Uniquely Gifted

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Useful Books


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Note: Some of these books may currently be out of print, but available in your local library. Most of the books on this page link to Amazon.com - buying through these links helps defray the cost of running this website.  For used or out-of-print books, Abebooks is a useful resource and also helps support this site.  Another useful site that can often find books not available elsewhere is BookFinder.com.   I have not read all of the books listed here - only those with specific comments; many of these books have been recommended by people I know.  Books are mostly arranged alphabetically within categories.  It was sometimes hard to decide which category to put a given book in, so you may wish to browse multiple categories.

Contents

 

General Information/Overviews

Uniquely Gifted: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of the Twice-Exceptional Student, edited by Kiesa Kay, is an excellent resource (disclosure: I have a chapter on internet resources in the book). This book contains chapters from parents, teachers, researchers and administrators.

Crossover Children: A Sourcebook for Helping Children Who Are Gifted and Learning Disabled by Marlene Bireley.

Different Minds: Gifted Children With AD/HD, Asperger Syndrome, and Other Learning Deficits by Deirdre Lovecky. I'm very excited about this new book - I just got my copy and am avidly reading it. Dr. Lovecky knows our kids like no one else.  This book is filled with well documented information on gifted kids, ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, and how these syndromes look different in gifted children.  Lots of references. It is a dense book, because it is so full of info and research findings, and very worth the time and effort to read.  Definitely a "must buy" for anyone parenting or working with gifted children with AD/HD and/or Asperger Syndrome.

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, "Chronically Inflexible" Children by Ross Greene.  Badly titled, but excellent book.

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.

Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka Another useful book from Kurcinka, especially for those families where parents as well as children are "spirited."

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.  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.

The Myth of Laziness by Mel Levine.

The Pretenders: Gifted People Who Have Difficulty Learning by Barbara Guyer.

Sleep Better!: A Guide to Improving Sleep for Children with Special Needs by V. Mark Durand.  Well written, with helpful advice from a research psychologist who speaks from personal experience as well as theoretical knowledge.

The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know?, edited by Maureen Neihart.

Special Educator's Complete Guide to 109 Diagnostic Tests by Roger Pierangelo & George Giuliani. A useful guide to special education testing, with brief descriptions of a wide variety of tests, including strengths and weaknesses of the tests.

Special Siblings: Growing Up With Someone With a Disability by Mary McHugh. A sensitive, thoughtful book, written by someone who grew up as a "special sibling".

To be Gifted & Learning Disabled: From Identification to Practical Intervention Strategies, Susan M. Baum, Steve V. Owen, John Dixon.

Understanding Your Special Needs Grandchild by Clare Jones. Includes information on conditions including learning disabilities, ADHD, Asperger's syndrome, autism, Tourette's disorder, speech and learning delays, and emotional and behavioral problems.

A User's Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain by John Ratey. For those of us dealing with special needs children, this guide to the current understanding of how the brain works provides valuable information.

Treatment/Medication

Please note:  Listing books here is not an endorsement of any particular treatment modality.

Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior: A Four-Step Self-Treatment Method to Change Your Brain Chemistry by Beverly Beyette & Jeffrey Schwartz.

A Guide to Treatments That Work edited by Peter Nathan and Jack Gorman. An edited collection of articles by psychiatrist and psychologists about both psychopharmacological and psychosocial treatments, including information about research evidence of efficacy.  Unusual in its scope and in the mode of collaboration between psychology and psychiatry, this is an impressive achievement; its worth reading just for the final chapter, which contains Martin Seligman's cogent analysis of the problems facing treatment research.

It's Nobody's Fault: New Hope and Help for Difficult Children and Their Parents by Harold Koplewicz.  This book discusses diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis for ADD, OCD, separation anxiety, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, enuresis/bedwetting, Tourette Syndrome, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, eating disorders, conduct disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.

