The Other Side of Special

Navigating the Messy, Emotional, Joy-Filled Life of a Special Needs Mom

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Find Hope, Joy, and Community as a Special Needs Mom

For the special needs mom who yearns for community and support on what can be a lonely road, The Other Side of Special reminds you that you are not alone, your best is good enough, and even on the hard days, there are blessings to be had.

As you pour your energy and resources into raising a special child, it's easy to struggle with feelings of isolation, competition, guilt, and overwhelm. Here's the encouragement and practical help to navigate the emotional reality of your situation.

In The Other Side of Special, three mothers raising children with physical, medical, mental, and emotional special needs have joined forces and pooled their experience and expertise to provide such a resource. They take a deep dive into the most common emotions felt by special needs moms. They acknowledge the hard things as those who have been there. They celebrate the unique joys of being a special needs mom. And they offer encouragement for the journey, remaining realistic about the challenges special needs moms will continue to face.


Endorsements

"For parents who have felt the anguish of raising an out-of-the-box child or one with special needs, this book is a must read. Understanding, encouragement, practical advice, and wisdom are at the core of this wonderful book. You will feel seen and held. Highly recommended."

Sally Clarkson, author of many bestselling books and popular podcaster for parenting issues

"As a special needs mom and someone intimately acquainted with the relentlessness of disability, I found the relentless love of Christ within the pages of The Other Side of Special. Grab your Bible and a hot cup of coffee, and expect to find understanding, community, hope, and--yes--gratitude for the unique and beautiful circumstances of your life as you get to know Amy, Carrie, Sara, and their children. God has placed this book in your hands to bring you joy!"

Shauna Amick, M.Ed., director of Direct Response and Radio Channel Marketing at Joni and Friends International Disability Center

"The Other Side of Special is the disability guidebook I longed for when our newborn son's life-threatening condition was diagnosed. Authors Amy J. Brown, Sara Clime, and Carrie M. Holt have filled their book with the wisdom they've gleaned while raising children with very different needs. They share their failures and victories, their sorrows and joys, their faith and their doubts with honesty and humor. The Other Side of Special belongs on the bookshelf of every family caring for a child with special needs and disabilities. I'm grateful to have it on mine."

Jolene Philo, national speaker and co-author with Dr. Gary Chapman of Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families

"In The Other Side of Special, three moms (with major street cred from their plethora of lived experiences) assure us we are not alone when we find ourselves staring into the deep chasm between what we thought parenthood would be like and its current lived reality. As those of us in this unique parenting club know, fear, isolation, and weariness exist in that gap. Amy, Carrie, and Sara are not afraid to boldly name these painful truths while reminding us that vibrant hope and encouragement can still be found amidst the immense challenges of special needs parenting."

Jillana Goble, author of A Love-Stretched Life and No Sugar Coating

"With gut-level honesty and a raw compassion, the authors of The Other Side of Special connect with readers with an integrity that can come only from experience. They offer judgment-free understanding and validation of all the messy emotions. But they don't stop there. With their book, Amy, Sara, and Carrie offer a hand to hold and a hope to hang on to. A worthy companion for the mom of a child with special needs."

Jocelyn Green, co-author of Refresh: Spiritual Nourishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs

"Parenting a child with disabilities is not easy. It is lifelong, often uphill battle for adequate care, services, inclusion, and opportunity for our children. As believers, we frequently find ourselves at odds with the culture of Christianity, versus the Christian faith journey. Christian culture often portrays resolution of hard feelings and situations as evidence of our level of faith, which leaves the caregiving parent feeling that not only is their caregiving role relentless, but their faith, feelings, grief, and stress are signs of their own spiritual weakness. The Other Side of Special helps readers confront that pattern and find healthy ways to navigate that tension. The authors help us name our loneliness and become willing to confront our own wounded beliefs that contribute to it. They ask us to allow all the feelings, instead of judging, getting stuck, or stuffing them. They share ways to allow grief to ebb and flow, as it does when we're grieving aspects of life instead of a death. The Other Side of Special isn't a bandage or another book telling us to think positive. It's more of a pocket wellness guide for us as we spend a lifespan caregiving for those we love."

Laurie (Wallin) Magulac, special education team facilitator and author of Get Your Joy Back: Banishing Resentment and Reclaiming Confidence in your Special Needs Family

"Mothers who read The Other Side of Special will experience the sense of being in a quiet place with several knowledgeable and trustworthy friends experienced in raising children with disabilities who are able to ask the gentle but probing questions necessary for continued growth as a parent, spouse, and Christ follower."

Stephen Grcevich, president and founder of Key Ministry, author of Mental Health and the Church

"Amy, Sara, and Carrie have years of experience as special needs moms, and I'm so glad they are sharing their experiences with us through the pages of this book! As unique as their stories are, what unites them is their hope in Christ and the joy they have found on the journey. I am encouraged by their example of trust in God and their reliance on him for strength to face the hard days. I know I'll be picking this book up again and again when I need a reminder I'm not alone!"

Sandra Peoples, author of Unexpected Blessings: The Joys and Possibilities of Life in a Special Needs Family


The Authors

  1. Amy J Brown
    Aly May

    Amy J Brown

    Amy J. Brown, Sara Clime, and Carrie M. Holt are three mothers who have a combined experience of over thirty years of raising children with physical, medical, mental, and emotional special needs. They are the hosts of the podcast Take Heart Special...

    Continue reading about Amy J Brown

  2. Sara Clime
    Aly May

    Sara Clime

    Amy J. Brown, Sara Clime, and Carrie M. Holt are three mothers who have a combined experience of over thirty years of raising children with physical, medical, mental, and emotional special needs. They are the hosts of the podcast Take Heart Special...

    Continue reading about Sara Clime

  3. Carrie M Holt
    Aly May

    Carrie M Holt

    Amy J. Brown, Sara Clime, and Carrie M. Holt are three mothers who have a combined experience of over thirty years of raising children with physical, medical, mental, and emotional special needs. They are the hosts of the podcast Take Heart Special...

    Continue reading about Carrie M Holt


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