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About the Author

Melanie Dimmitt is an Australian journalist who has written for publications including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Collective Hub magazine, Broadsheet, The Tot and Mama Disrupt magazine, and has created content for Smack Bang Designs and You & Co Media. A Perth native, who has also lived in Melbourne and London, Melanie currently lives in Sydney with her partner and two young children. Special - a candid companion for parents who are coming to terms with their child's disability - is her first published book.


'Special is so beautifully written, touching, helpful and insightful. I wish, wish, wish I had it ten years ago! If I had known the joy and happiness being a special-needs mother would bring, my blanket of suffering would have been lifted. It's going to be a lifesaver for special-needs parents.' ONDINE SHERMAN 'Raw, brave and compelling. This book airs a parent's most guilt-riddled thoughts and then turns them on their head.' MIA FREEDMAN'Bold, honest, sometimes funny and always illuminating without being didactic, Special will shatter your heart and put it back together again. This book will do much good in the world.' LEE KOFMAN 'Melanie captures both the high highs and the low lows of raising a child with special needs, in a book that delivers equal doses of relief and hope sandwiched in amongst one big reality shock. Special is slap-in-the-face honesty at its absolute best - it will open you up to explore all corners of your emotions.' PAUL POZZOBON Managing Director of NAPA Centre'This beautifully and skilfully written book shares the raw and honest emotions in raising a child with disability from parents across the globe. Written with humour and a light-hearted approach, Special explores many concepts from diagnosis to relationships and community. This exceptional book is a must read for all special-needs parents.' EMMA PRICE CEO of Source Kids'Melanie captures parents' perspectives of raising a child with different needs like no other book has done before. There should be more books like this to help parents in the early years, when for many of us every day feels like we are in a fog we can't escape. There are so many positives to parenting our children but we can't always see them at the start of our journey and as Melanie says, "that is okay". Every child tells their own story; we shouldn't put limits on them, but embrace every child for who they are, love them and cherish them.' HEATHER RENTON Founder and Executive Officer of Syndromes Without A Name (SWAN) Australia'I am a therapist with over 40 years experience and this is the first book of its kind that I have read. It will make a great addition to the arsenal of tools that we use to help parents through the haze of a new diagnosis.' DEBRA EVANS Director of Therapies for Kids'Special is an honest, beautifully written and realistic account of the important issues that preoccupy the minds of families. This incredibly hopeful book combines the experiences of families with the latest evidence in positive psychology into a compelling message. It provides the reassurance and guidance that I needed when I was in this situation almost three decades ago, and so I believe this book is essential for those who have found themselves on this unexpected pathway.' SYLVANA MAHMIC CEO of Plumtree Children's Services'Special shares authentic, frank and emotional perspectives that will surely resonate with many new parents to children with disabilities. Beyond the openness and candor, this book builds into a positive, practical and optimistic story of hope and validation that gives the rest of us a glimpse into, as Melanie puts it, "the love, joy and total, transformative awesomeness of parenting a child with disability"'. JORDAN O'REILLY Co-founder and CEO of Hireup

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