Ready, Set, Relax : A Research-Based Program of Relaxation, Learning and Self-Esteem for Children by Jeffrey Allen and Roger Klein.

Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids: From a Leading Authority, an Essential Guide by Timothy Wilens. A very good guide for anyone trying to decide whether or not to use medications for their child, including discussions of side-effects, trying new medication regiments, and psychotherapy.

A Symphony in the Brain: The Evolution of the New Brain Wave Biofeedback by Jim Robbins.

Two books by Arthur Freeman that teach people Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques to help deal with depression and anxiety -
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda : Overcoming Regrets, Mistakes, and Missed Opportunities 
and
10 Dumbest Mistakes Smart People Make and How To Avoid Them : Simple and Sure Techniques for Gaining Greater Control of Your Life

In the Classroom

Answers to Questions Teachers Ask About Sensory Integration by Carol Stock Kranowitz, Deanna Iris Sava, Elizabeth Haber, Lynn Balzer-Martin, & Stacey Szklut.

Asperger's: What Does It Mean to Me? by Catherine Faherty. 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.  Each chapter has a section for teachers and parents that should prove extremely helpful to teachers seeking to understand and better manage kids with autism spectrum disorders.

Asperger Syndrome: A Practical Guide for Teachers (Resource Materials for Teachers) by Val Cumine, Julia Leach, Gill Stevenson, Burnley Stevenson.

Assessment and Management of Central Auditory Processing Disorders in the Educational Setting: From Science to Practice by Teri James Bellis.

The Bully Free Classroom: Over 100 Tips and Strategies for Teachers K-8 by Allan L. Beane.

Childhood Bullying and Teasing: What School Personnel, Other Professionals, and Parents Can Do, Dorothea M. Ross, Ph.D.

Educational Care a System for Understanding and Helping Children with Learning Problems at Home and in School by Mel Levine.  Dr. Levine uses what he refers to as a "phenomenological" model - that is, he concentrates on the particular tasks that a child has trouble with (processing, memory, attention, etc.) rather than labels. He clearly spells out the importance of various tasks, where problems with them cause difficulties in school, and how to help children both at home and in the classroom.

Helping Adolescents with ADHD & Learning Disabilities: Ready-to-Use Tips, Techniques, and Checklists for School Success by Judith Greenbaum & Geraldine Markel.   This thorough, well-written book by two experts on special education provides practical advice and explanations.  Includes a chapter on gifted/special needs children.

How to Reach and Teach ADD/ADHD Children by Sandra F. Rief.   Written with understanding and compassion, a very good book, although I don't agree with everything she suggests.

Never Too Late to Read: Language Skills for the Adolescent with Dyslexia by Ann Cashwell Tuley.

The Power of the Arts: Creative Strategies for Teaching Exceptional Learners by Sally Smith, founder of the Lab School in Washington D.C.

The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know? edited by Maureen Neihart, Sally M. Reis, Nancy M. Robinson & Sidney M. Moon.

Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind: A Guide to Right Brain/Left Brain Education (Touchstone Book) by Linda Verlee Williams.

Two wonderful books by Susan Winebrenner (I actually found that the book on learning differences was as helpful for giftedness as the one purely aimed towards gifted kids):
Teaching Kids With Learning Difficulties in the Regular Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use to Challenge and Motivate Struggling Students by Susan Winebrenner, Pamela Espeland (Editor).
         and
Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use to Meet the Academic Needs of the Gifted and Talented (Revised and Updated Edition) by Susan Winebrenner, Pamela Espeland (Editor).

Teaching Teens With ADD and ADHD: A Quick Reference Guide for Teachers and Parents by Chris A. Zeigler Dendy.  An excellent book by someone who really understands the needs of kids with AD/HD.

Teaching the Tiger: A Handbook for Individuals Involved in the Education of Students with Attention Deficit Disorders, Tourette Syndrome or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder  by Marilyn P. Dornbush & Sheryl K. Pruitt. A reference book for parents and educators of students with Tourette Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, and/or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, describing how these disorders affect students on all levels - cognitive, behavioral, emotional - and providing practical suggestions.

