Cover Image: Differently Wired

Differently Wired

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Member Reviews

A brilliant thought provoking book that definitely gave me an insight into children who are wired differently and struggle in this world with all stigma and difficulties that not being "normal" can bring.
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All 3 of my kids are "Differently Wired", 2 of them on the Austism spectrum and the other with ADHD. It can be difficult to navigate the non neurotypical world, especially with 3 very distinctly different kids. Books like Differently Wired are a big help with trying to figuring out this parenting thing with my sweet kids.
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In this book, the author shares her experience raising her child who has special needs. She shares about how her child behaves differently from others, how the teachers and people around them view children with special needs, and what she learned from other parents who have the same challenges. This book is really informative and enjoyable. Each topic is presented in a way that's easy to follow. This book is for everyone who wants to understand the children with special needs, especially gifted children with ADHD and Asperger's, and the challenges that the parents face.

I voluntarily read and review a free copy of this book provided via NetGalley.
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Differently Wired is a useful resource for parents raising exceptional children. For parents dealing with the difficulties and pleasures of having a child with special needs, they will find connection, valuable information and support. I'm not convinced there are any groundbreaking or new ideas put forth in Differently Wired, but one cannot place value on finding connection and being reassured that you are parenting your exceptional child to your best ability, with some guidance, suggestions and reminders woven in.
Differently Wired is perhaps a touch biased in some aspects, such as the negative slant towards public school. It is also American in its definitions and explanations, making it less applicable to parents outside of the USA.
Overall, a recommended resource for parents.
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I had recently read a couple books on this subject so I was pleasantly surprised to find this book took a slightly different perspective to most.

I found this book to be filled with great love and kindness, highlighting how differences can be cause for celebration.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to read this ARC.
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(Review will post to my book review blog [] Tuesday, August 28.)

When I saw this quote at the very beginning of Differently Wired: 

"Normality is a paved road:  It's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it." --Vincent van Gogh

I thought, "Ok yes, I'm going to love this book."

But I'm surprised to say that I didn't. I like the underlying idea of it. As the mother of a very smart and highly sensitive 8-year old boy, I'm all for the advice to celebrate uniqueness, ignore the standard of "normal," and try to parent from a place of acceptance and love, not guilt and fear. But I also want more. 

Author Deborah Reber talks a lot about her tough experiences with her oldest son. She talks about being frustrated with his schools, his teacher's general lack of training and awareness, and even with herself for never seeming to quite get it "right." Yes, yes, and yes! I agree, I'm there! So now what? Well, she solves her family's issues by homeschooling her son. Which is fine for her, but not an option for us, 

Unfortunately, there aren't many other options in this book. Instead, Reber focuses on TILTs, which are basically ways to shift your perspective as a parent with a gifted child. Many of these TILTs are repetitive, but essentially they boil down to:

---Stop trying to be "normal." Your child isn't and probably won't ever be.
---Connect with other parents who know what you're going through.
---Learn your child's language. Learn what certain actions or words mean to him.
---Create a safe, calm, relaxing environment for your child.
---Practice self-care.
---Advocate for your child, loudly if necessary. Then create the resources you wish you had.

Most of this advice is comforting but also obvious. (And some of it is downright unrealistic, borderline unhealthy. For example, the section on "leaning in to your child" where a mother supports her son by allowing him to control the family schedule for the entire summer. Uh, no.) 

In fact, a lot of time is spent 1) complaining about how things are so hard, 2) fighting the system a little, 3) eventually withdrawing or giving up, and then 4) comforting yourself with the knowledge that you aren't alone. Which is a problem. I mean, it's always good to hear you're not the only one having trouble dealing with a bright and complicated kid, but then give me something concrete to work with. I want to move beyond whiny commiseration and hear success stories. Give me resources, classes, scripts for talking with school administrators, etc. Because at the end of the day, I don't want to homeschool my kid. I want his teacher to understand that he's way beyond what she's teaching him and that he's going to continue to act out in class until his brain is actually occupied and challenged. How do I do THAT?

