The majority of these books are picture books, with a few chapter books mixed in. You don't have to assume that your child is too old for them just because they usually read more complicated text. Even young teenagers can benefit from picture books (I promise).
Some categories are difficult to fill due to the spectral nature of the disability. Ideally a child would be exposed to more than one of the books.
- All Dogs Have ADHD by Kathy Hoopmann. Uses pictures and traits of dogs to draw a parallel with traits of individuals who have ADHD.
- Eukee the Jumpy Jumpy Elephant by Clifford L. Corman, M.D. A young elephant teaches kids what it's like to live with ADHD.
- Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos. A middle-grade chapter book puts the reader in the shoes of a boy with largely uncontrolled ADHD. (There are other books in this series, but they focus on topics other than the disorder.)
- All About my Brother by Sarah Peralta. An eight-year-old introduces her autistic brother.
- Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes by Jennifer Elder. A book for older children that describes many important people who lived with autism.
- I Love Being my Own Autistic Self by Landon Bryce. An upbeat book written by a self-advocate for autism.
- Fasten Your Seatbelt: A Crash Course on Down Syndrome for Brothers and Sisters by Brian Skotko. Gently explains the world of Down syndrome for older children and teenagers.
- My Friend Isabelle by Eliza Woloson. Isabelle and Charlie are very much alike, even though Isabelle has Down syndrome.
- Why Are You Looking at Me? I Just Have Down Syndrome by Lisa Tompkins. A simple book that explains how even though people with Down syndrome look different, they are just like everyone else.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- The Best I Can Be: Living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Effects by Liz and Jodee Kulp. A teenager and her mother explain what it's like to live with FAS.
- Forgetful Frankie, the World's Greatest Rock Skipper by Jill Bobula. Frankie explains that although it can be hard to live with FAS, it's something that one can work with.
- Looking out for Sarah by Glenna Lang. Sarah and Perry, her guide dog, go through a typical day together.
- Keep Your Ear on the Ball by Genevieve Patrillo. Davey wants to do everything himself, and he can - except play kickball, so his classmates find a way to help him.
- The Secret Code by Dana Rau. A boy teaches his classmate how to read Braille.
- Ceana Has CP by C. Fran Card. Ceana is easy for kids to relate to and helps show them the world of CP.
- Nathan's Wish: A Story About Cerebral Palsy by Laurie Lears. A moving story about a boy with CP who meets an injured bird.
- Rolling Along: The Story of Taylor and His Wheelchair by Jamee Heelan. Taylor has CP, and his twin brother does not, but both of them can still do many of the same things.
- Can You Hear a Rainbow?: The Story of a Deaf Boy Named Chris by Jamee Heelan. Chris explains what his life is like without hearing.
- Moses Goes to School by Isaac Millman. Takes readers through a day in the life of a boy who goes to deaf school. Includes how to sign phrases from the book on every page. (There are three other books in this series, and they are fantastic.)
- Some Kids are Deaf by Lola Schaefer. A book explaining in simple words how kids with hearing loss are different and the same from hearing kids.
- Becky the Brave: A Story About Epilepsy by Laurie Lears. Becky is always brave, until she has a seizure during class. Her sister, normally timid, takes on the task of standing up for her.
- I Have Epilepsy. It Doesn't Have Me by Jamie and Julie Bacigalupo. Jamie explains that even though she has epilepsy, she can still do great things.
- Mommy, I Feel Funny!: A Child's Experience with Epilepsy by Danielle Rocheford. A detailed book about being diagnosed with epilepsy.
HIV or AIDS
- Come Sit by Me by Margaret Merrifield. A sensitive book for kids about a friend who has AIDS.
- You Can Call me Willy: A Story for Children about AIDS by Joan Vernerio. Willy introduces AIDS and what it's like to be discriminated against.
- Katie CAN Do...and You CAN Too! by Katie Hull. Katie, a self-advocate, explains her disability in the hopes of inspiring others.
- SPINabilities: A Young Person's Guide to Spina Bifida by Marlene Lutkenhoff. A book for older children on spina bifida.
- What Can You Do?: Inspiring Kids to Play by Kevin Haring. A young girl explains to her neighbor all the ways they can have fun together despite the girl's spina bifida.
I am not affiliated with any of the writers listed here and I make no profit off the books recommended.