Unicorns Are Real : A Right-Brained Approach to Learning by Barbara Meister Vitale. Provides helpful suggestions for working with children with "right-brained" learning styles.

When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs by Jim Delisle & Judy Galbraith.  Insightful discussion of an often neglected side of gifted children.  Aimed at teachers, but also excellent for other professionals and parents.

You Can't Say You Can't Play by Vivian Gussin Paley.  A touching first-hand account of a MacArthur Prize winning teacher's journey to find a way to keep children from being excluded in her classroom.  Her investigation of and implementation of the simple rule "You can't say you can't play" has important implications for school culture and the emotional health of our children.

Special Education Law/Advocacy

Autism, Advocates and Law Enforcement Professionals: Recognizing and Reducing Risk Situations for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Dennis Debbaudt.  Debbaudt is a licensed private investigator and father of a child with autism.

Better IEPs: How to Develop Legally Correct and Educationally Useful Programs by Barbara D. Bateman and Mary Anne Linden.  Another guide, focusing on the individual needs of the child, with examples of IEPs.

The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child by Attorney Lawrence Siegal & Marcia Stewart (editor). A detailed guide to the nitty-gritty details of navigating the IEP process.

The Disability Resource Library is a comprehensive electronic reference of disability laws, guidelines, reports and more.

Free Appropriate Public Education: The Law and Children With Disabilities by H. Rutherford Turnbull III & Ann Turnbull.

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William Ury & Bruce Patton
         and
Getting Past No: Negotiating Your Way from Confrontation to Cooperation by William Ury are two very useful books that teach constructive ways of negotiating with schools, our kids, and every other life situation.

How To Compromise With Your School District Without Compromising Your Child: A Field Guide For Getting Effective Services For Children With Special Needs by Gary Mayerson is a good intro to getting services for your child.

How Well Does Your IEP Measure Up? by Diane Twachtman-Cullen and Jennifer Twachtman-Reilly. Starfish Specialty Press. A step-by-step guide to writing IEPs that really deliver. Contains sample goals & objectives and easy-to-use, "how-to" templates for translating them into educational action. Special Education attorney Pete Wright, of Wrightslaw, says "Finally, an IEP book that focuses on the 'science' of writing clear, understandable and measurable objectives. The authors brilliantly expose the absurdity of public school IEPs and their bizarre, fuzzy wuzzy language!" Although aimed at parents of children with autism-spectrum disorders, it is applicable to all special needs children.

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board is a DVD from the folks at Wrightslaw that takes you through a special education due process hearing, from initial preparations to testimony by the final witness.

Tongue Fu! by Sam Horn. Ms. Horn provides an invaluable guide to verbal self-defense filled with practical advice.

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law by Peter W. D. Wright & Pamela Darr Wright. Designed to answer questions about special education law, includes the full text of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, FERPA, implementing regulations, and special education decisions by the U. S. Supreme Court. Commentary by Pete Wright, a special ed lawyer who is gifted/special needs and has argued a special ed case in front of the US Supreme Court.

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy by Peter W. D. Wright & Pamela Darr Wright. This book is a practical "survival guide" on how to advocate for children with disabilities. Topics include: obstacles, common reasons for parent-school conflict, crisis management, and advocacy skills, including how to organize your child's file, write SMART IEP goals and objectives, create paper trails, write persuasive letters, and maintain control in school meetings. Includes worksheets, forms, sample letters; appendices; bibliography; index.  There is a companion website at http://www.fetaweb.com

Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind by Peter W. D. Wright, Pamela Darr Wright, and Suzanne Whitney Heath.  As usual, an excellent book from the Wrightslaw team.  There is a companion website at http://www.wrightslaw.com/nclb/

Homeschooling

Creative Home Schooling for Gifted Children: A Resource Guide by Lisa Rivero. If you only buy one homeschooling book, buy this one. Rivero has done an amazing job discussing the issues involved in homeschooling gifted children, and she touches upon special needs as well. I have never read a homeschooling book with so many references, and it also contains a wealth of resources.

