Friday, February 7, 2014

Books for Explaining Disability to Children

One of the obstacles a family might face when bringing home a child with a disability is how to explain the disability to the children already at home. Whether they're young or a bit older, books are a great way to present the subject, but it can be difficult to find ones that present the condition in a positive light. This is, therefore, a hand-picked list of books for siblings who are expecting (or have) a brother or sister with a disability. It is not all-inclusive, but I have done my best to represent as many categories as possible.

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.

Intellectual Disabilities

  • 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.)
Down Syndrome
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Physical Disabilities

  • 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.
Cerebral Palsy
Spina Bifida
I am not affiliated with any of the writers listed here and I make no profit off the books recommended.

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