland.

 

 

 

Sand in My Sandwich: And Other Motherhood Messes I’m Learning to Love
by Sarah Parshall Perry
Publisher: Revell (March 17, 2015)

A mother of three children, two of whom have special needs, chronicles her humorous misadventures and how she found that not having your act together is sometimes the best way to find a deeper relationship with God.

 

 

 

 

 

Special Needs Parenting: From Coping To Thriving
by Lorna Bradley
Publisher: Huff Publishing (March 4, 2015)

Special Needs Parenting: From Coping to Thriving offers emotional and spiritual resources for the journey of special needs parenting. Sharing personal insights as a theologian and the parent of an adult son with special needs, Rev. Dr. Lorna Bradley offers seven encouraging and practical tools to help the reader: o gain a deeper, grace–filled understanding of God’s presence o process deeply held feelings of grief and guilt o discover strategies for patience, self–care, and healthy relationships o find hope and healing Powerful for the individual reader, the built–in reflection and discussion questions make Special Needs Parenting an ideal, real–life resource for small groups. Special Needs Parenting is a must read for family members, pastors, and any person who works with special needs families. Dr. Bradley explores their challenges, grief, and joy with deep sensitivity, theological depth, and practical advice. A blessing to all who read it and allow their lives to be touched by wisdom born of personal experience and biblical scholarship.

 

Every Child Welcome: A Ministry Handbook for Including Kids with Special Needs
by Katie Wetherbee (Author),‎ Jolene Philo (Author)
Publisher: Kregel Publications (April 27, 2015)

A guide to children’s ministry that serves families with special needs

Jesus set a high standard when He said “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” The call is not limited to children who will sit quietly at His feet and listen, who color between the lines, who raise their hands and wait to be called upon, and who work at grade level. Children’s ministries are responsible to be ready to bring children with disabilities to Jesus’ feet too. Every Child Welcome is the guide for leaders and volunteers to assist in purposeful planning and skill development for a ministry inclusive of children with unique needs.

Experienced children’s ministry leaders, and parents of special-needs children themselves, the authors are superbly equipped to offer a thoughtful, thorough approach to creating a positive environment for children―one where all children will be able to digest the important concepts being taught. For leaders and volunteers, Every Child Welcome will provide the knowledge and tools to

• create a welcoming environment before kids arrive
• help children learn more effectively by connecting new information to what they already know
• reinforce the main idea of a lesson, building background knowledge and reviewing important concepts
• supplement instruction with hands-on activities to increase attention and participation
• reinforce and wrap up an activity effectively

 

Does My Child Have PTSD?: What to Do When Your Child Is Hurting from the Inside Out
by Jolene Philo
Publisher: Familius; First edition (October 1, 2015)

Is it possible that the struggles you have with your child may because he or she suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome? Once ignored, even by the medical professionals treating war veterans, PTSD is gaining global recognition as a very real and serious issue for those who have experienced traumatic events, even children. Author Jolene Philo was always told that “babies don’t feel any pain” and that her son would not remember the traumatic surgeries and hospital visits he endured as a young child. However, research has shown that when children experience medical illness, witness violence, or are abused, it can leave a lasting effect. According to recent studies, fifty to sixty percent of children who experience these traumas early in life may suffer from a form of PTSD, leading to issues in childhood, through adolescence, and even into adulthood. Does My Child Have PTSD? is designed for readers looking for answers about the puzzling, disturbing behaviors of children in their care. With years of research and personal experience, Philo provides critical information to help people understand causes, symptoms, prevention, and effective diagnosis, treatment, and care for any child struggling with PTSD.

 

Get Your Joy Back
by Laurie Wallin (Author),‎ Joni Eareckson Tada (Foreword)
Publisher: Kregel Publications (January 1, 2014)

“It isn’t the long day of monitoring a child’s precarious health or being hypervigilant about her mood and mental health challenges that weighs parents down; it’s the wishing that things were different. . . . Resentment, not the intense care they must provide their child, is the parents’ greatest stressor and source of pain.” —Laurie Wallin

Parents of specials needs children are exhausted. They’ve done all the research, consulted all the experts, joined support groups, gotten counseling, fought for the best life for their children. Often just caring for their children’s needs and attempting to maintain a home maxes out parents’ mental, emotional, and spiritual reserves.