Home Schooling Children With Special Needs by Sharon Hensley.  Doesn't address giftedness and I don't agree with everything it says, but the book has some good suggestions from someone who has homeschooled her own special needs child.

Real-Life Homeschooling: The Stories of 21 Families Who Teach Their Children at Home by Rhonda Barfield. Presents 21 families from a wide spectrum of family constellations, religious and racial backgrounds, locations, reasons for and styles of homeschooling. Includes families with gifted children and two families with special needs (ADD, Down Syndrome).

Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling by John Holt & Pat Farenga. Holt's classic, recently updated and expanded by Farenga. Although I don't agree with Holt's dismissal of the notions of "hyperactivity" and "learning disabilities", there is much gold in this book.

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

Specific Special Needs

ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kolberg & Kathleen Nadeau. Written by people who really understand why it's so difficult for people with ADD to organize their time and space.

Addictive Behaviors: Readings on Etiology, Prevention, and Treatment edited by Alan Marlatt & Gary Vandenbos.

AD/HD & Driving: A Guide for Parents of Teens with AD/HDby Marlene Snyder, Ph.D.
http://www.whitefishconsultants.com/books.html

Adolescent Suicide: Assessment and Intervention by Alan Berman & David Jobes.

Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence: Helping Preteens and Teens Get Ready for the Real World by Teresa Bolick, Ph.D.

The Asperger Parent: How to Raise a Child with Asperger Syndrome and Maintain Your Sense of Humor by Jeffrey Cohen. In what he terms his "support group you can carry with you", Cohen talks directly to parents about the experience of parenting children with AS. Cohen is open about his experiences with his son, clear that there's no one right way to do things, and talks openly about issues such as sibling rivalry and marital stress. Much of what he says is applicable to parenting children with special needs of all types, not just AS.

Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Tony Attwood and Lorna Wing.

Attention Deficit Disorder : A Different Perception by Thom Hartmann. Hartmann looks at people with ADHD as "hunters in a farmer's world" - valuable for their creativity and energy.

Auditory Processes by Pamela Gillet.

The Bipolar Child: The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood's Most Misunderstood Disorder by Demitri and Janice Papolos.

Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families by Francis Mark Mondimore.

Central Auditory Processing Disorders: Mostly Management by M. Gay Masters, G. Master, Nancy A. Stecker, Jack Katz.

Childhood Speech, Language, and Listening Problems: What Every Parent Should Know by Patricia McAleer Hamaguchi.

Children and Teens Afraid to Eat: Helping Youth in Today's Weight-Obsessed World by Frances Berg.

Dr Tom Plaut's Asthma Guide for People of All Ages by Thomas F. Plaut. Many of special needs kids have asthma. This book provides a clear guide to understanding and managing asthma in children and adults. It was recommended to me by our pediatrician.

Driven to Distraction by Edward Hallowell and John Ratey. The classic "starter" book for learning about ADHD. The authors have first-hand knowledge of what it is like to have ADHD, as well as being knowledgeable about care and management.

Face Blind! by Bill Choisser.  This informative free e-book by someone with prosopagnosia (face blindness) discusses life with face blindness, causes, its effects on various aspects of life, and help for coping with prosopagnosia (including how to explain it to others).

Freeing Your Child from Anxiety : Powerful, Practical Solutions to Overcome Your Child's Fears, Worries, and Phobias by Tamar Chansky.

Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder : A Powerful, Practical Program for Parents of Children and Adolescents by Tamar Chansky.

Growing Up With NLD by Deborah Green.

Helping a Child with Nonverbal Learning Disorder or Asperger's Syndrome: A Parent's Guide by Kathryn Stewart.

