Book of the week: My Child’s Different by Elaine Halligan

I get to read and review many books every year and not all are memorable. One that I will remember this year is My Child’s Different by Elaine Halligan which is a MUST HAVE for every parent in the world. I absolutely loved reading Sam’s journey which at times moved me to tears. 

I also want to share a lovely story on how I met Elaine, Sam’s mother. It was a Winter night around 8 years ago and we were both invited to speak about parenting at a new radio station. We were picked up by a taxi when it started snowing. It took us ages to go from Putney to Fulham so we chatted away for a while. It was the heaviest snow fall in London since I can remember. I feel blessed to have met Elaine who is one of the warmest ladies I have come across since creating the London Mums’ network. Her Scottish accent has always made her memorable to me. 
We have collaborated a lot over the years since that night and I was delighted to read the story she shared with me in the car in a book. My Child’s Different is about the lessons Elaine and her family have learned to unlock her son’s potential. It explores the enabling role that parents can play in getting the best out of children who are seen as ‘different’ or ‘difficult’. 
You can check an extract from this book here
I love how Elaine says things that we all know but we don’t often say to be ‘politically correct’, but when you have a different child you see things in a different way and you don’t conform as much. Society favours children, and adults, who conform. The notion that our children may be shunned for being ‘different’ breaks our hearts, but there is plenty we can do to help such children develop into thriving, resilient adults.
Wanting to conform comes from lack of confidence in your own personality and ability to be great without being the same as everybody else. I discussed this same topic with British actress Sally Phillips who has a Down child in a heart-warming interview last year. You can check this out here:

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In My Child’s Different Elaine – a mother of two – shares the true story of her son Sam, who by the age of seven had been excluded from three schools and was later labelled with a whole host of conditions – ranging from autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) to pathological demand avoidance (PDA), before finally being diagnosed with dyslexia. He had become ‘the Alphabet Kid’. His family never gave up on him, however … Drawing lessons from Sam’s transformational journey from difficult child to budding entrepreneur, My Child’s Different offers encouragement to parents who may be concerned about what the future might hold, and demonstrates how – with the right support and positive parenting skills – their children can grow up to surprise and delight them. The book chronicles Sam’s journey from birth to adulthood, allowing readers to spot past and present patterns that may be comparable with their own children’s experiences, and provides pragmatic parenting advice that will be of benefit to any parent whose children – who may or may not have a diagnosed learning difficulty – struggle with life educationally or socially. Elaine writes with warmth and compassion as she revisits the challenges faced, the obstacles overcome and the key interventions that helped instil in Sam a sense of self-belief, a drive to succeed and an emotional intelligence beyond his years. Interspersed throughout the narrative are the reflections and insights of parenting expert Melissa Hood, who illustrates the key concepts from Sam’s story and shares practical positive parenting techniques to help parents better connect with their children. Also included are contributions from Sam himself – providing an additional, uniquely rich perspective that will help deepen parents’ understanding of their children’s feelings and emotions.
Suitable for mums, dads, grandparents, educators and anyone who works with children, My Child’s Different is a celebration of all the unique qualities that those who are different bring to society.

Elaine Halligan is very hard-working entrepreneur. She has been a co-founder and director at The Parent Practice and has been a parenting specialist since 2006, helping parents raise competent and confident children through parenting classes, private coaching and keynote speaking in schools and corporate settings both in the UK and overseas. Her experience with her son and her passion to help other parents has made her the ultimate specialist! She is frequently quoted in the broadsheet press and regularly appears on Sky News, BBC local radio and BBC world news. Her mission is to support mums and dads in London in finding the ‘holy grail’ of parenting: keeping calm and bringing out the best in their children.

Click Here to order your copy from Amazon now.

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