I recently finished Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families by Gary Chapman and Jolene Philo. My review, shared on Goodreads, is below.
Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities by Gary Chapman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a wonderful new addition to Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages books.
This book gives a brief introduction to the 5 Love Languages – Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Briefly, people tend to respond more to love expressed in a particular language. But we also tend to express love to others in “our” love language – without realizing why the recipient doesn’t respond how we expect them to. Chapman, in his books, stresses the importance of determining our loved ones’ love languages and then expressing love in the best way THEY can receive it.
I appreciated his honesty in acknowledging that while he had been asked before to write a book geared toward special needs children (he has The 5 Love Languages of Children and The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers), he said he hadn’t until now because he felt inadequate, not being a parent of a special needs child. Chapman wrote this book with Jolene Philo, who has written books for the special needs community, is herself the parent of a special needs child, and who uses the 5 languages concept in her home and as an educator.
The book covers ways parents (and educators) can figure out their children’s love languages, and deals with some of the challenges parents may face given a child being nonverbal, or having limited physical or intellectual abilities. Philo recounts several examples of children responding to their particular love language and how their parents make it a point to use their love languages.
This is a wonderful book and I recommend it for parents of special needs children. It is a great addition to our parenting tool box, helping us be more intentional in how we express love to our children in ways that they will be able to respond to.
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