'Help Me, I'm Sad': Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Childhood and Adolescent Depression by David Fassler & Lynne Dumans.

Hope, Help, and Healing for Eating Disorders: A New Approach to Treating Anorexia, Bulimia & Overeating by Gregory Jantz.

The Late Talker: What to Do If Your Child Isn't Talking Yet by Marilyn Agin, Lisa Geng & Malcolm Nicholl. Although mostly focused on apraxia, has good discussions of diagnosis, treatment, and getting what your child needs from schools and insurance companies.

The Light Barrier: A Color Solution to Your Child's Light-Based Reading Difficulties by Rhonda Stone and Robert Dobrin.  A mother's personal account of discovering her daughter's Irlen Syndrome (Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome).

More Than Moody: Recognizing and Treating Adolescent Depression by Harold S. Koplewicz.

The OASIS Guide to Asperger Syndrome: Advice, Support, Insight and Inspiration by Patricia Romanowski Bashe & Barbara Kirby.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Help for Children and Adolescents by Mitzi Waltz. An excellent guide to understanding diagnosis, treatment and parenting of kids with OCD.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: New Help for the Family by Herbert Gravitz.

The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Integration Dysfunction by Carol Stock Kranowitz. A very good introduction to SID.

The Out-Of-Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Integration Dysfunction by Carol Stock Kranowitz. Activities you can do at home to help your out-of-sync child.

Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level by Sally Shaywitz. Dr. Shaywitz is a noted dyslexia researcher. This book emphasizes the importance of early detection and intervention.

A Parent's Guide for Suicidal and Depressed Teens: Help for Recognizing If a Child Is in Crisis and What to Do About It by Kate Williams.

The Gillingham Manual: Remedial Training for Students With Specific Disability in Reading, Spelling, and Penmanship by Anna Gillingham and Bessie W. Stillman. A manual for teaching the Orton-Gillingham method of dyslexia remediation.

Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World: Unlocking the Potential of Your A.D.D. Child by Jeff Freed & Laurie Parsons. Good for visual-spatial children, as well as ADD.

Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates And What You Can Do About It by Gabor Mate.

Shadow Syndromes by John Ratey & Catherine Johnson. Discusses Asperger's Syndrome, hypomania, and other "shadow syndromes" that are milder versions of better known disorders.

The Source for Nonverbal Learning Disorders by Sue Thompson.  Sue Thompson is an incredible resource of information and wisdom about NLD.

Straight Talk About Reading : How Parents Can Make a Difference During the Early Years by Susan L. Hall & Louisa C. Moats.  Has a good chapter on reading difficulties and disabilities.

Survival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar Disorder: Innovative Parenting and Counseling Techniques for Helping Children with Bipolar Disorder and the Conditions that May Occur With It by George Lynn.

To Read or Not to Read: Answers to All Your Questions About Dyslexia by Daphne M. Hurford.

Tourette's Syndrome: Tics, Obsessions, Compulsions: Development Psychopathology and Clinical Care by James F. Leckman.  Technical but very comprehensive.  A very useful reference.

Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual Spatial Learner by Linda K. Silverman

When the Brain Can't Hear: Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder by Teri James Bellis.  Lucid in-depth discussion of auditory processing disorders - a must-read!

The Writing Dilemma: Understanding Dysgraphia by Regina G. Richards is a must read for anyone who thinks their child might have dysgraphia. Unfortunately it is out of print, but you may be able to get it from your library or used. Other books by Richards on dysgraphia and dyslexia can be found at RET Center Press.

Temperament/Personality

The Difficult Child by Stanley Turecki.

Nurture by Nature: Understanding Your Child's Personality Type - And Become a Better Parent by Barbara Barron-Tieger & Paul D. Tieger. Helps you figure out your child's Myer-Briggs personality type and its implications for parenting.

