A Different Joy: The parents’ guide to living better with Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD and more tells you what you need to know to help you relax and enjoy your child.
Read it before, after, with or without a diagnosis. Packed with reassurance and practical signposting to organisations, sites, research and further information, this is not just a guide to raising a child with special needs, but also how to do so with grace, humour and joy.
Having a child with special needs is no tragedy, raising one is not a triumph, it’s just life.
Learn to embrace your imperfections and have more fun!
It includes chapters on the things that worry parents most:
- An introduction to sane-ish parenting
- Diagnosis, Acceptance and moving on
- Know your child
- Neurodiversity – what type of difference and when does it matter?
- Surviving competitive parenting – of course it’s personal!
- Stamina – keeping going when it seems impossible
- Family dynamics, siblings and wider family
- Perfect schools don’t exist. How to find the best you can
- Bullying, vulnerability and resilience
- From surviving to thriving.
A Different Joy is written by a real parent who combines personal and professional experience with those of the many parents she meets and her passion for helping people.
“In this wonderfully positive and insightful book, Sarah-Jane Critchley looks in depth at issues that parents of children with special educational needs (SEN) face. Unlike other books which can be overly academic and impenetrable, this book is full of real life examples and practical advice. As a parent of children with SEN herself, Sarah-Jane is a very credible guide through the complicated world of special needs. She isn't just a professional in the field, she has lived it. Here she shares lessons learned and strategies that have helped in a way that encourages and supports but never preaches or patronises. What is comforting about this book as it takes the emphasis off of trying to be 'a perfect parent". Bringing up a child with special needs is often trial and error, and Sarah-Jane is refreshingly honest about strategies and approaches that have worked for her as well as outlining times when things haven't worked out. I know a lot of parents will take great comfort from this.”
Dean Beadle - International lecturer in Aspergers Syndrome
'It is a very, very good read, with a warm, informal, personal tone and a solid professional base. I just wish I had read this when I was Home Start volunteer to a distressed mother with two demanding under 5s. I'll send a link to her straight away!' - former Home Start Volunteer
"This book is nurturing like a good cup of tea"
"Reading this book through the eyes of a professional in the field of autism, I was struck by its openness, honesty and very human approach. It takes you on a journey of living with and supporting children who see and experience the world differently from pre diagnosis until adulthood. At each stage of the journey Sarah has shared personal and professional experiences, a wealth of practical tips, resources and sign posting in such an accessible way. This is an excellent book for parents to support them on their own journey but also for professionals to gain a clear and honest insight into the lives of children with additional needs and their families.
This book champions difference, that nobody is perfect and celebrates children for who they are. I will be recommending this book to the families and settings my team support."
Autism Outreach Coordinator
Brent Outreach Autism Team