*This page contains affiliate links, there is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family. Please see our disclosure statement for further details.
21 Books to Help you Better Understand Autism
Our family has read many books over the years to help us better understand Autism and various perspectives to help us better be able to help my brother through his journey through life. We wanted to create a resource with various books that we have found helpful and highly recommended.
The Reason I jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen Year old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida
The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing, Genius, and Autism by Kristine Barnett
NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes you Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition by Ellen Notbohm
Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant
In a Different Key: the Story of Autism by John Donvan & Caren Zucker
Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism by Arthur & Carly Fleishmann
A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: How to Meet the Challenges and Help your Child Thrive by Sally Ozonoff, Geraldine Dawson, & James C. McPartland
The Anti-Romantic Child: A Memoir of Unexpected Joy by Priscilla Gilman
Autism Every Day: Over 150 Strategies Lived and Learned by a Professional Autism Consultant with 3 Sons on the Spectrum by Alyson Beytien
Somewhere Over the Sea: A Father’s Letter to his Autistic Son by Halfdan W. Freihow
The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed by Temple Grandin
Autism Spectrum Disorder (revised): The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism by Chantal Sicile-Kira
The Obsessive Joy of Autism by Julia Bascom
Kids Beyond Limits: The Anat Baniel Method for Awakening the Brain and Transforming the Life of your Child with Special Needs by Anat Baniel
The Social Skills Picture Book: Teaching Play, Emotion, and Communication to Children with Autism by Jed Baker
The Social Skills Picture Book for High School and Beyond by Jed Baker
I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autism by Pat Thomas
It’s Raining Cats and Dogs: An Autism Spectrum Guide to the Confusing World of Idioms, Metaphors, and Everyday Expressions by Michael Barton
Motivate to Communicate!: 300 Games and Activities for your Child with Autism by Simone Griffin
All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism by Shaina Rudolph & Danielle Royer
We wanted to create a comprehensive list that can provide you with a wide variety of options to help you learn more Autism and learn the world through their perspective and eyes. Our family has loved getting to read these books and we hope you will too. Please share with us books that you have enjoyed and if there are any that you feel should be added!
Has your child just received the Autism Diagnosis? Are you feeling overwhelmed with all of the information? We wanted to create a comprehensive FREE resource for you with tons of Autism and Special Needs Resources. This blog post is part of our resource where we provide you with information on tons of areas such as websites, books, podcasts, blogs, support groups, transitions into adulthood and MORE! If you would like this FREE download please provide us with your name and email address below to grab your FREE copy!
Please reach out to us if you have any questions or areas that we can help you with! We are here to support you!
*This page contains affiliate links, there is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family. Please read our disclosure statement for more information.
13 Children’s Books About Disabilities
Are you looking for children’s books that provide insight and understanding about various disabilities? I feel that the best way to help our children learn compassion and understanding is by talking to them about various disabilities and sharing stories to help them understand.
We have compiled a round up of various books that we have come across that share insight about children with various disabilities. We have not personally read them all, but they were all highly recommended.
This is a heartwarming picture book about being perfectly loved, no matter what. The younger brother goes on to describe all of the fun he has with his big sister who he loves so much and delights in telling us all about the fun things they do together. As the books goes on he realizes his sister has special needs and he accepts this as he does, all the wonderful things about her. Ages 4-8.
In this book,Charlie has autism and it goes on to talk about how his brain works in a special way and it’s harder for him to make friends. His big sister tells us, for everything that Charlie can’t do well, there are plenty more things that he’s good at. She goes on to tell us everything he is good at and shows a wonderful relationship between siblings. Grades K–3.
This book is about Molly the pony and shares the experiences she went through when she was rescued after Hurrican Katrina and her new ling on a farm with new animal friends. A dog at the farm attacks her and her front leg is injured badly and she undergoes amputation of her front leg which is a rare surgery for horses. She then relearns how to walk and embarks on this new mission in life. Grades K-3.
This is an inspirational biography of Clayton -Peg Leg- Bates (1907-1998), an African American man who over came the hardship of losing a leg at age 12 and went on to become a world-renowned tap dancer. Grades K-3.
This book talks about how Eloise learns a new way to see the world through her friend Rainbow Joe who is blind. He teaches her how he imagines and mixes colors. Eloise learns a whole new way to see the world. Grades K-3.
This is a fantastic book talking about how children with autism can do amazing, incredible things! This book can be used to teach your child about Autism Spectrum Disorder. The poem in the book was written by a father of a son with ASD. This book will give you an opportunity to explain the diagnosis to your child when you believe they are able to understand. Each page also has a hidden word. Red letters mixed in with the black letters spell uplifting words for those diagnosed with autism. Can your child find them? Grades K-3.
