Thank you so much for stopping by DifferentDream.com. The website began in 2009 as a gathering place for parents of children with special needs and disabilities. Over the years, Different Dream has expanded to include those caring for loved ones of all ages: Dads and moms in the hospital with seriously or terminally ill kids, parents whose children live with mental disabilities or chronic illnesses, those supervising adult children with special needs, wives and husbands caring for spouses with disabilities, as well as for adult children caring for elderly parents.
If you’re a caregiver, Different Dream offers resources to equip you to be a confident advocate and encouragement when you need a boost. You’re invited to engage in the caregiving conversation by leaving comments about resources or advice you’d like to share with others. Special needs bloggers can contribute to the Tuesday link share. Those interested in becoming guest bloggers can contact Jolene via email about Different Dream’s submission guidelines.
Through the years, more and more readers who are also writers have contacted Different Dream about the publishing process. In response, we’ve created a book coaching department called Literary Midwives. It offers services for fiction and non-fiction writers. You can soon learn more about those services at the Literary Midwives page.
Blog posts and advertisements seen on this site may contain affiliate links to products that I recommend, which means that at no additional cost to you, if you make a purchase from these links, I will receive a small commission that helps to support my family and this website. You are under no obligation or requirement to make a purchase.
About Jolene Philo
I grew up as a caregiver. My father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he was 29 in 1959. I was 2 at the time and can’t remember seeing my father walking. Dad lived in our home until 1983, when Mom made the difficult decision to move him to a nursing home. He lived there until 1997 when he died at age 67, the youngest resident of the nursing home and the one who’d lived there the longest.
A year before Dad moved to the nursing home, my husband and I welcomed our first child, Allen, into the world. A few hours after his delivery, doctors discovered he had a life-threatening birth defect, and he was immediately flown to the University of Nebraska in Omaha for surgery. 2 days later, we finally arrived at the neonatal intensive care unit where he was recovering. 700 miles from home, without friends or family, we felt utterly and completely alone.
Allen survived and is an adult now, but our experiences created a deep desire within me to reach out to parents of critically or chronically ill children. So after 25 years as an elementary teacher who welcomed kids with special needs into her classroom, I left teaching in 2003 to begin writing and speaking. My first book, A Different Dream for My Child: Meditations for Parents of Critically or Chronically Ill Children, was released in 2009 by Discovery House Publishers (DHP). Since then I’ve published 4 more books for the special needs community. The most recent is Does My Child Have PTSD? What to Do When Your Child Is Hurting from the Inside Out, which came out in October of 2015. Check out my books page to view the rest.
My agent is currently pitching my most recent project, a mystery novel, to several publishers. I am hard at work on the second mystery in what I hope will be a series and on a book about stress, trauma, and secondary PTSD in parents of kids with special needs. I’ll be posting updates about the book progress on the Different Dream blog, so stop by to keep up to date.
You are not alone,