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Elaine Halligan’s My Child’s Different: The lessons learned from one family’s struggle to unlock their son’s potential explores the enabling role that parents can play in getting the best out of children who are seen as ‘different’ or ‘difficult’. Foreword by Dr Laura Markham. 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. In My Child’s Different Elaine 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 parents, 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. Chapters include: 1. Us, and Our Blue-Eyed Boy (The Calm Before the Storm); 2. I’m Sure It’ll All Be Fine (Pre-School); 3. Naughty, Stupid Little Child (Primary School); 4. There Has to Be Another Way (Out of School); 5. This Changes Everything (Back to School); 6. Revealing the Diamond (Secondary School); 7. Moving On Up (Sixth Form); 8. Anything Is Possible (Adulthood).