This book shares the story of William Hoy and how he loved baseball. Growing up in the 1860s and ’70s, he dreamed of one day playing in the major leagues. A far-off fantasy for many boys, fulfilling this dream was even more of a long shot for William, who was deaf. Age Range: 6 – 11 years.
This book shares the experiences of a child in kindergarten who has double vision and the strugggles she goes through with double vision. She then starts to wear a patch to help her with her vision and she becomes the pirate of kindergarten. With the help of her patch she is now able to read and cut! Age Range: 4-8 years.
This book does a wonderful job of explaining and showing how a teacher can help a child overcome dyslexia and helps her learn to read. This can be a great book for a child that has difficulty reading or for a teacher who has made a difference in a child’s life. Age Range: 5-8 years.
This book was inspired by the relationship of the authors older brother who had disabilities. Whenever children would see her brother they would ask why he looked different and her mother would respond, “He can’t talk, but he can understand.” This inspired her to write a book to help children have a better understanding of people with special needs. Through this book Joey is the narrator and gets the opportunity to speak for himself and the reader gets to learn his perspective. This book lets others benefit from all that the author’s brother has taught her about acceptance, humanity, and unconditional love. Grades K-3.
This book describes what it is like for kids in class who need to wiggle and move and how they can feel embarrassed by these behaviors. It provides some great techniques to help with these behaviors in the classroom and is very highly recommended. Age Range: 6 and up.
This story aims to shed light, on the discrimination against disabled children in the playgrounds. It provides some of the struggles these children face on the play ground and how we can create a more inclusive play ground. Grades K-3.
We hope this list can provide you with a variety of stores to share with your children to help us provide a world with acceptance and understanding. Do you have a favorite book about disabilities that you would like us to add to this list? Please let us know what stories you like!
Has your child been recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and you are feeling overwhelmed? This blog post is part of our FREE Autism & Special Needs Resource PDF where we provide you with a wealth of resources from sites, blogs, podcasts, books, and even transition to adulthood resources. Please enter your name and email below to download our FREE resource.
180+Amazing Autism and Special Needs Resources!
Are you Feeling Overwhelmed?
Do you feel overwhelmed and tired, and just struggling to feel like you are making an impact with your child or adult with autism or special needs?
Today we wanted to share an amazing FREE resource we have created to help you feel a little less overwhelmed and more like you can take action on how you can find resources to help your family.
We get it, it can be hard to go through the every day tasks, especially when you are transitioning onto a new stage in life where you have to consistently learn new ideas and techniques to help your child succeed in life. We wanted to create the ultimate bundle of resources for you and your family to feel more confident in your stage of life and decrease that feeling of overwhelm.
This FREE Resource has over 180+ ideas from Autism websites, books, support groups, blogs by families and professionals, transitions into adulthood resources, podcasts, self-care tips, organization, ebooks, planners, calendars, & MORE!!
What resources will you get from this download?
- Autism Sites
- Autism Books
- Sensory Processing Books
- Children with Disabilities Books
- Transition into Adulthood Resources
- Self-Care and Parenting Resources
- Facebook Support Groups
- Pinterest Group Boards with loads of Special needs content
- Autism and Special Needs Blogs
- Occupational Therapy Blogs
- Speech Therapy Blogs
- Helpful EBooks
- Help Around the Home Resources
- Online Resources
- Blogging Resources to start your own blog
We also share our blogging tips and resources if you are someone that is looking for help with blogging as a way to make extra income for your family or for a way for your adult child to create an at home online business!
We hope you find this FREE resource helpful as you are going through each stage of life whether you just got the diagnosis or you are looking for ways to continue to advocate for your child or adult. We are here to HELP!
Please leave a comment about what you think about the resources or if you know of any more to add! We would love to hear your feedback!
Does your child have difficulty learning personal hygiene self care skills? Check out our Ebook Everyday Life Skills Personal Hygiene Skills in the Bathroom for TONS of tips and resources to help your loved one become more independent with these skills!
*This post contains affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but if you purchase something through our links this will greatly help our family. Please read more about our disclosure here.
My brother has always had a difficult time with taking baths and showers because he hated having water get on his face or in his eyes. Don’t get me wrong he loved being in the water, but as soon as he would be splashed in the face in the pool or we would have to go to wash his hair in the bath, a flood of anxiety and fear would come over him. He has had this difficulty ever since he was little and he is still learning to decrease his anxiety with water on his face. It wasn’t until this year that he has now been able to wash his face and hair more independently (14 years later). We wanted to share the tips and tricks that we have used to help my brother decrease his anxiety with water getting on his face to allow him to be more independent with these skills.
