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The Life you Never Expected

winter 2016

From triple helix - winter 2016 - The Life you Never Expected [p20-21]

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Thriving whilst parenting special needs children
Andrew and Rachel Wilson

IVP, 2015, 154pp, ISBN 9781783593521

Reviewed by Mark Pickering, Prison GP, husband to Rachael and father to wonderfully sweet and quirky autistic teenager Zoe

This book is packed full of useful insights. It never loses sight of how parenting special needs children can be both incredibly demoralising and hugely fulfilling. It also keeps returning to an uplifting view of God's purposes for parents and children.

The many short chapters are all perceptive and easily digested in moments of respite: learning to lament like the psalmist; the value of sleep; grieving for the dreams and expectations you may have had for your children that may now never be realised. We are reminded that, whilst all children can be exhausting and challenging, and those with special needs often more so, they are sources of great blessing, reminding us and others of God's love and faithfulness in unexpected and touching ways.

Andrew and Rachel Wilson have two young autistic children, both of whom have regressed from their previous levels of function with time. They are active in church leadership and write candidly about the effects their children's difficulties have had on their commitments outside the home, and the stresses it has placed on their marriage.

The book ends with the imagery of a ship - our journey is unpredictable (for all of us), our destination uncertain (even when we delude ourselves otherwise). Yet, our Captain journeys with us, and he sustains and guides both us and our children.

Article written by Andrew and Rachel Wilson

More from triple helix: winter 2016

  • Christmas: the miracle of the incarnation
  • NIPT
  • The Sustainable Development Goals one year on
  • PrEP
  • Sex education programmes are largely ineffectual
  • Wear your values
  • Supporting colleagues in challenging times
  • Finance in the early years
  • NHS in crisis
  • Boundary stones in bioethics
  • Gender and social change
  • Overcoming stress and burnout
  • Spiritual Care at the end of life
  • Pressed but not crushed
  • The Heart and the Abyss
  • Heart Attitudes
  • Dementia: Pathways to Hope
  • Lessons from a hospital bed
  • Inventing the Universe
  • The Life you Never Expected
  • eutychus
  • A patient I should have cried over
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