Laurie Wallin knows firsthand the difficulties of this journey. With Get Your Joy Back, she steps forward to make a bold, audacious claim: in the midst of this long-term, intense task, it is still possible to have an abundant life, full of joy. The key to radically changing daily life and restoring joy to the weary is forgiveness. Wallin gives parents a lifeline to find that restoration, pulling them back to shore when they feel like they’re drowning.

This book is full of practical, biblical insights and strategies to shed the resentments that leave Christian special-needs parents themselves spiritually, emotionally, and socially drained. Wallin meets readers right where they are, sugar coating nothing, but addressing issues with honesty, humor, and–above all–hope.

 

The Spiritual Art of Raising Children With Disabilities
by Kathleen Deyer Bolduc
Publisher: Judson Pr (February 15, 2014)

Are you there, God? You have to show me how to raise this child. Because the skills I’ve learned over the years just aren’’t working here. I’m helpless, Lord. I can’t do this on my own!

Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau report that 2.8 million children in the United States have a disability. That means more than 5 million parents, grandparents, and caregivers have probably offered up a prayer like this. Raising a child with a disability is hard work. Where do you go for solace? For rest, refreshment and renewed joy? We know where to go for our kids, but where do we go for ourselves?

Author Kathleen Deyer Bolduc knows these feelings from experience. She and her son navigated through his childhood and now approach yet another new life phase – – adulthood – – and all that entails. In The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities, Bolduc uses the metaphor of the mosaic to life as parents of children with disabilities. How do you rearrange the fragmented and chaotic pieces of your family into a perfectly whole and beautiful work of art? Readers are walked through the process using the spiritual disciplines to help you recognize God’s presence in your life and regain the balance we all need.

In this book, writer, parent, and spiritual director Kathleen Deyer Bolduc – – with honesty and humor, wisdom and wit – – invites the caregivers of children with disabilities to steep themselves in Scripture and self-reflection.

Key features:

• Provides a unique perspective of a parent raising a child with disabilities – – and dealing with it through faith and spiritual direction.
• Powerful, insightful, faith-inspired stories of other families who are walking similar paths.
• Exercises at the end of each chapter allow readers to reflect to find the beauty in the pieces of their mosaic

 

Persevering Parent: Finding Strength to Raise Your Child with Social, Emotional or Behavioral Challenges
by Dr. Karen A. Crum
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 11, 2014)

