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  • Endeavour

The Cracks that Let the Light In: What I learned from my disabled son

Jessica Moxham

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Memoirs, Coping with disability, Advice on parenting, Child care & upbringing, Self-help & personal development

A life-affirming story of a mother's experience raising her disabled son and what it means to be seen as different.


'A powerful, moving and inspiring story - it opens up a whole new world of understanding.'
Esther Freud

'This is wonderful. I urge you to read it. It is life enhancing and I defy you not to fall in love with Ben!' Natasha Poliszczuk, Books Editor, YOU Magazine

'An honest and unflinching account of Jessica's journey as the mother of a child born with complex needs. Essential reading... and a source of solace for those who may find themselves on a similar path.' Leah Hazard, author of Hard Pushed: A Midwife's Story

'Jessica's beautiful words gave me a deeper understanding about embracing disability. I am inspired and will be recommending this book to parents as a testament to following your parenting instincts.' Arabella Carter-Johnson, author of Iris Grace

'A gripping and vital insight into the lives of families trying to thrive in bureaucratic systems that all too often add to the challenges of providing disabled children with basic care and human rights. Impossible to put down.' Hannah Barham-Brown, deputy leader of the Women's Equality Party

'Rooted in love and is a moving story about the transformative power of adapting, practically and emotionally to changing circumstances. As a disabled adult, it was a joy to join the parent of a disabled child as they embrace Disability Culture and allyship.' Jess Thom, Touretteshero

A courageous, heartrending story of grief, love and ultimately hope.' The Sun, 5 star review


Jessica thought she was prepared for the experience of motherhood. Armed with advice from friends and family, parenting books and antenatal classes, she felt ready.

After giving birth, she found herself facing a different, more uncertain reality. Her son, Ben, was fighting to stay alive.

Jessica shares her journey raising Ben. His disability means he will never be able to move or communicate without assistance. Jessica has to learn how to feed Ben when he can't eat, wrestle with red tape to secure his education and defend his basic rights in the face of discrimination. But the act of reading to Ben enriches both their lives and brings them joy.

As Ben begins to thrive, alongside his two younger siblings, Jessica finds that caring for a child with unique needs teaches her about appreciating difference and doing things your own way.

This uplifting story is about the power of family love, finding inner strength and, above all, hope.

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Jessica Moxham

Jessica Moxham is a writer with interest in the areas of parenting and disability. Her eldest son, Ben, is severely disabled, and she writes a blog discussing how she and her family support him with - and learn from - his disability. Her blog is read by parents, health professionals and educators, among others.

Jessica has given lectures to health professionals on her family's experience, from students to more than 100 doctors at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. She has been interviewed on BBC R4 Woman's Hour, R5 Live, Times Radio and Talk Radio Badass. Her work has appeared in Mail on Sunday's You Magazine, Good Housekeeping, the Guardian, the Scottish Herald and Irish Independent.

Jessica is also a qualified architect and has worked in London and the Middle East. She now lives in London with her husband and three children, in the house she redesigned to suit Ben. Blog: Instagram: @jessmoxham.

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