Loving Your “Different” Child :: Sally & Nathan Clarkson [Ep 149]

Jan 23, 2017

“God didn’t give me a child so I could tell Him exactly my expectations of how that child should be. You have to say ‘God show me how to love the child you gave me and how to release him within his limitations and personalities into their world as a healthy human being.'”

-Sally Clarkson.

You’ve heard Sally come on the podcast and share how to own your life (Ep 54) and how to create a life-giving home (Ep 107). Today she’s back on the show with her adult son, Nathan Clarkson. This time we’re talking about learning to love our kids’ outside-the-box differences. Trusting mom intuition and believing God uniquely designed each of our kids for a purpose.

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Sally and Nathan share stories from his childhood. And offer helpful tips for casting vision over your children.  I found Sally’s thoughts on holding ideals but letting go of expectations very helpful.

“Give up expectations. But lead family to ideals. Don’t give up on ideals. They are shaping the core of your children’s values.”

Thankfully Sally and Nathan have written a much-needed resource on this topic, “Different: The Story of an Outside-the-Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him.” **



Connect with Sally:


Connect with Nathan:



What we chat about:

  • When you start to notice your child is different (Sally)
  • When the child begins to notice he/she may be different (Nathan)
  • When you want to sympathize & parent inner needs but told to discipline external behavior.
  • Creating a space allowing your child to be themselves and belong.
  • How Jesus treated people differently with the same love.
  • How to cast vision over your children.
  • How to turn differences into superpowers.
  • Creating rhythms in your home.
  • Holding ideals while letting go of expectations.
  • How differences impact family dynamics.
  • Orchestrating breaks for moms of children with differences.
  • Things that helped Nathan as a teenager who knew he was different.

Links Mentioned:

**Amazon Affiliate Link

How to listen to the podcast:

1.Listen on the blog. Click through to GodCenteredMom.com and click the play button at the beginning of this post.

2. Listen on your smartphone, iPad or iPod Touch – There are a lot of great podcasting apps. Apple has a free one (that I mentioned) in the app store, there is also one called Downcast. It allows you to search for shows, subscribe to them and even speed up the audio. If you don’t have an iDevice, you can listen via Stitcher.

3. Subscribe to the Podcast – access the podcast in iTunes (Click here to access via iTunes). You can also search for it on your smartphone app (like the ones listed above) and subscribe.


  1. Jessica White

    Oh Heather~ I have said this before…but sometimes I think your episodes won’t apply to me because I have older kids.. BUT I really needed today’s episode. My teenage daughter (15) doesn’t have any type of diagnosed issues…but she is SO different from me. It has been so hard parenting her over the years. I knew from the day she was born that she was different than my son. Now that she is deep in the teenage years it is so FRUSTRATING. It’s like I am living with an alien most days. I really struggle with why she isn’t like a normal teenage girl. She doesn’t want a sweet 16 party, she doesn’t want to do fun things/trips. Ugh… I really think Sally’s book will be helpful to me. I would LOVE to hear her recommendations for how to navigate the teenage years!!

  2. Nicole H

    I’ve had a tab open on my computer since the day this came out, but I just finally listened to it. Thank you for your Christian insights and encouragement. They fit my family situation so well.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      I’m so thankful it was encouraging to you. Thank you for listening!

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