Does your child have social difficulty, get into trouble at school, or struggle with emotional instability? Does he or she have a diagnosed condition such as ADHD, autism spectrum, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, Tourettes or other? Or does he or she just seem “difficult?” In any case, it is daunting to find appropriate treatment for your child while coping with your own grief, worry and fatigue. In Persevering Parent, Dr. Karen Crum reaches out with hope, compassion and practical guidance to weary or overwhelmed caregivers. This award-winning book is a must-read survival guide that provides encouragement for every stage of the special-needs parenting journey. Persevering Parent is designed for individual reading or for use as a study and discussion guide for support groups. It includes a wealth of godly wisdom and simple principles to help parents become more joyful and effective in the life God has given them. Drawing from the author’s personal and professional experience, biblical insight, and stories from real-life parents, Persevering Parent offers readers: • Hope for an uncertain future • Steps toward accepting a “new normal” life • Strategies to face recurring grief and disappointment • Ways to find joy in seasons of sacrifice • Secrets to living happily ever after in spite of difficult circumstances Advance Praise for Persevering Parent: “I just couldn’t put this book down! I loved it ALL and know it will minister to many. Persevering Parent reminded me that I am not alone as a special-needs parent– it left me feeling affirmed, inspired and hopeful…” Cathy Stenzel, parent of child with autism, educator “Dr. Karen Crum has done something remarkable and rare. Not only does she invite you into the difficult, exhausting world of a special-needs parent, she also invites you into the struggles of her heart and faith. The faith-based study guide allows you to experience your own journey toward being a hopeful, life-giving parent. A must-read for all parents.” Kathryn Ranken, Marriage and Family Therapist, Special Education teacher “Dr. Crum not only validates the struggles of families in a way that gives voice to their challenges and pain, but more importantly, gives real hope. This book will encourage you and constantly drive you to the source and hope and strength. It invites you to find your own story of victory in a powerful way.” Rick Caldwell, minister, father of child with special needs “As I cracked open the cover of Persevering Parent, unexpected tears of relief streamed down my face– ‘finally someone understands my journey’. Page after page replaced my isolation and fear with encouragement and hope…” Rachelle Busby, parent support group leader and mother of a child with autism “As the parent to an adult child with schizoaffective disorder and a sibling to twin sisters with bipolar disorder, I was emotionally and spiritually moved by this book. It confirms to me how fragile we are in our human existence, and yet how intimately our faith and love for God and each other sustains us.” Dana Turgal, President- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Shasta County chapter “This book is excellent. As psychiatrist who specializes in this field of work, I have longed for such a book that would offer hope and tangible strategies for parents to understand, cope and enter the world of their challenged child.” Lynn Pappas, MD, psychiatrist “I love this book. It is presented in an easy-to-read, user-friendly, workbook style that can be used individually or in a group setting. I am excited to use it as a teaching guide for my classes with foster and adoptive parents.” Sherri Wiggins, MSW, Director- Shasta College Foster and Kinship Care, mother of 3 children with neurobiological illnesses “In this unique and important book, with empathy and compassion, Dr. Crum, a fellow traveler, points readers to our ultimate source of hope..” Betty Newcome, parent of children with bipolar and autism, teacher

 

Held: Learning to Live in God’s Grip: A Bible Study for Special-Needs Parents
by Sandra Peoples (Author),‎ Lee Peoples Jr (Author)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 26, 2013)

On November 16, 2010, Lee and Sandra’s lives changed with just a short sentence from a child psychologist, “We believe your son has autism.” In that moment, so much changed … but what didn’t change was that God still held the Peoples family, they were never out of His grip. In this Bible study written for special-needs parents by special-needs parents, you will learn you are not alone. Even when life feels out of control, it will help you remember He is in control. You will learn there is a future hope we all can cling to. You will learn there are others out there, just like you, who need to be shown they are also in the grip of God. Held: Learning to Live in God’s Grip is designed to be done alone, as a couple, or with a group. There are questions throughout each chapter that will help you think about the material and apply what you learn.

 

Wrestling with an Angel: A Story of Love, Disability and the Lessons of Grace
by Greg Lucas
Publisher: Cruciform Press (September 7, 2010)

“It sounded at first like something out of an old horror movie. I thought maybe someone was just playing around, but then I heard it again and again, a loud piercing cry, and less like Hollywood every time. The windows were down in my police cruiser on that warm fall day, but I still couldn’t tell where the sounds came from. I began looking around for the unlikely sight of someone being disemboweled in a mall parking lot on a Saturday afternoon. Seeing nothing, and still hearing the screams, I called in a ‘disturbance.’ Around the next corner I found the source of the commotion.” So begins Greg Lucas’ captivating account of life as a husband, a police officer, and Jake’s dad. Jake Lucas, the first of four children, lives with severe physical and mental challenges. Caring for him each day is an ordeal few of us can imagine, and this story of Jake’s first 17 years is not one you will soon forget. But the remarkable thing is how the whole narrative is saturated with wonder at the grace and goodness of God, who brings hope and promise through his Son into the darkest of circumstances. In this book, we see that Jake’s problems are our problems, only bigger, and the challenges of caring for him carry profound lessons about God’s care for us. Wrestling with an Angel is about tragedy and laughter and pain and joy. It is about faith and grace and endurance and God’s unfailing, loving wisdom daily being worked out in each of our lives, whatever the nature or extent of our difficulties. Here is a book that may explain faith to you in ways you never quite grasped, through a life few of us can relate to. When it is all done, we come away better able to live as Christ calls us to live.