Tips to Decrease Anxiety with Water Getting on the Face for a Child with Sensory Processing Difficulties
What we did first was recognize this was a fear for my brother and we were always patient and understanding with him. Something that my mother has been working on this past year with my brother is working on identifying what his fears are and understanding that fear is an emotion. These emotions can come from what you are thinking, and they have been working on changing his thinking to a positive thought to help him create a solution. So for example, before taking a shower or washing his face at the sink they would state positive statements about putting water on his face. They would say, “I will be able to get my face wet or I am calm and I can do this.”
These were ways that we were slowly able to decrease fear for my brother with getting water on his face.
He was very motivated to go swimming, so during the summer we were constantly at the pool, going to water parks, or playing outside in the sprinkler. He was usually having so much fun during these activities that when he would get water on his face we would always make sure we had a beach towel near by or he would wear a swim shirt that he could use to help wipe off the water on his face to help decrease his anxiety. We were constantly exposing him to activities that were motivating to him where he would be exposed to water on his body.
Other fun ways we would expose him to water were through water balloon fights and using a bubble machine outside with bubbles popping around him. Again, we would always have a towel near by him, but during the activities he was happy and excited having fun!
When we were swimming in the pool, we would constantly be trying to teach him how to hold his breath or blow out of his nose when he would go under water. As well as closing his eyes under water. We would play games to help motivate him to make it more fun. We would always demonstrate for him so he could see how to do it. We would try to make it motivating and be super excited over the top if just the littlest bit of his face touch the water such as his chin. We would give tons and tons of praise and encouragement.
It took us many many years for him to be more comfortable with getting his face wet in the pool, but we never gave up. Even today he still does not prefer to go underwater and we are still working on learning how to swim, but every year we are making progress. We learn to celebrate every little victory along the way.
Now this year, we have been working really hard with being independent with showering and washing our face. Now that we are going through puberty we also get to work on these skills to help us prevent breakouts. We started a new acne medicine for our face this year, so that has also helped increase the motivation for my brother to want to learn the skill so he can decrease the acne. My mother has learned to be so patient with him in helping him learn these skills.
These are ways that we have helped him learn to wash his face on his own:
- He used a face mist blower (something he liked) to help him get used to the feeling of water on his face.
- He would wash his face at the sink with just a wet wash cloth (my mother would have to do it first, then she would have him slowly increase his ability to use the wash cloth himself)
- They slowly increased splashing water on his face by getting his hands wet and having him touch his face then slowly add more water over time.
- Finally, they had him get in the shower and use a wash cloth in the shower to wash his face.
- NOTE: He would always have a dry wash cloth or towel right next to him so that he could dry his face off if it was too much for him.
- This was a very long process and took a lot of patience and practice. We think it went better for him this year because he was motivated to get rid of the acne on his face.
These are ways that we helped him learn to shower more independently:
- In the beginning my mom would be in the bathroom and available for him if he needed anything, this helped to decrease the anxiety.
- We first talked about the importance of why we need to take a shower and how we need to smell good when we are around other people. This was the first year that he has ever mentioned that he wants to get married (over the past two years my sister and I both got married and he realized that he would need to get married if he wants to carry our families last name). So my mom would make sure to talk about how if he wants to get a girl friend he needs to smell nice and this has been motivating to him.
- When they were at the dermatologist, my mother had the doctor explain the importance of showering and washing our face to him, which had a bigger impact on him then my mom telling him that. He seems to do well with taking advice from doctors.
- While my brother was taking the shower there was always a towel available hanging over the edge of the shower.
- To wash his hair, my mom would use a large cup and place a was cloth over his face and he would tilt his head back and let my mom wash his hair for him. They would slowly transition away from this by having him participate more with washing his hair and having him do more of it on his own, such as having him put the shampoo in or slowly pour some water on his head.
- Washing his hair is something he has always had a really hard time with and he still needs help at times from my mom to help him, but he is doing so much more of it on his own! He will be doing it on his own in no time!
- Also they learned that he does better with taking a shower night before going to bed as the warm water helps him go to sleep. Try to figure out the best time of day that works for your child.
Here are some other strategies that we have used over the years to help decrease anxiety as well:
- Installing a “rain” shower head
- Installing a handheld shower nozzle to give him a sense of control
- Sometimes we would just take a bath
- Warm up the bathroom ahead of time to make the temperature change less dramatic
- Play music while in the shower or bath for fun and a distraction
- Have fun bath toys in the shower or bath tub
- Mr. Bubbles foam soap for fun in the bath
- Using a schedule and sticking to it. When we figured out a night time routine worked well we have been sticking with it.
