‘As parents, we may really want to believe the common wisdom that if we place our children in a typical childhood setting, “They will be fine.” It can be difficult to separate what others say and what we believe to be true. As parents, we don’t always trust our own instinct. We should.’
Finding practical ways to help people understand and work with your neuro – atypical children can be hard. Even when you understand what your child needs to thrive, how do you go about convincing others? I found Corin Barsily Goodwin and Mika Gustavson’s new book “Writing Your Own Script: A Parent's Role in the Gifted Child's Social Development”, helped me to understand that journey into the unknown.
With clear and practical suggestions, it is designed to help families navigate through the challenges of finding and maintaining friendships and educational opportunities, with strategies for when conflicts arise (as they often do when your child is different). They have great suggestions on how to deal with people who may not understand your child’s differences – or even reject that such differences even exist.
I know I will be using this book, as I have often struggled to find groups and people that are a good fit for my children. I really enjoyed the step-by-step-ness of some of the chapters that walked me though how to handle, say, finding a mentor, or navigating through the sometimes fraught friendship struggles of kids who are different – and clash in unusual ways.
It’s also a great book for helping parents get over their fear of looking for alternate ways to help their children that are outside of the educational, cultural or friendship norms. And it has sections on dealing with school and homeschooling settings that can pose challenges for different kids.
The book focuses on gifted and twice-exceptional children (gifted + other special needs), but I think it could also be an excellent resource for parents of children with HFA (High Functioning Autism), ADHD, OCD and many other special needs, as it deals with many of the concerns families face in a world that rarely accommodates for difference without careful negotiation.
I really enjoyed this book, which is short, and can be read either in order or by chapter and section, yet it has a lot of great ideas that I will be incorporating into our tool-box in the future.
DISCLAIMER: the publisher of the book reviewed here provided me with a courtesy review copy.