 

The Caregiver’s Notebook: An Organizational Tool and Support to Help You Care for Others
by Jolene Philo
Publisher: Discovery House; Spi edition (November 1, 2014)

The Caregiver’s Notebook offers caregivers a helpful and portable organization tool, as well as spiritual comfort for the challenging journey of helping a loved one. Complete with calendar, space to record emergency medical and insurance information, and pockets for notes, this conveniently sized book provides practical organizational help, comforting Scripture, and thoughtful devotionals from experts Shelly Beach, Wendy Wallace, and Jolene Philo. This easy-to-use resource can help reduce the caregiver’s stress and encourage dependence on God in difficult times. Makes an ideal gift.

 

No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches
by Jeff Davidson
Publisher: CrossLink Publishing (October 13, 2014)

What if the challenges, struggles, and trials in your life turned out to be God’s stage for the biggest blessing of your life? What if the circumstances that bewildered and frustrated you the most brought you the closest you had ever been to God? When Jeff Davidson became the father of a child with special needs, he thought God had wrecked his life. He would discover though that God had given him an amazing gift. God had, in fact, given him a masterpiece.
As the author states, “God sent a broken child into a broken world, to a broken father, so that together they would find God in their brokenness. The world sees a little boy who cannot walk or talk, and requires 24/7 care with his every need. I see God painting his story of unconditional love, grace, and beauty on a human canvas.”
This book is the story of a father, a son with special needs, and their journey with God. Written from the perspective of a man trying to come to terms with being the father of a child with profound special needs, this book will move, inspire, and encourage anyone struggling with their circumstances and trials.

 

Sun Shine Down: A Memoir
by Gillian Marchenko
Publisher: T S Poetry Press (August 18, 2013)

“Lifting my hand, I placed it on my breastbone and slid it towards my navel. My mid-section felt numb. Pushing down, it was as if I tapped another person’s toneless stomach. White gauze held my empty abdomen tight. I had been eight months pregnant.” *** What if? What if you dreamed of having a beautiful child and in your mind you saw the life you’d share with that child. First steps, little league (or ballet). Maybe the child would play piano or make you proud on the Honor Roll. There’d be eventual graduations, college, even marriage and grandchildren. You might dream it out that far. Or not. Every parent has hopes. No parents wish for pain—their own, or a child’s. Then you had a premature delivery in a foreign country. And the words swirling around you said a different kind of “what if.” What if something was wrong? The dream was at risk—or so it seemed. Would you be ready for that? Could you make peace? Or would it take you down? These are the questions author Gillian Marchenko faced as she woke up after an emergency C-section in Ukraine. Only her newborn child could answer them, in time. But first she had to find a way to hear more than the words “Down syndrome.”

 

Autism’s Hidden Blessings: Discovering God’s Promises for Autistic Children & Their Families
by Kelly Langston
Publisher: Kregel Publications (March 9, 2009)

Encouragement and inspiration for special needs families
God has a unique and magnificent purpose for every child-a purpose that is no less important for special-needs children. Through the story of her own ongoing struggles and victories raising her autistic son, Kelly Langston brings to light God’s promises for exceptional kids and highlights covenants that assure special-needs parents of their children’s potential and beauty.

 

Autism is a Blessing
by Patty Corrigan Myers
Publisher: Tate Publishing (December 30, 2008)

Autism and blessing, these are two words not usually spoken in the same breath. When you think of autism: struggle, disability, hopelessness, fear, and grief may be the first words that come to mind. Autism is a Blessing by Patty Corrigan Myers is a book of hope. It is a story about a mothers personal struggle to overcome and answer all of the questions autism so aggressively throws in her familys face. Interlaced with testimonials from other families and friends who have a child with autism, this book stunningly illustrates the fact that those who deal with autism are never alone. Through this familys triumph, you will learn the important and clear steps to take once an autism diagnosis is given, and learn, as they have, that truly Autism is a Blessing. Patty Myers has a way of communicating her experience in realistic terms. She allows us to see the real herthe pain, the love, the depression, the hope, and in return we see ourselves in the same situation. Troy Schmidt Author/Screenwriter of the Hermie & Friends series Pattys life has been a testimony of the incredible mercy and faithfulness of God. I have no doubt that this book will richly encourage those, like Patty, who are struggling with the many challenges and mysteries of autism. Basyle Boz Tchividijian, Esq. Executive Director, GRACE Grandson of Dr. Billy Graham