Parenting the Strong-Willed Child, Revised and Updated Edition: The Clinically Proven Five-Week Program for Parents of Two- to Six-Year-Olds by Rex Forehand & Nicholas Long.

Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent and Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. A positive, caring book about dealing with what other authors refer to as the "difficult" child - written with common sense and humor (something we all need!)

Reading Rescue 1-2-3 : Raise Your Child's Reading Level 2 Grades with This Easy 3-Step Program by Peggy M. Wilber.  Some families have had good success with this program, based on research and using a combination of auditory training, phonics, and whole language.

Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach by Howard Glasser.  Children crave attention and will settle for negative attention rather than be ignored.  Glasser's program involves finding ways to provide positive attention to our children (most of which take very little time), and then setting up a behavioral rewards program to encourage desired behaviors without giving any attention to negative behavior.  I found Glasser's discussion of how to attend to our children's good behavior very practical and useful, although I think that the full program he advocates is probably overkill for most families and could be difficult to implement, especially for parents with ADHD or executive function problems.  However, it is easy for many of us with difficult children to fall into the trap of only noticing when things go wrong, especially in households with multiple children.  This book provides good ammunition to avoid this pitfall and is definitely worth reading.

Your Child Is a Person: A Psychological Approach to Parenthood Without Guilt by Stella Chess. This short and sweet classic is well worth reading. Chess talks about how babies are born with their own temperaments, and the implications for child rearing.

Teenagers

Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy! Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind by Michael J. Bradley.  Interesting information about brain development in adolescents and how it affects their behavior, as well as practical advice on what this means for parents.

Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager by Anthony E. Wolf.

Surviving Your Adolescents: How to Manage and Let Go of Your 13-18 Year Olds by Thomas Phelan.  By the author of the popular book 1-2-3 Magic.

Your Adolescent: Emotional, Behavioral, and Cognitive Development from Early Adolescence through the Teen Years edited by David Pruitt.

Social Skills/Bullying/Life Skills

Childhood Bullying and Teasing: What School Personnel, Other Professionals, and Parents Can Do, Dorothea M. Ross, Ph.D.

Good Friends Are Hard to Find : Help Your Child Find, Make and Keep Friends by Fred Frankel.

Helping the Child Who Doesn't Fit In by Stephen Nowicki & Marshall P. Duke.  Discusses various aspects of non-verbal communication (facial expression, tone of voice, personal space) and the problems some children have both in reading non-verbal messages and in giving the non-verbal messages that reflect what they mean to communicate. This book's aim is to help parents teach these skills to their children.

How Rude!: The Teenagers' Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People Out by Alex Packer. Useful for explaining social conventions and behavior to kids with NLD, Asperger Syndrome, etc.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Several parents of children with NLD or Asperger Syndrome say they found this book very helpful for their children.

Nasty People: How to Stop Being Hurt by Them Without Becoming One of Them by Jay Carter.

Navigating the Social World: A Curriculum for Individuals With Asperger's Syndrome, High Functioning Autism and Related Disorders by Jeanie McAfee.

Ready, Set, Relax : A Research-Based Program of Relaxation, Learning and Self-Esteem for Children by Jeffrey Allen and Roger Klein.

Schools Where Everyone Belongs: Practical Strategies for Reducing Bullying by Stan Davis.  Based on research by Olweus, Davis's book discusses practical programs for schools to deal with bullying.  He lays out the step very clearly, and stresses that bullying is not the fault of the victim and needs to be dealt with systematically by schools.  I highly recommend this book. You can see samples from the book at Davis's site, www.stopbullyingnow.com

Taking Care of Myself: A Personal Curriculum for Young People With Autism/Asperger's by Mary Wrobel.  A guide to self-care skills written with the detail and explicitness needed by children with autistic spectrum disorders.

College (and a little 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).

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. 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.

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).

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
                      and
Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools You Should Know About Even If You're Not a Straight-A Student by Loren Pope.

