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  1. Brianna
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Resource!
    August 11, 2020
    Brianna
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families is a treasure in many ways. Authors Dr. Gary Chapman and Jolene Philo take a closer look at the five love languages in the realm of caring for children with physical, behavioral, and developmental special needs. Not only do Dr. Chapman and Philo consider the relationship between the parent and child with special needs, but also the relationships between parent and typical child, typical child and siblings with special needs, and professionals and children with special needs.

    Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families includes lists of ideas for each love language, specific to a variety of scenarios affected by special needs. Dr. Chapman and Philo also include a brief description of attachment categories and cognitive development stages. Without feeling academic, these sections enable parents to gain a deeper understanding of their children. Parents will also find almost five full pages of suggested resources at the end of the book.

    As a parent of a child with special needs, Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families provided verification of some of my emotions and thoughts, and encouraged me to think creatively. One of the things I appreciated most about this book is tucked away about two-thirds of the way through the book; it is a short, but powerful statement when considered in the context of special needs: (quote) Before diving into the discussion of the final three love languages in the next chapter, (let us) take a breather. Give yourself time to process and apply what (you have) read (end quote). The realm of special needs often involves information overload, frequent questions, and near-constant interpreting, deciphering, and investigating. The statement above gives readers permission to stop and pause, without guilt or pressure.

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in order to write an honest, unbiased review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
  2. Sarah P
    Dubuque, IA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Helpful Resource
    August 7, 2019
    Sarah P
    Dubuque, IA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Overall Review: This book helps you live out the most important fruit of the Spirit- Love. It gives practical, fun, and personable ways to live in abundant love even when the one you love functions in a unique manner. But more importantly, it is a great reminder for the reader that love is love and whether you are loving your spouse, neurotypical child, or special needs child, or friend, the focus needs to be on your heart and the receiver's heart and the goal needs to be attacked not as a fix, but as a way to have a connected, solid relationship with another human being. Joy should be in this connection, in any love language and life. This is the reason we chose to parent a child from a hard place who sought out love in the most unlovable ways. We had the Holy Spirit equipping us to share unconditional love as our only real job.

    Things I liked about the book:

    Fast, easy read. (less than 2 hours even with interruptions)

    Design of the book- for special needs families- but also for teachers, caregivers, therapists, doctors/nurses, anyone who works with special needs kids.

    Book formatting

    information extras: defines ABLE account, IEP, 504 in a grayscale box

    summaries: key questions or tips in grayscale boxes

    easy to read and refer back to: headings, subheadings, grayscale boxes, etc.

    chapter summaries- some are: putting it all together, others are tips, or bulleted concepts to apply

    appendix of resources (those not included directly in the book text)

    diverse perspective- 40 families are represented in the stories of this book and their real life examples are the ideas.

    Content of the book is beyond the love languages, it includes ways to enjoy and support your child and encouragement that it's not your job to fix anything about your child, but to love them well and remind their team of support people that this is the key to quality life and growth.

    The truth: practical tips from experience shared about meeting your child's most important need- unconditional love.

    New experts opinions shared and I have new resources to consult for support.

    What I wondered about or could be tweaked:

    I wanted even more time on ideas, strategies, tips from those in the trenches.

    I was surprised at the time spent on loving your spouse, caring for your marriage, and caretaker care, but I do know that all of this truly needs investment even when there isn't time in the stress of parenting a special needs child, but you can love abundantly without your tank being full.

    Lack of scripture and biblical input throughout the book

    Thankful to partner with Moody Publications and read a copy of the book.
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