In other words, I want to change the system, not whine about it and then try to comfort myself when I abandon it. I was hoping this book would help me stand in the place where I live, so to speak, but no such luck.
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I highlighted so many quotes and passages from this book! DIFFERENTLY WIRED is a valuable resource for any parent that has a strong-willed child that you are on the fence of a diagnosis or have that medical neurological diagnosis. I enjoyed the author's insight of her personal struggle with finding the right fit to educate her child along with her trial and errors. 

Deborah Reber provides real life examples coupled with stats, medical professional expertise, and recounts of published articles and books to help you on your parenting journey with your 'Differently Wired' child. I found so many of her suggestions easy to use and add in with my personal parenting struggles. One quote that resonated with me as I deal with a child of high energy and lack of focus that in the end becomes very accident prone is asking my child "What were you trying to do?" instead of getting angry and saying something demeaning. 

As a previous educator (of only a couple years) I feel that the insight as a teacher to read this book would help especially a new education on how to not force that 'Differently Wired' to conform to the 'normal' classroom and utilize that child's gifts. And as the author suggests we MUST be the advocate for our child and this community to bring about change to include rather than exclude these children!
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This book was a comforting read for a single mother of a child with autism. Not only was the information plentiful, but it read like advice from a good friend as opposed to a book full of psychological mumbo-jumbo.
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My son is twice exceptional and there is a severe lack of material on the subject. I was thrilled to read this book specifically directed at families of 2e kids, and even more thrilled to find it helpful. Highly recommended for those who love a 2e person!
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Being a parent of a differently wired child,can be challenging,and lonely if you dont have understanding family and friends around you. Reading Deborahs book was so comforting,like having a friend walking with you on your journey. This book also reminds you to celebrate our wonderful children,and to remember to practice self care,I really loved this book and have reccomended it to a few people,and will continue to do so.
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Any book that can provide insight on parently a child with special needs is worth the print.  Deborah Reber, share her story of life with a son that has ADHD, Asperger’s, and is highly gifted, this information helps other parents of in their parenting of a child with a similar diagnosis.
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This is an important read for any parent/caregiver raising a neurodiverse child. The author does a great job walking readers through a lot of thoughtful and necessary questions to clarify their approach to raising their child, and ways to improve communication with their children, partners, family, and teachers. This book offers a nonjudgmental approach to raising neurodiverse children and highlights ideas for parents to better support their child's formative years. As a parent of neurodiverse children, I can honestly say nothing about this parenting journey is easy, but it helps to know there are plenty of families sharing the experience who can also offer new and creative solutions.

I was disappointed the author didn't address the unique challenge of raising multiple children, both neurotypical and neurodiverse. It's important to discuss how neurotypical children can sometimes take a backseat to a neurodiverse sibling who needs a significant amount of time, energy, and financial resources, and how parents might find a better balance to fully support all of their children. And while I agree with the author's encouragement of self-care practices and finding a support network, it's not always easy or accessible for people who might live in smaller or rural communities, parents with financial constraints, or parents with caregiver burnout and/or no family support.

The bottom line is that those of us sharing this experience can benefit our children and families by offering meaningful support, honesty, and advocating for necessary change. 

I received an e-copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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As a parent of an 'differently wired' child, the book was definitely relatable.  I found myself highlighting parts that really hit home:  "uncertainty about a child’s neurodiversity; lack of school fit; tough behavior; families, friends, and educators who don’t get it; and difficulty getting the information, resources, and tools we need."  I think there are many parents of differently wired kids - I wish more parents were open to discussing freely so that so many folks didn't have to feel like they are alone in their struggle to help their kids function in a world that just isn't wired the same as they are.
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Parenting lessons for a modern world. Deborah provides excellent advises and techniques of how interact with children with ADHD, giftedness, autism, learning disorders, and anxiety. Excellent book for new parents or parents with exceptional kids.
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The book, as the title already says, is meant for the parents of ‘differently wired’ kids. Well, I believe that everyone is differently wired in some way or another, so even though my LO does not have any specific diagnosis I was curious to read this book. And It was really worth my time. I received a lot of helpful hints and insights that are helpful for our family.
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Right now, millions of children are growing up in a world that doesn’t respect, support, or embrace who they inherently are—these are what Deborah Reber is calling the “differently wired” kids, the kids with neurodifferences such as ADHD, giftedness, autism, learning disorders, and anxiety, as well as those with no formal diagnosis, who are being told day in and day out that there is something wrong with them.

