Book Review…Different Dream Parenting

What I most appreciated from a physician’s perspective about Different Dream Parenting is conveyed in the book’s subtitle…A practical guide to raising a child with special needs.

I have a somewhat skewed patient population. More often than not, the kids and families I see with complex mental health (plus/minus medical) issues are over the initial shock of having received a diagnosis of a disabling condition. Nevertheless, the emotions experienced by the parents of kids I treat are often very raw. Fear can be overwhelming. A significant portion of my job involves helping parents to make sound decisions in the heat of the moment in the interest of serving the needs of their child.

Jolene Philo’s book is an invaluable help to parents and caregivers seeking to do their very best to serve their child with special needs. Her book can serve as an “adjunct left brain” when the emotions and decisions parents need to process become too much to handle.

Jolene and her husband have been there. Their son (Alan) was flown hours from their home for emergency surgery to address a life-threatening birth defect several hours after he was born, and subsequently experienced a lengthy and painful course of treatment involving six additional surgeries over a period of 15 years. The Philos found themselves in a strange city with a very sick child and little comfort or support.

In the book, Jolene taps into her 25 years of experience as an educator, her experience of serving on staff at a local church as Director of Discipleship and Assimilation and her experience as the parent of a child with special needs to craft a resource to help parents integrate the practical and spiritual concerns they struggle with on a daily basis. She very methodically helps parents by directing them to useful resources for coping with their child’s initial diagnosis and navigating the world of hospitals and medical professionals while juggling the demands of everyday life. She also helps parents address the challenges of advocating for the needs of their children as they grow older, as well as their more “typical” siblings. At the same time, she offers wisdom and guidance to parents in navigating the spiritual challenges that commonly occur when raising a child with special needs.

Jolene has managed to assemble a book that is as useful to a parent of a child being treated for cancer in the intensive care ward of a tertiary care pediatric hospital as it is to a parent sitting in my office whose child has just been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Different Dream Parenting is a great Christmas gift for any parent or caregiver of a child with special medical or mental health needs. Click here to order Different Dream Parenting.

ACCESS TO INCLUSION FUSION TALKS AND DOWNLOADS NOW EXTENDED THROUGH SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3rd! Chuck Swindoll and more than twenty-five ministry leaders came together on November 3rd-7th as part of a Special Needs Ministry Web Summit for church staff, volunteers, family members and caregivers everywhere. Inclusion Fusion is a Key Ministry event, presented FREE OF CHARGE with the support of Pajama Conference. Register here  for access to the video archives of the Summit! 

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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One Response to Book Review…Different Dream Parenting

  1. Steve, your review is so eloquently expressed. How thrilling to have another godly resource for these families!


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