Especially for Kids
Please note: Being listed here is not per se an endorsement of any particular book, site or email list. I have included descriptions for those that I personally recommend.
The Positive Side of SED Classes by Michael (age
13). During a discussion on GT-Special, a teenager expressed concerns
about possibly getting an ED (Emotional Disorder) placement. In response,
What's in a Name? DBD Marketing used to be called DysGraphic by Design. "There is an interesting story behind the name DysGraphic by Design, LLC. The story begins with a young boy diagnosed with dyslexia, named Danny..."
As the World Sleeps, I Heal by Lorraine Steefel & Trisha Steefel is about a college sophomore who has been coping with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) since she was 12 years old.
The website http://www.people.memphis.edu/~cbburr/gold/index.htm has biographies of accomplished people with dyslexia, including Cher, Superbowl winner Neil Smith, Olympic gold medal winning diver Greg Louganis, inventor Thomas Edison, Whoopi Goldberg, explorer Ann Bancroft, writer Agatha Christie, Senator Paul Wellstone, and more.
"Self-advocacy is the ability to understand and effectively communicate one's
needs to other individuals. Learning to become an effective self-advocate is all
about educating the people around you. There are three steps to becoming an
effective self-advocate . . ."
Ten Tips for Talking to Teachers (reprinted here by permission), from the book, When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs, by Jim Delisle & Judy Galbraith.
Wrightslaw has a flyer with resources for making the transition to college,
with information on rights and responsibilities under Section 504, planning and
preparation, and keys to success
Warning: Please protect your privacy when you go online. Do not tell anyone your name, age, or where you live. Online friends can be a useful source of support and information but remember that you cannot be sure who you are talking to. Please read the information at http://www.ago.state.ma.us/pubs/intsafe.htm before going to chat rooms or joining email lists.
ActivTeen at Disability Central has bulletin boards and chat rooms.
LD Pride has a chat room that is open to kids as well as adults.
Learningandemotionaldisorders is a group for teens/young adults with
emotional and learning problems, run by a teen. Adults are welcome, too.
Topics discussed include but are not limited to dyspraxia, ADHD, bipolar,
depression, anxiety, chronic illnesses, NLD, dyslexia, autism spectrum
disorders, executive function deficits, and all kinds of learning disabilities.
Discussion of giftedness is also welcome.
ActivTeen at Disability Central has an ezine, game room, resource links, and
The Hello Friend section of the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation
website has stories by kids with special needs and tips for students. The
foundation was created in memory of Bill Cosby's son Ennis, who had learning
LD Online has a KidZone at
Our Education - students from high schools and
colleges around the country can gather to
talk about their schools,
learn about and discuss
education reforms, and
demand attention from policy makers nationwide. In addition,
students can read and
contribute articles to Our Education the magazine, a quarterly
publication that is available in hard copy through
site aims to serve as a comprehensive clearinghouse for the student voice in
Raven Days: Schools should truly be safe for all their students. Someday
perhaps they will be. But as long as they are not, there need to be places where
current and former outsiders can gather, for support in dealing with the status
quo, and for help in changing it. That is why Raven Days was created.
SparkTop.org is a website for kids from Schwab Learning, founded by Charles
Schwab (yes, the one with the investment company - he and his son have
dyslexia). Requires Flash to work.
On a different note, many gifted/special needs kids have had good experiences
in the Civil Air Patrol's Cadet Program for kids in 6th grade through 21 years
Neither a book nor magazine, but I had to include it here - web cartoon "Ozy & Millie" is favored reading material in our household.
Uncovering the Mysteries of Your Learning Disability by Scott Crouse.
Books about special needs
Asperger's Huh? A Child's Perspective by Rosina Schnurr & John Strachan. Anisor Publishing.
Asperger's: What Does It Mean to Me? by Catherine Faherty. Future Horizons. I highly recommend this workbook for elementary school kids. It's meant to be done with parents and teachers, and has very useful suggestions and insights for the adults in a child's life. It's also unusually sensitive to a wide variety of family types and school settings (including homeschooling).
Eli, the Boy Who Hated to Write: Understanding Dysgraphia by Regina Richards and Eli Richards. RET Center Press. This book, written by a mother and son, is aimed at elementary and middle school students and presents a student's experience of dysgraphia.
