“I’ve always known I was different. It wasn’t something I chose or an identity I one day decided to wear. Being different is woven into the very fabric of who I am.” Nathan Clarkson
Sally Clarkson knew her son was not like her other children—or other people’s children. He didn’t sleep. His behavior was erratic. He could erupt into a screaming fit at the blink of an eye. Eventually, Nathan was diagnosed with “an alphabet soup” of clinical disorders and mental illness.
But he was still Sally’s much-loved son.
This was a time when support groups, testing, and counseling were not readily available. And, as Sally puts it, “so much of the advice that was proffered to me was inadequate at best and insulting at worst.” So Sally had to find her own way when it came to parenting her unique child, daring to believe that Nathan’s differences were part of an intentional design from a loving Creator with a plan for his life.
Nathan grew up, attended the New York Film Academy, and is now a writer, actor, and artist. Now he and his mom have collaborated on a book about their life together called Different: The Story of an Outside-the-Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him. “It’s the story,” Sally says, “of how the two of us learned to flourish amidst the glory and challenges of who he was made to be.”
Nathan and Sally take turns telling their story, so readers get a view at life from both sides of the “different” spectrum. Whether you’re the parent of an out-of-the-box child, someone who’s always felt a little different themselves, or just a reader in search of a heartwarming story, Different offers a new perspective.
The truth is,” Nathan says, “we live in a deeply fractured world, and we don’t always have a choice about being broken. But we do have a choice about where we let our brokenness lead us.”
“If you have ever felt unaccepted for who you are, it is our hope that this book will help you feel validated, accepted, and affirmed for being unique, for having a distinctive life story.
If you live with a “different” person and share his or her struggle, we hope you will find strength, understanding, and perhaps some helpful strategies.
Whoever you are, we hope you will find grace for the ways you and those you love are different and outside the box.
In our story of hope, may you find hope for your own story as well.”
Different is available wherever books are sold.