Autobiography/Biography

A Kid Just Like Me: A Father and Son Overcome the Challenges of ADD and Learning Disabilities by Bruce Roseman.

Like Sound Through Water : A Mother's Journey Through Auditory Processing Disorder by Karen J. Foli.

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.

Raising Blaze : Bringing Up an Extraordinary Son in an Ordinary World by Debra Ginsberg.

Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome by Liane Holliday Willey, Tony Attwood.  Willey and one of her daughters both have AS.

A Slant of Sun: One Child's Courage by Beth Kephart. Written by the mother of a child with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).

Thinking in Pictures: And Other Reports from My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin. Grandin is a highly gifted autistic woman who has managed to rise to the top of her profession. This book gives vivid insight into the mind and senses of someone with high functioning autism.

Books About Special Needs Written for Kids

Asperger's Huh? A Child's Perspective by Rosina Schnurr & John Strachan.

Asperger's: What Does It Mean to Me? by Catherine Faherty.  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.

Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence 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.

Jarvis Clutch: Social Spy by Mel Levine. 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)
         and
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. Many people appreciate Dr. Levine's approach to children with learning differences, and his way of explaining them to kids.

Many Ways to Learn: Young People's Guide to Learning Disabilities by Judith Stern & Uzi Ben-Ami.

Putting on the Brakes : Young People's Guide to Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Patricia O. Quinn & Judith M. Stern.

The Survival Guide for Kids With Ld: Learning Differences by Gary L. Fisher & Rhoda Woods Cumming.
         and
The School Survival Guide for Kids With LD by Rhoda Woods Cumming, Gary L. Fisher, Pamela Espeland.  Click here to read (or have your child 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.  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.

Books with special needs characters

For adults:

I, Claudius : From the Autobiography of Tiberius Claudius, Born 10 B.C., Murdered and Deified A.D. 54 by Robert Graves is the fictional autobiography of the Emperor Claudius, thought by his family to be an idiot because of his stutter and limp, but shown in his writings to be a canny observer of those around him.

Robert Ludlum's The Hades Factor by Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds has a brilliant, eccentric man with Asperger's as one of the characters.

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem.  Lethem, who has Tourette Syndrome has written the story of a private eye with TS.

A New Song (The Mitford Years) by Jan Karon, has a character with Tourette Syndrome who is musically gifted.

For children/young adults:

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. A series of stories featuring children with Asperger Syndrome.

Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer Hesser. 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 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 is about a high school girl whose twin sister is autistic.

Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco 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 is about a gifted/dyslexic high school girl.

Magazines/Newsletters

2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter is a bi-monthly publication launching Fall 2003.  I am a Contributing Editor with a regular column and am on the editorial board.  It looks like it will be an exciting new source of information.

Action Alert. Get breaking news about federal legislation that may affect your child; learn what you can do to get involved. To subscribe, go to
http://www.capwiz.com/ld/home/ and click ACTION E-LIST 

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

The ADHD Report (Russell Barkley, Ph.D., and associates) is a more scholarly journal - it's editors include Russell Barkley and Edward Hallowell.  Although the price is steep, they have a reduced rate for family members of people with ADHD.
http://www.guilford.com/cgi-bin/cartscript.cgi?page=periodicals/jnad.htm&cart_id=655419.7655

Attention Research Update - David Rabiner, Ph.D. puts out this free e-newsletter. Dr. Rabiner does a thorough and extremely competent job summarizing the latest papers on ADHD from medical journals. As a statistician who used to work in psychiatry research, I have been impressed by his knowledge of research methodology and the soundness of his critiques.  Archives are at  http://www.helpforadd.com/archives.htm
Subscribe at http://www.helpforadd.com/

The Beacon: The Journal of Special Education Law and Practice, an electronic journal published quarterly by Harbor House Law Press, publishes articles and essays for attorneys and advocates who represent children with disabilities and others who are interested in special education law and practice.  Each issue focuses on a theme and includes practical and theoretical articles. The first issue dealt with mediation and negotiation. The second issue focused on document and exhibit preparation. 
http://www.harborhouselaw.com/newsletter.html 