Their challenges are many. But for the parents who love them, the challenges are just as hard—struggling to find the right school, the right therapist, the right parenting group while feeling isolated and harboring endless internal doubts about what’s normal, what’s not, and how to handle it all. They’re the parents frequently fielding emails from frustrated teachers and dealing with glares when their children behave inappropriately in public. They’re the exhausted moms and dads pushed into nonstop advocacy mode, the ones whose kids people think twice about inviting to their child’s birthday party. They’re overwhelmed, misunderstood, and isolated, which is ironic considering their kids are in every classroom across the country. Debbie knows this because she is one of these parents. And because their differences are for the most part invisible, these kids are stuck trying to fit into a world that wasn’t designed to accommodate their unique way of being.

But now there’s hope. Written by Deborah Reber, a bestselling author and mother in the midst of an eye-opening journey with her son who is twice exceptional (he has ADHD, Asperger’s, and is highly gifted), Differently Wired is a how-to, a manifesto, a book of wise advice, and the best kind of been-there, done-that companion. DIFFERENTLY WIRED lays out a new vision for not only redefining the way neurodiversity is perceived in the world, but shifting the parenting paradigm so parents raising extraordinary kids can do so from a place of peace, joy, and most importantly, choice.

On the one hand it’s a book of saying NO, and how it’s time to say no to trying to fit your round-peg kid into society’s square holes, no to educational and social systems that don’t respect your child, no to the anxiety and fear that keep parents stuck. And then it’s a book of YES. By offering 18 paradigm shifts, each chapter in the book centers on one big tangible idea —what she calls “tilts”— Reber shows how to change everything. How to “Get Out of Isolation and Connect.” “Stop Fighting Who Your Child Is and Lean In.” “Let Go of What Others Think.” “Create a World Where Your Child Can Feel Secure.” “Find Your People (and Ditch the Rest).” “Help Your Kids Embrace Self-Discovery.” And through these alternative ways of being, discover how to stay open, pay attention, and become an exceptional parent to your exceptional child. By making these shifts, parents everywhere will be rejecting what’s broken in the status quo. And that leads to moving the world closer to a place where difference is genuinely seen and valued.
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I found this book interesting. My own gifted child has generalized/social anxiety and pervasive OCD.  More than anything, a book like this let me see that I am not alone with my struggles and challenges. I think the point that resonated with me the most was that rearing "normal" children is exhausting and raising a child with differences is that and so much more.  I ache for my child and constantly want her to fit in, but at the same time, don't want her to lose all the special quirks that make her who she is.  So much of what my daughter deals with is not necessarily"seen on the outside" so it can feel like I am always explaining why she doesn't want to go up a small set of stairs, or why her hands are always by her face, etc.. This book just made me feel like there are those who are dealing with these stressors daily like my family.  It felt good to not be alone. I recommend this read for anyone who has a child with differences and wants to see how other families cope and what solutions they have come up with.
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I loved this book. It is one of the few geared toward parents of 2e kids that doesn't come with a side of guilt. Thoughtful, well-written and teeming with good advice. I will be recommending it to my tribe for sure.
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I wasn't sure what to expect, but this book was amazing! It was as though, at times, she was explaining both of my children. As a mother of two crazy arse children (only slightly kidding) who both have Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and are also Gifted,  I can relate to the issues expressed with schooling systems, as well as, sensory processing reactions. My children react in two completely opposite ways, but to similar triggers. Very interesting household, indeed. This book was a refreshing look at the spectrum and the wide range of children & families who are blessed with the experience.
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As a mom of a differently wired child, this book was very helpful. I appreciate the emphasis on learning to understand your differently wired child and accept them for who they are without apology instead of trying to make them fit in. Reber did an excellent job of drawing attention to the strengths of these children rather than their difficulties. However, I disagree with the author's position that differently wired children need to be accepted as normal. They ARE different and that should be embraced. Telling society that they need to go out of their way to accommodate our children is taking it too far. Instead we need to spend more time teaching our children how to cope in our existing society. All in all, this book  was very useful in helping me reframe my thinking about my differently wired child, and I was able to glean many helpful ideas to incorporate into my parenting.
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