From triple helix - winter 2016 - The Life you Never Expected [p20-21]
(Right click and choose 'save as...' to download a printable version of this article)
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.