Fighting Invisible Tigers : A Stress Management Guide for Teens by Earl Hipp. Free Spirit Publishing.
Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adloexcence by Luke Jackson, forward by Tony Attwood. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Written by a 13 year old boy with Asperger Syndrome, this book is written for kids with AS, their parents, teachers, and friends.
How Rude!: The Teenagers' Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People Out by Alex Packer. Free Spirit Press. Useful for explaining social conventions and behavior to kids with NLD, Asperger Syndrome, etc.
Jarvis Clutch: Social Spy by Mel Levine. Educators Pub Service. Advice on understanding the middle school social world.
Keeping a Head in School : A Student's Book About Learning Abilities and
Learning Disorders (for children ages 11 and up)
Learning Outside the Lines: Two Ivy League Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD Give You the Tools for Academic Success and Educational Revolution, by Jonathan Mooney & David Cole. Simon & Schuster Trade Paperbacks. This wonderful book is by two recent graduates of Brown University, both of whom struggled through school (one dropping out for years) – both clearly gifted/special needs. They are also the founders of a program linking special needs college students with grade school students, as mentors. Aimed at students, it is a must-read for parents and teachers as well.
Many Ways to Learn: Young People's Guide to Learning Disabilities by Judith Stern & Uzi Ben-Ami. Magination.
Putting on the Brakes : Young People's Guide to Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Patricia O. Quinn & Judith M. Stern. Magination.
Special Siblings: Growing Up With Someone With a Disability by Mary McHugh. Paul H. Brookes Pub Co. A sensitive, thoughtful book, written by someone who grew up as a "special sibling".
The Survival Guide for Kids With Ld: Learning Differences by Gary L. Fisher
& Rhoda Woods Cumming.
Views from Our Shoes : Growing Up With a Brother or Sister With Special Needs edited by Donald Meyer. Woodbine House. It can be difficult having a special needs sibling. This book can lesson the isolation, as well as helping parents understand what it's like for their children.
When Nothing Matters Anymore : A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens by Beverly Cobain. Free Spirit Publishing.
Books with special needs characters
Blue Bottle Mystery : An Asperger's Adventure, Of Mice and Aliens: An Asperger Adventure, and Lisa and the Lacemaker: An Asperger Adventure, all by Kathy Hoopmann. Jessica Kingsley Pub. A series of stories featuring children with Asperger Syndrome.
Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer Hesser. Laureleaf. Drawing on her personal experience with OCD, Hesser has written a compelling story about a girl whose obsessions and compulsions due to undiagnosed OCD are controlling her life and upsetting her family, and how she finally gets diagnosed and helped.
Little by Little : A Writer's Education by Jean Little, Puffin, is the memoir of the visually impaired author's childhood. Little has written many other wonderful books that have characters with special needs. Although many of her other books are out of print, they are worth a trip to the library.
The Same Difference by Deborah Lynn Jacobs, Royal Fireworks Press, is about a high school girl whose twin sister is autistic.
Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco, Philomel Books, is the autobiographical story of the author's childhood as a girl who is artistically gifted but has not been able to learn to read. Her 5th grade teacher recognizes that she is dyslexic and gets her the help that she needs.
The Wrong Side of the Pattern by Kristin Embry Litchman, Royal Fireworks Press, is about a gifted/dyslexic high school girl.
Colleges with Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorders: More Than 750 College Programs in the U.S. and Canada for Special-Needs Students. by Peterson's Guides (Editor), Stephen S. Strichart (Editor), Charles T., II Mangrum (Editor). Peterson’s Guides.
Learning a Living : A Guide to Planning Your Career and Finding a Job for People With Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Dyslexia by Dale S. Brown. Woodbine House. To read excerpts from this book, go to http://www.ldonline.org/ld_indepth/adult/job_in_college.html.
Unlocking Potential : College and Other Choices for People With LD and AD/HD by Juliana M. Taymans (Editor), Lynda L. West (Editor), Madeline Sullivan (Contributor). Woodbine House.
provides information for parents, children and adults with Attention Deficit
Disorder. Topics include ADHD ADD Coaching, special education and family
Please let me know of any site, lists, or books that you want me to add to this page, or any suggestions you have. You can email me at
"Children require guidance and sympathy far more than
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Meredith G. Warshaw