- We would sometimes use baby wipes to help clean off at times
- We have heard dry shampoo can be helpful
- When we used a wash cloth or shampooing his hair we tried to use slow deep pressure. Slow deep pressure is more organizing than light touch.
- Finding soap products that they like (some kids prefer scents and some prefer no scents) Allow them to participate in picking out the soaps to give them more independence.
- Use motivators whenever possible. We were constantly trying to figure out what motivated my brother to help make it more fun and turn it into a goal that he wanted to meet!
We hope that these tips and suggestions can be helpful for you and your family to help make bathing a better routine for everyone. As a family we are always working on this skill and taking it day by day and celebrating every little victory. We would love to learn if you have more suggestions that have worked for your family!
Does your child have difficulty learning personal hygiene self care skills? Check out our Ebook Everyday Life Skills Personal Hygiene Skills in the Bathroom for TONS of tips and resources to help your loved one become more independent with these skills!
Please let these suggestions remind you that you are not alone and together we can grow and learn from each other.
Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia!
Want to join in on next month’s Voices of Special Needs Hop? Click here!
*This post contains affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family. If you would like to read more, here is our disclosure statement.
School is OUT! I remember being so so so excited for summer vacation as a child and loving every aspect of summer! I loved going to the pool and spending time more time with my mom! I will cherish these memories for a lifetime!
What are the best ways to create lasting memories that your child will remember for years to come?
Think back to your childhood, what are memories that stand out to you? Sure, I remember some of my favorite vacations with going to amusement parks and the ocean, but ones that stand out to me are going on bike rides around town, playing on the swing set in the back, having a water balloon and silly string fight in the front yard…just to name a few. What stands out to me are FUN and somewhat simple experiences!
Here are 27 Ideas to help you create your own wonderful memories with your family this summer!
- Spend time OUTSIDE! Connect children to nature at least 1 hour a day where they can learn and explore.
- Go Swimming
- Go Biking together and explore new trails and paths around your city or explore new cities together
- Go fishing together
- Grow a Garden together and teach your children how to care for the plants
- Have an outdoor picnic
- Play in the rain, splash in the puddles, make mud pies
- Search for flowers and bugs outside
- Go on a hike on a nature trail and search for birds
- Set up a butterfly or hummingbird garden to observe throughout the summer
- Catch fire flies at night
- Have a campfire and roast marshmallows
- Camp in the back yard
- Search for things at night with a flashlight (a memory that stands out to me with using a flashlight was searching for night crawlers outside with my dad to go fishing with)
- Teach your children how to listen to different bird sounds and set up a bird feeder to learn the different types of birds in your area
- Blow Bubbles outside
- Write and draw with Sidewalk Chalk in the driveway
- Have a water balloon fight, play with the hose outside and run through the sprinkler, or play on the slip and slide
- Have a silly string fight
- Play kickball outside
- Play basketball
- Play flashlight tag at night
- Start a rock collection and learn about the rocks you find outside
- Help your children learn different responsibilities around the house by creating a chore list and find ways to make the chores fun (such as dancing and singing while sweeping or mopping the floor or create contests while doing a chore
- Ask your kids if there is a new skill they would like to learn such as how to play an instrument, a new sport, or how to cook different meals
- Have your children help you with meal ideas for the week and let them help you in the kitchen
- Make a mess in the kitchen with your kids and have fun while doing it!
- Do Yoga poses every day together either inside or outside
I hope these ideas can help inspire you to make simple, but lasting memories with your kids that will last a lifetime with them!
I also wanted to share with you an amazing resource from And Next Comes L, where Dyan has created an ebook with a list of over 600 Everyday Sensory Play Experiences! Everyday Sensory Play lists 600+ everyday sensory activities designed to give your children the right sensory input that they want and need!
We hope that you have a wonderful fun filled summer with your children and would love to hear about the wonderful memories you are making with your children or past childhood summer memories!
*This post contains affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family. If you would like read more here is our disclosure statement.
25 Ways to Show Support For a Family with a Child with Special Needs
This post was originally written about Mother’s day, but the more I thought about it the more I realized these are actions that we should do all year round for mothers, parents, and fathers of children with special needs. These can seem like such simple acts of kindness, but they can go a long way for a family.
Mother’s day can be a wonderful day where mother’s feel appreciated and loved for many, but sometimes it can also bring up pain and sadness depending on what memories this day brings to you. Maybe you recently lost a mother or you are a mother who lost a child. This time a year can bring back sadness and hurt.