 

Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free
by Emily Colson (Author),‎ Charles W. Colson (Contributor)
Publisher: Zondervan; First Edition edition (September 7, 2010)

Meet a remarkable young man. Max doesn’t communicate like we do. But he communicates better than we do about the most important things. Max doesn’t think like we do. But his actions reflect deep spiritual truths. With candor and wit, Emily Colson shares about her personal battles and heartbreak when, as a suddenly single mother, she discovers her only child has autism. Emily illuminates the page with imagery―making you laugh, making you cry, inspiring you to face your own challenges. Chuck Colson, in his most personal writing since Born Again, speaks as a father and grandfather. It is a tender side Max brings out of his grandfather, a side some haven’t seen. As Emily recalls her experiences, we discover that Max’s disability does not so much define who he is, but reveals who we are. Dancing with Max is not a fairy tale with a magical ending. It’s a real life story of grace and second chances and fresh starts in spite of life’s hardest problems. And Max? Max will make you fall in love with life all over again, leaving you dancing with joy.

 

Unexpected Journey: When Special Needs Change Our Course
by Joe Ferrini (Author),‎ Cindi Ferrini (Author)
Publisher: Morris Publishing; 1st edition (February 14, 2009)

A book by a husband and wife whose course in life changed with the birth of their first child. Unexpected Journey shares the life of a family where daily challenges became a way of life – caring for a child with special needs and parents in their declining years. It is written is small segments so that a caregiver can read when they have short moments of time. Each chapter shares a bit about the authors and their story, the story of people they interviewed, and then a section for the reader to answer questions that will reveal THEIR story. It can be read alone, or used as a group study. The 13 chapters lend itself to a quarter study.

 

Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent
by Kathy McClelland
Publisher: Independently published (March 28, 2017)

Part memoir, part guidebook, Beauty in Broken Dreams shares how you might find your way through the early years of a special needs diagnosis. It’s hard to have hope. You may feel isolated, ill-equipped—devastated even—but you are not alone. This book is told from the perspective of having a medically complex child at birth, but it will speak to the struggles many special needs parents face—where to find community support and resources, how to deal with doctors, what type of therapy is best for your child, and how to grieve the life you were expecting while opening yourself up to new dreams. Slowly you’ll begin see how God takes broken dreams and turns them into something beautiful and redemptive. Special call outs include: Hospital Packing List Therapy Questionnaire How to Prioritize Tips for the NICU and more

 

Speechless: Finding God’s Grace in My Son’s Autism
by Sandra Peoples
Publication Date: November 22, 2011

When Lee and Sandra Peoples took their son James in for his three year well-visit, they knew something was wrong. He was literally speechless–unable to say even basic words. A few months later when he was diagnosed with autism, Lee and Sandra were speechless–unable to articulate all the emotions they wrestled with.

Speechless:God’s Grace in My Son’s Autism is Sandra’s story of the first year of their journey as special needs parents. It is also the story of God’s grace in their lives and the life of their son.

 

Different Dream Parenting: A Practical Guide to Raising a Child with Special Needs
by Jolene Philo
Publisher: Discovery House (November 1, 2011)

Parenting can be difficult and tiring, especially when you have a special needs child with medical, behavioral, or educational issues. In Different Dream Parenting, author Jolene Philo offers guidance and encouragement through biblical insights and her own personal experiences. Find spiritual wisdom, practical resources, and tools that can help you become an extraordinary advocate for your child. Discover how you can move beyond the challenges and experience the joy of being your child’s biggest and best supporter.

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