Different Dream Parenting by Jolene Philo {Review}

I’ve heard buzz about Different Dream Parenting: A Practical Guide to Raising a Child with Special Needs by Jolene Philo on Twitter since it was released. I am very excited that I finally got the chance to read it, and I’m even more excited to share it with you!

I confess that I’m a reader and researcher. I have read a lot of articles and have bought and read parts of more books about parenting children with special needs than I care to admit. A lot of times, I haven’t finished the book or article because I felt like something was missing. It didn’t really address everything that I needed.

This was not the case with Different Dream Parenting. I devoured every word on every page, ready to see what wisdom and resources Jolene had to share with me next. She nailed it every time. She covered everything I want from this type of book: being an advocate for your child, handling hospital life, family life (including siblings, which is heavy on my heart right now), making arrangements for the long run, the loss of a child, and raising the child who overcomes the obstacles.

Every chapter presents the information, shares stories from other families, contains sidebars with questions and bullet points  to quickly reference later, offers related Scriptures for encouragement and support, and ends with a prayer and, finally, a list of resources. There are also several appendices in the back with prayer guides, Bible verses to address emotional issues, a chart to manage medications and food intake, and interview questions for in-home nursing care.

For such a small book, Different Dream Parenting is full of great information that is easy to read and easy to put to use. It addressed the practical and spiritual concerns I deal with daily. I knew that Jolene and the other families know what it’s like to live my life. I highly recommend this book to parents of children with special needs.

Thanks to the generosity of those at Discovery House, I get to offer a copy of Different Dream Parenting by Jolene Philo to one of you. If you are 18 or older and a resident of the United States of America, you are eligible for this giveaway! I’m going to try the Rafflecopter widget for this giveaway. Just follow the directions for entries!

This giveaway begins at 12:01 a.m. ET on June 18, 2012, and will end at 12:01 a.m. ET on June 30, 2012. The winner will receive an email notification within 48 hours of the close of the giveaway and will have 48 hours to respond to me with your mailing address. I will send your mailing address to Discovery House, and they will mail the book to you directly.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Different Dream Parenting from Discovery House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. I am grateful to Discovery House for the opportunity to  give away a copy of the book here and at The 2:1 Conference at the special needs meet-up. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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24 Responses to Different Dream Parenting by Jolene Philo {Review}

  1. Lara V. says:

    This book sounds great!!!

  2. Jolene Philo says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    Thanks so much for reviewing “Different Dream Parenting.” Your helping in spreading the word about the book is so appreciated. My desire is to reach parents with the hope and resources Different Dream Parenting offers so they won’t feel so isolated and helpless. Your blog post helps do that.

    Readers, please enter the drawing for the free copy. I wish everyone could win one!


    • Jolene,

      I wish everyone could win one too. Thank you so much for the hope and encouragement in “Different Dream Parenting.” You definitely accomplished your goal!


  3. kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing says:


    I am particularly interested in the sibling info – so important – our issues are behavioral – but they are stemming from special needs

  4. I want to win this book because I didn’t have the child dreamed about, and while I love her tremendously, there are moments when I need a lot of encouragement.

  5. Cristi says:

    I’m interested in winning because you keep telling me that I absolutely have to read this book.

    I have a question, though. Does it address discipline issues any at all? Specifically, I’d love to read some advice on how to parent/discipline a child with many medical appointments. It’s becoming a real struggle for us lately.

    • I don’t remember that specifically, Cristi, but I do know there’s a whole section about families. The medical appointments are becoming a struggle for us too.

    • Jolene Philo says:

      This comment is in response to Cristi’s question about whether “Different Dream Parenting” addresses discipline issues. It touches on them lightly and at the end of one chapter recommends a book by Cline and Greene, “Parenting Children with Health Issues.” Also, a DifferentDream.com guest blogger’s post about how she gets her daughter to medical appointments goes up June 26, so you may want to read it.

      Finally, if your child’s behavior about medical appointments is more fearful than naughty, you may be dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. “Different Dream Parenting” offers an entire chapter on that topic and a resource list for further investigation. Or type “PTSD” in the search box at DifferentDream.com for several posts on the topic.

      I hope that helps, Cristi!

      • Thank you for posting all of that, Jolene! I need to check that post on the 26th too. I appreciate your help. I’m still processing everything I read and didn’t remember that specifically.


  6. Naomi says:

    While I may not have gotten the perfect kids I dreamed about, I wouldn’t change it for the world! It is a different walk, and I would like to read any book that could help us along the path.

  7. Sarah says:

    This would be a great gift for my friend :)

  8. Samantha K says:

    I want to win because it sounds like a really great read.

  9. Terri Menke says:

    I would love to win this book. My son has special needs as a result of brain surgery a couple of years ago. I am still learning and this book sounds like it would be a great help.

  10. Kasey Cone says:

    Autism runs in my family sso I want to be prepared when I have my own kids.

  11. Misty Taylor says:

    Having kids with special needs I think this book will give me a better insight

  12. Donna K says:

    I would like to read it. It sounds good.

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