by Deborah Reber
Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World
Right now, millions of children are growing up in a world that doesn’t respect, support, or embrace who they inherently are—these are what Deborah Reber is calling the “differently wired” kids, the kids with neurodifferences such as ADHD, giftedness, autism, learning disorders, and anxiety, as well as those with no formal diagnosis, who are being told day in and day out that there is something wrong with them.
Their challenges are many. But for the parents who love them, the challenges are just as hard—struggling to find the right school, the right therapist, the right parenting group while feeling isolated and harboring endless internal doubts about what’s normal, what’s not, and how to handle it all. They’re the parents frequently fielding emails from frustrated teachers and dealing with glares when their children behave inappropriately in public. They’re the exhausted moms and dads pushed into nonstop advocacy mode, the ones whose kids people think twice about inviting to their child’s birthday party. They’re overwhelmed, misunderstood, and isolated, which is ironic considering their kids are in every classroom across the country. Debbie knows this because she is one of these parents. And because their differences are for the most part invisible, these kids are stuck trying to fit into a world that wasn’t designed to accommodate their unique way of being.
But now there’s hope. Written by Deborah Reber, a bestselling author and mother in the midst of an eye-opening journey with her son who is twice exceptional (he has ADHD, Asperger’s, and is highly gifted), Differently Wired is a how-to, a manifesto, a book of wise advice, and the best kind of been-there, done-that companion. DIFFERENTLY WIRED lays out a new vision for not only redefining the way neurodiversity is perceived in the world, but shifting the parenting paradigm so parents raising extraordinary kids can do so from a place of peace, joy, and most importantly, choice.
On the one hand it’s a book of saying NO, and how it’s time to say no to trying to fit your round-peg kid into society’s square holes, no to educational and social systems that don’t respect your child, no to the anxiety and fear that keep parents stuck. And then it’s a book of YES. By offering 18 paradigm shifts, each chapter in the book centers on one big tangible idea —what she calls “tilts”— Reber shows how to change everything. How to “Get Out of Isolation and Connect.” “Stop Fighting Who Your Child Is and Lean In.” “Let Go of What Others Think.” “Create a World Where Your Child Can Feel Secure.” “Find Your People (and Ditch the Rest).” “Help Your Kids Embrace Self-Discovery.” And through these alternative ways of being, discover how to stay open, pay attention, and become an exceptional parent to your exceptional child. By making these shifts, parents everywhere will be rejecting what’s broken in the status quo. And that leads to moving the world closer to a place where difference is genuinely seen and valued.
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