Parents of children with special needs face unique challenges. As a group of individuals who are always looking for ways to connect and find hope, books have become a great source of information for parents to find new information and relate to others on their journey. From inspirational stories to informative guides, parents of children with special needs can benefit from a multitude of books concerning the topic of raising special needs children. There are our top 5 book recommendations for parents of special needs individuals.
A Different Kind of Perfect is a collection of more than 50 writings from parents of children with disabilities which offers comforting advice and heartfelt wisdom. It’s no surprise that you’ll encounter difficulties while raising a child with disabilities, and this book helps parents find a sense of peace and comfort knowing they are not alone on their journey. A Different Kind of Perfect reveals the beauty of finding joy in the small things.
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Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon is a book that brings the universal and relatable topic of diversity to the surface by suggesting our differences can be a uniting factor in our everyday lives. From children with disabilities to those conceived through rape, this book discusses real topics that can isolate families and their children. Throughout Far From the Tree, the author dives into what it truly means to be accepting and tolerant of your own identity. As humans, everyone is unique and different. Far From the Tree explores the depths of what defines us as humans, despite all of our differences.
New York Times bestseller Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper is a work of fiction not based on any person’s actual experience, but as the mother of a young disabled woman, she can certainly relate to the many families have found comfort in the novel. For those who can relate to an inability to convey what their experience is like, Draper’s heroine is a source of familiarity in a world where there is a startling lack of art and fiction relatable for those with disabilities and their loved ones.
Now a bestselling book as well as a critically acclaimed film, A.J. Palacio’s Wonder is a heartwarming and moving journey that offers insight into the life of a young boy with distorted facial features attempting to navigate the landscape of middle school. While the work is purely fiction, those who have loved ones with disabilities can relate to the story and its charming characters.
The ABCs of Special Needs Planning by Bart Stevens is a helpful resource for any family with a special needs member. Bart Stevens offers real-world advice for families with individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, and you’ll find answers to questions you will likely face on your journey as a special needs parent, including how to talk to your child about the possibility of living on their own with special needs, planning for the day when you and your spouse are no longer available, financial planning for families with special needs, and more.
Rachel Simon's Riding the Bus with My Sister is a moving account of Rachel's experience with her sister, Beth, who was born with developmental disabilities. In their Pennsylvania town, Beth spends each day riding the city's public transit buses, meeting new friends, enjoying conversations with old ones, and making the world a better place one day at a time with her contagious joy and gumption. When Beth invites Rachel to join her, the result is an intensely moving experience which opens Rachel's eyes to her sister's biggest struggles and blessings. Readers will be moved by Rachel's touching account of life with a loved one who has a disability. Updated versions also include a reader's guide beneficial for book clubs and small group discussions. Once you've turned the last page, don't miss the Hallmark movie adaptation featuring directed by Anjelica Huston featuring Rosie O'Donnell and Andie McDowell as Rachel and Beth.
Untethered was written by Carolyn Cooper, the mother of a Baddour resident who knows first-hand what life is like as the parent of a special needs adult. While Carolyn realized soon after her son's birth that something was not quite right, an autism diagnosis in 1960s North Carolina was quite rare. Parents of special needs adults can relate to Carolyn's feelings of hopelessness as she searches for answers to help her understand Mark's world. While life with a special needs child is not something anyone ever plans or bargains for, Carolyn and Mark demonstrate that life can be rewarding and fulfilling even with a developmental disability. Readers will enjoy their journey from confusion and fear to courage and self-discovery.
Ron Suskind's Life Animated is an extraordinary tale of his son, Owen, who must learn to navigate life and childhood with autism. Readers can appreciate Suskind's honest thoughts on the struggle to connect and communicate with an autistic child. For parents of autistic children, Suskind is the voice of understanding you've been searching for as he reminds readers they are not alone in their attempts to make sense of a life with an autistic loved one.
You Will Dream New Dreams is a collection of personal stories written by real-life parents who have experienced the hardships and joys of living with a disabled child. You Will Dream New Dreams gives readers insight into what it’s like to live with children of different disabilities and how their struggles can affect those around them. Parents of children with life-changing illnesses and injuries will find encouragement throughout this book and learn to find hope in dreaming new dreams for their children because although life isn’t what they expected, it’s possible to find joy in the here and now.
At The Baddour Center, we work to provide parents of special needs children with the resources to continue finding joy and hope throughout their unique journey. We understand the hardships and difficulties that come with raising a child with special needs, but we know the rewarding joys that come with it as well. We're dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing community for individuals with disabilities so they can thrive and live their lives to the fullest. Contact us today to learn more about our facility and schedule a tour!