Robert Brooks, Ph.D., has a very thoughtful monthly column about children and families.  To subscribe, visit http://www.drrobertbrooks.com/writings/sign_up.html

Education Week on the Web is a weekly newsletter about what's new on the Education Week site.  Subscribers receive weekly e-mail alerts about top stories about education from Education Week. To subscribe, go to
http://www.edweek.org/info-epe/eupdate.htm

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) provides investigative reports to Congress.  This year, as reauthorization of IDEA progresses, GAO Reports will play an important role in informing members of Congress and the public. To be notified by email about GAP Reports About Education, go to:  
http://www.gao.gov/subtest/subscribe.html

HearingExchange: a community for people with hearing loss, parents of deaf and hard of hearing children and professionals who work with them, publishes a twice-monthly newsletter, HearingExchange News with news, articles, resources and other information about hearing loss. To subscribe, go to 
http://www.hearingexchange.com/newsletters.htm

IDEA News is a monthly newsletter from the IDEA Practices site; includes IDEA news, conferences and events, new products and resources. To subscribe, go to
http://www.ideapractices.org/ideanews/subscribe.php

LD News is published by the National Center for Learning Disabilities, provides news about dyslexia, learning disabilities, and ADD/ADHD. To subscribe, go to 
http://www.ld.org
and type your e-mail address in the subscribe box.

LDOnline Report is free monthly newsletter from LDOnLine; news about learning disabilities, articles, and events.
http://www.ldonline.com/subscribe.shtml

ParentAdvocates.org is an online newsmagazine which seeks to inform and empower parents or guardians of children.
http://www.parentadvocates.org

The SchwabLearning.org website and weekly newsletter provide information for parents of children with learning differences, whether or not they have been diagnosed with learning disabilities. To subscribe, go to
http://www.schwablearning.org/registration.asp

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, tactics and strategy, and Internet resources. Subscribers receive announcements and "alerts" about new cases, news, and events. 
http://www.wrightslaw.com/subscribe.htm

World of Dyslexia Newsletter is a monthly email newsletter that includes information about dyslexia testing and assessment, teaching dyslexic children, advice for parents of a dyslexic child, coping techniques for dyslexic adults, free magazine articles, research. To subscribe, go to
http://www.dyslexia-parent.com/magazine.html

And now, for something different ... a quirky selection of Meredith's favorites

I have just discovered author Connie Willis, and love her books. Both her serious books ( Doomsday Book, Passage) and humorous ones ( To Say Nothing of the Dog, Bellwether) show insight into human nature, a wry sense of humor, and a respect for the reader's intelligence.

Stephanie Tolan speaks frequently at conferences on gifted children and writes for young adults.  Her books are always thought provoking.  She is also author of the famous Is It a Cheetah? essay about giftedness in children, as well as a variety of non-fiction books and essays on giftedness.

Chaim Potok is one of my favorite authors.  His books are full of insight into the human soul, in the context of (usually Orthodox) Jewish life. In particular, The Chosen shows the deep abiding friendship between two exceptionally gifted boys from very different backgrounds, while My Name Is Asher Lev examines the dilemma faced by a brilliant artist for whom staying true to his gift means breaking with his family and community.

For a wonderful book about writing, I highly recommend Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott.  Useful advice, delivered with humor.  I also enjoyed Lamott's book Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith about her spiritual journey.

If I had to pick books to sustain me if I were stranded on a desert isle, the list would be topped by To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Silas Marner by George Eliot - two of the most beautiful books I have ever read.  Add in The Chosen, plus a dose of Patricia Wrede's The Enchanted Forest Chronicles for some light relief, and I could survive happily for quite awhile.

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.

Thank you for supporting this website by using the links to buy from

Last updated Tuesday March 29, 2005


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

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