Children’s Books

A Friend Like Simon, by Kate Gaynor – When an autistic child joins a mainstream class, children can find it difficult to understand a child who is somewhat different from them. This story encourages children to be mindful, patient and appreciate the differences.

ABC for You and Me, by Meg Girnis — The ABC’s featuring children who have disabilities.

Accept and Value Each Person, by Cherie Mieners – Accepting and valuing people and groups who different from oneself and one’s immediate family is an important social skill. The book focuses on respecting differences, being inclusive, and appreciating others the way they are.

ADH – Me!, by John Hutton – Dr Hutton is a pediatrician and health literacy expert who has written this empathetic story from the perspective of a child learning to live and succeed with ADHD.

All cats have Asperger syndrome, by Kathy Hoopmann — Touching, humorous and insightful descriptions and colorful photographs provide an accurate balance between the qualities and difficulties associated with having Asperger Syndrome.

All dogs have ADHD, by Kathy Hoopmann — This book takes an inspiring and affectionate look at ADHD using images and ideas from the dog world to look at signs of ADHD in children, such as being restless or impulsive.

Arnie and His School Tools: Simple Sensory Solutions That Build Success, by Jennifer Veenendall — Helps others understand a child with sensory processing difficulties and their day-to-day challenges.

Armond Goes to a Party, by Nancy Carlson — Armond does not want to go to a birthday party because parties are noisy, disorganized and smelly, and he will have to socialize with other kids, something difficult for a child with Asperger Syndrome. Although the party was not easy, he feels good that he faced the challenge and was a good friend.

Autism and Me: Sibling Stories, by Ouisie Shaprio — Besides explaining autism, works on the topics of respecting others and preventing bullying.

Brand New Kid, by Katie Couric – This sensitive book helps children see the effect of teasing on a new child in school while it gives ways to help children who feel left out.

Clara and Davie, by Patricia Polacco – As a young child, Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross struggles with a speech impediment and bulling. Her older brother, Davie becomes her protector.

Dad and Me in the Morning, by Patricia Lakin — A morning is shared by a young boy with a hearing impairment and his father.

Don’t Call Me Special, by Pat Thomas — Picture book explores questions and concerns about physical disabilities in a simple and reassuring way.

Empathy is My Superpower, by Brian Smith – Amelia puts her empathy to good use helping others. This book also includes tips to help parents and teachers foster empathy in every child.

Friends at School, by Rochelle Bunnett — Children with different abilities work together at school.

The Handmade Alphabet, by Laura Rankin — American Sign Language.

Hanni and Beth: Safe and Sound, by Beth Finke — Written from the point of view of Hanni, a Seeing Eye dog.

How to Talk to an Autistic Kid, by Daniel Stefanski – A 14-year-old with autism helps readers understand why autistic kids act the way they do and offers specific suggestions through personal stories and supportive advice on how to get along with each other.

I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autism, by Pat Thomas — The book helps children understand what autism is and how it affects someone who has it.  The storyline is simple and easily understood by younger children who will learn that exploring their personal feelings around social issues is a first step in dealing with them.

In Blue’s Shoes, by Cynthia Thoreson-Arnold and Laurie Brownell – A super hero service dog named Blue befriends an elf named Ellie. Their adventures will teach children about service animals.

It’s OK to Be Me, by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos — This story lets children know that it’s Ok to be a little scared about things that seem hard to do, but whatever the challenge, determination, and practice can get them through.  The book is seen through the eyes of a child who uses a wheelchair, and it includes an advice section for adults.

Kami and the Yaks, by Andrea Stenn Stryer — Adventure of a Sherpa child with a hearing loss.

Keep Your Ear on the Ball, by Genevieve Petrillo — A class works together to accommodate their classmate who has a visual disability.

Let’s Talk About It: Extraordinary Friends, by Fred Rogers — Challenges stereotypes about children who have disabilities and celebrates their wonderful friendships with their peers.

Let’s Visit Mayo Clinic with Dr. Jack the Helping Dog, by Matthew D. Dacy — Essays at end of the book feature pets used in healing.

MaMa Zooms, by Jane Cowen-Fletcher — A mother takes her son zooming with her because her wheelchair is a zooming machine.

My Brother Charlie, by Holly and Ryan Peete — The story is told from a sister’s viewpoint of her twin brother who has autism. The book focuses on togetherness, hope, tolerance, and love.

