(This is a sponsored post with no restrains or impact on the review.)

The book Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families is part of the 5 Love Languages that was originally authored by Gary Chapman. This book looks at how parents of children with special needs can incorporate the 5 Love Languages into their parenting model to improve communication between spouses and better love their children.

The original book is a staple for people who want to better communicate with their spouses and has a soft integration of faith within it. From there, Gary has made a whole collection of books including for Children, Teenagers, Men, Women, Singles, and Military Edition.

This book in the series was co-authored with Jolene Philo (at the end of the review you will be able to see her talk on Key Ministry’s Video Roundtable about the book) who has her own testimonial of raising her child with special needs, having read the original 5 Love Languages book, and applying it to her parenting, which was the source of this text. But they go further in interviewing 40 different families and individuals for the text.

If you are wanting to learn the 5 Love Languages at it’s fullest, this book is not for you. Further, if you want to know all of the ins and outs of raising children in general with the 5 Love Languages, you’ll want to read the book that specifically addresses that. It does give a cursory overview of the 5 Love Languages and the assessment for you to do but quickly moves on.

What’s Right About This Book?

The book reads very personably as it goes into a story after story of the struggles of raising someone with some sort of special needs, whether it is a developmental delay, physical disability, or other impairment. Yet, it does not lose its practicalness with specifically crafted tips for each of the 5 Love Languages. These tips do not all come from the authors either, the people being interviewed shared their own ways of equipping them.

Further, as a professional counselor and a parent of children with limited special needs, I struggle to relate to the day-to-day circumstances these parents share in the text or my clients’ problems they bring into a counseling session. But the book also brings in how extended family members, friends, and professionals involved at some capacity of the individual’s growth and development can support the family. It’s true that it takes a community to raise a child and the unique supports a family with at least one child with special needs even more intentionality in how we love the child with special needs, the other typical children in the family, and the parents.

The book reads clearly and it’s easily scannable for when I want to go back and reference it later. As someone who needs practical applications in a counseling room, this is so beneficial later on.

What Was Wrong With The Book?

The text feels as if it had to do too much. I don’t think you take much out, but it’s also trying to cover two previous books in a very brief number of words which ultimately takes away the focus from the original intent. I was a fifth of the way through the chapters before we started to get to the heart of the topic.

While this is more of a neutral comment than it being wrong, I found myself not really needing the free resources in the back of the book and quickly glancing over twenty-some pages without much desire to go through it.

Overall, I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars, noting that it mostly does what it intends and is a great resource for any individual who wants to raise or support a child with special needs.

What other resources do you know that are out there for parents or professions who want to be intentional about raising children with special needs or mental illness?

Published by Jeremy Smith

Jeremy is the Co-Occurring Program Coordinator and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor at a community mental health center. Jeremy has a history of working as a ministry director for Youth for Christ for 8 years and then working as a mental health and substance use adult counselor in Colorado and Ohio, specifically running an Opioid Residential Treatment Center.

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