Uniquely Gifted

Search Now:
Amazon Logo


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.

Personal stories

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, another
listmember posted the following note from her son, who attends an SED school (shared with permission).

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.

Advocacy Articles

"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 . . ."
Self-Advocacy: Know Yourself, Know What You Need, Know How to Get It by Nancy Johnson

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.

LD Online has a Students Guide to the IEP available to read at
http://www.ldonline.org/kidzone/speak_up/iep_guide.html or to listen to at http://www.ldonline.org/kidzone/kid_listen.html

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

Email lists/chat rooms/bulletin boards

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.

Dyslexic Teens

LD Pride has a chat room that is open to teens 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.

The ocdteen list is sponsored by the Obsessive Compulsive and Spectrum Disorders Association (OCSDA).  It is open to teens and young adults with OCD (pre-teens ages 10 to 13 are welcome with parental supervision). The list has 2 "safe parents", a "safe Teen", and a Dr. for assistance. The Teen OCD webpage is located at http://www.angelfire.com/il/TeenOCD. To subscribe, send a blank email to ocdteen-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

The spk2wrt listserv is a moderated discussion forum for students or adults who have used speech recognition technology themselves or with secondary students with disabilities.


ActivTeen at Disability Central has an ezine, game room, resource links, and more.

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 differences.

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 subscription. This site aims to serve as a comprehensive clearinghouse for the student voice in education reform.

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 old.

Hoagies Gifted Education page has a section for kids and teens at


LD Online has an extensive section on post-secondary education. Topics include: Transition, Success Strategies, Selected Publications, Planning & Selection, For Advisors, Online Resources, Community Colleges, Financial Assistance, For Discussion, Self-Advocacy, Technology.

HEATH has information on transitioning to college, finding financial aid, transition programs, etc. at

For SAT exams, having an IEP or 504 does not necessarily guarantee that a student is eligible for testing accommodations. (If they're not already getting such accommodations in high school, they won't be able to get them for the SAT). Here are two addresses for that information from the College Boards:

For similar information for the ACT exams, go to 

Santa Barbara City College's Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSPS) website on learning is a nice site for and by college kids with learning disabilities.

The article "Section 504 and Postsecondary Education" at the PACER Center (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) site has useful information on the legal protections available to college students with special needs.

A brochure about transitioning from high school to college is available online: "Ladders to Success: A Student's Guide to School After High School". It prints out to 67 pages and is an Acrobat file that can take a very long time to load (and the first page starts low on the screen, so it can look like nothing is 
there). It's well worth printing the whole thing out and using selected pages as part of your child's IEP or transition plan.

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
http://www.wrightslaw.com/flyers/college.504.pdf (PDF, requires Adobe Reader)

The Center for Learning Disabilities has an Infosheet
College Opportunities for Students with Learning Disabilities

Most colleges have information on their websites concerning disability services.  It's worth checking out for any college where you are considering applying.

For those who did not finish high school, LD Online has an article on taking the GED exam to get a high school equivalency at

Financial Aid

The National Gifted Children's Fund assists profoundly gifted youth with the educational materials to enhance their education. NGCF provides aid to individuals, not organizations, based on financial and academic needs. The NGCF provides direct assistance in the form of tuition, tutorial fees, computers, software, musical instruments, books, science equipment, curriculum, testing, as well as other individual educational needs specific to each applicant. The NGCF will not make cash contributions to any applicant.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) is seeking applicants for the Anne Ford Scholarship, which is available to students of high merit in public or private secondary schools with an identified learning disability (LD). Financial need will be strongly considered. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply. Only U.S. citizens are eligible. Applications are due January 31.

HEATH has a resource guide, Creating Options: A Resource on Financial Aid for Students With Disabilities (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

About.com's ADD site has some information on scholarship opportunities at


Neither a book nor magazine, but I had to include it here - web cartoon "Ozy & Millie" is favored reading material in our household.

I enjoy reading This is True - Randy Cassingham's weekly compendium of bizarre-but-true news items.  This is True also has two sister publications - Heroic Stories and The True Stella Awards.

I've also made a page of my son's and my favorite books for kids/young adults - I hope you have as much fun browsing it as I had creating it!


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)
All Kinds of Minds : A Young Student's Book About Learning Abilities and Learning Disorders (for children under 11 years old)
both by Mel Levine. Educators Pub Service. Many people appreciate Dr. Levine's approach to children with learning differences, and his way of explaining them to kids.

The video, "How Difficult Can This Be?:  The F.A.T. City Workshop" by Rick Lavoie.  The description from the website says it all:  "For kids with learning disabilities, the classroom can be an intimidating place. In this workshop, Richard Lavoie shows why. He leads a group of parents, educators, psychologists, and children through a series of exercises that cause Frustration, Anxiety, and Tension...feelings all too familiar to children with learning disabilities. By dramatizing the classroom experience so vividly, Lavoie lets us see the world through the eyes of a child. At the end of the workshop, participants discuss strategies for working more effectively with learning disabled children."
Click here to see a video clip.

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.

My Thirteenth Winter : A Memoir by Samantha Abeel is an amazing account by a gifted young woman with dyslexia and severe dyscalculia. A beautifully written look from the inside, by a talented writer, this is a must-read for parents, teachers, and kids with LDs. Ms. Abeel also wrote and published a poetry book, Reach for the Moon, when she was 13 years old.

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.
The School Survival Guide for Kids With LD by Rhoda Woods Cumming, Gary L. Fisher, Pamela Espeland. Free Spirit Press. 
Click here to read the section "The Law and Your Rights".

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.

College (and High School)/Career

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.

The Teenagers' Guide to School Outside the Box by Rebecca Greene. Less radical than the Teenage Liberation Handbook, and geared towards students still in high school, this book discusses volunteering, internships, apprenticeships, study abroad, etc. as ways to broaden the school experience.

The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn.  Radical unschooling for teens.

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.

Plus, two books not specifically aimed at kids with special needs which provide a useful perspective and alternative point of view:

Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming, and Just Plain Different by by Donald Asher
Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools You Should Know About Even If You're Not a Straight-A Student by Loren Pope.


ADDitude magazine provides information for parents, children and adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. Topics include ADHD ADD Coaching, special education and family support.

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

Last updated Friday October 06, 2006

"Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction."
       ~ Anne Sullivan (Helen Keller's Teacher)

– Table of Contents –

Site copyright 2000-2005, Meredith G. Warshaw
Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page.  Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than Meredith Warshaw must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted.  To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission.  Request permissions from Meredith Warshaw.
This policy is adapted with permission from ACM.