My Brother is Autistic, by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos — This book describes some of the realities that children with autism and their siblings experience every day.  It encourages all children to learn patience, understanding, and tolerance when being with a friend who has autism.

My Brother Sammy, by Becky Edwards and David Armitage – This book portrays life with an autistic child in a family. It does not promise any simple solutions, but reminds all that understanding and compromise are vital in good relationships.

My Friend has Down Syndrome, by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos — This is a reassuring story about two children, one with Down syndrome and one without. They learn that they are both good at different things and that they can help each other get past their fears and difficulties.

My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay, by Cari Best — Zulay and her three best friends are first graders, and they study the same things, even though Zulay is blind. When she wants to run a race on the school Field Day, her friends and a special aide find a way to make it possible.

Nick meets the Man in the Wheelchair, by Rich Noll — The man who uses a wheelchair explains why he needs to use it and how he uses other adaptations to participate in sports.

Rolling Along: The Story of Taylor and His Wheelchair, by Jamee Heelan — Challenges for a child who has cerebral palsy and the new wheelchair that helps him join his twin in activities at school.

Say Something, by Katie Moss – A child discovers that she can prevent bullying in her school by not continuing to be the silent bystander. Resources at the end of the book will help parents and children talk about teasing and bullying and find ways to stop it at school.

Thank You, Mr Falker by Patricia Polacco – This is a real-life, classic story of a girl with dyslexia and the teacher who helps her.

The Making of My Special Hand, by Jamee Heelan — This is a true story of a small girl who was born without her left hand and the medical team that worked with her and her family to make and fit her prosthesis. The technology has advanced since this book was written, but the general concepts of a caring medical team and family, activities she can do once she has a helper’s hand, and the need to update her prosthesis as she grows older are still important.

The Storm, by Marc Harshman — Child who uses a wheelchair leads his horses to safety when a tornado strikes his family farm.

Understanding Sam and Asperger’s Syndrome, by Clarabelle van Niekerk and Liezl Venter — Includes tips geared toward children, showing them how to respect and accept differences as well as how to interact with a classmate or friend who has Asperger Syndrome.

Victoria’s Day, by Maria de Fatima Campos — Life of a preschooler who has Down Syndrome.


Adult Books

Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability, and Inclusion by Mark Pinsky shares stories of how people with a wide range of obvious and non-apparent disabilities have experienced their faith in welcoming congregations, and how congregations have gained when they value the gifts that people with disabilities bring to them.

A Disability History of the United States by Kim Nielsen covers disability history in the United States from pre-1492 to the present by looking at the overall topic through mass movements such as slavery, immigration practices, gender discrimination, and activism for disability rights.

Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon looks at how families become closer through caring for a child with challenges, how they find supportive communities with families facing similar needs, and how some are inspired to become advocates and activists for families and individuals.

Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities by Erik Carter is a practical guidebook which focuses on welcoming individuals with disabilities and their families, fostering inclusion throughout the congregation, breaking down attitudinal and architectural barriers, developing an inclusive religious education program, and meeting spiritual needs of people who have disabilities.

The Pocket Dictionary of Signing by Rod Butterworth and Mickey Flodin is a simple alphabetized pocket guide to American Sign Language with 600 signing entries with the most commonly used phrases, separate sections on numbers, letters, word endings and fingerspelling, sample sentences, and memory aids to form the signs.

In Vulnerable Communion by Thomas Reynolds is a theologically themed book based on his church-related experience for his child who has a disability. It is particularly a work for theologians, ethicists, and clergy that examine our assumptions about human and divine power. Reviewers focus on the concept of being human and Christian as not just accepting people with disabilities and our own vulnerability, but in understanding that the vulnerable and compassionate God is in all of us.

Waist-High in the World by Nancy Mairs weaves together her tough realistic portrait of how multiple sclerosis has affected her life, her work, and her spirit. She discusses what it is like to feel dependent on others for her care and how her fears and guilt about being dependent affect her. Nancy focuses on a need to change human attitudes and societal space as people with disabilities lead longer lives.

Welcoming Children with Special Needs by Sally Patton is a tool presented by the UUA to help communities be more welcoming and inclusive of all members of our families. The research in special education as of 2004 is presented as are helpful strategies for classrooms and services.

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Beacon Press is an American non-profit book publisher. Founded in 1854 by the American Unitarian Association, it is currently a department of the UUA.