Maybe you are a single mother or father taking care of a child that has complex medical needs or a child that needs a lot of attention and care. Or maybe you are a family trying to find ways to help your mother have a day where she can feel appreciated and loved for everything that she does for you. Whatever avenue you are on this Mother’s day, I hope that these tips can help all Mother’s especially those with a child with special needs feel loved and appreciated for all of their hard work. If you are a husband, loved one, or friend to a mother with a child with special needs, we hope these ideas can spark some inspiration to help make Mother’s day and every day a success!
This post is the first of many in the self-care series where we will provide you with resources and advice on how to help take care of ourselves as a parent. We need to learn to also take care of ourselves as a parent to be able to provide the best care for our children.
Help Provide Them with a Break
My mother is always wanting to do everything for her children. She is constantly putting her children and her husband first in her life and doesn’t always take time for herself. Helping your mother be able to take a break from the busy schedules can help reenergize herself so that she can be the best version of herself to help her family.
Ask Them How you Can Help
This is a BIG one…and as a mother you need to be able to learn to accept help as well. Ask her what she may need done around the house, or how you can help out to make this next week a little easier for her. Is there something you could help by taking care of her children or going with her to be able to go out in the community and participate in a fun activity with the entire family? There are endless possibilities of ways she may need help, but make sure you are there for her and ask her what she needs help with.
Find out an Activity They Really Enjoy and Do That with Them
Don’t be afraid to just ask her is there something you would really like to go and do? Find out from other family members what are some of her favorite activities to do and provide time for her to complete that activity with her. Now keep in mind you may have to also figure out child care for this mother if you are wanting it to be just the two of you. This may take some extra planning depending on her situation, so make sure you take that into consideration.
Listen to Their Needs (don’t judge or provide feedback unless they ask)
Maybe just taking the time to listen to her and allowing her to share her feelings and opinions without feeling judged is what a mother might need. Bring her a cup of coffee or tea and allow her the opportunity to just sit and chat in a judgement free zone. You never know how much of an impact this simple act can make for someone that may feel like they are alone.
Let Them Know You are Here for Them
Let your mother know that you are here for them as a loved one or a friend and know that you are available to talk or go do an activity with them. Let them know that they can call you if they are needing help or just need some advice. It is always good to know which friends or loved ones you can always count on to help you out when you need it.
Make a Meal for Them and Their Family to Share Together
For some mothers, cooking a meal can be very tough and frustrating. It can take a long time to create a healthy meal for a family to share together. You have to find the time to go grocery shopping, prep the ingredients, and then cook the meal. That can be very time invasive, so just the kind act of making an entire meal for this mother to be able to share with her loved ones can be a huge act of kindness.
Help with the Yard Work
Yard work is another chore that can be daunting and take a lot of time, which a lot of mother’s don’t have enough time. Helping out with mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, or watering the flowers can be a huge help for some mother’s and families.
Ask to Help Clean the House
The act of asking to help do the laundry or clean up the kitchens or bathrooms can also be a huge help around the house. This can help the mother’s have more time to spend with their loved ones doing something they enjoy together. I know if this was me, I would love to have someone help clean up my house.
Help Run an Errand
Depending on their situation, just finding the time to be able to leave the house for a simple errand, can be a hard task for some mothers. Asking to help go get groceries or drop off some packages can be a huge help for some!
Provide them with a Gas Card to help with Transportation to Appointments
Gas can be expensive, especially if you are a family where you are constantly driving to appointments for your child. A gas card could go a long way for some mother’s to be able to have sufficient funds to know she can get her children to their appointments on time.
Let them take a Nap or Sleep in
Sleep is one of those things that can be neglected when you are a mother to a child with lots of needs or just a very busy lifestyle. Help a mother out by offering to take care of the child for a while to allow her to sleep in or take a nap. Sleep is a necessity and can help a mother be the best version of herself with enough sleep and energy.
Provide Her with Opportunities to Listen to Books through an Audible Subscription
This one is a personal preference, as I love to listen to books on my audible app through Amazon. I am someone that doesn’t take the time to sit and read, so I love being able to listen to books on tape and I am able to multi task at the same time with either doing dishes or folding laundry. I also love listening to books in the car! This has opened up so many more opportunities for me to be able to catch up on reading that I otherwise would not do.
Ask if they Would Like to Do Something as Family Where Everyone Can Join in and Participate
Is there an activity that the whole family would like to be able to do together? Help them find a way to complete that activity where everyone in the family will be able to help participate with to help create fun memories for the mother and family to be able to cherish for a lifetime.
Provide Uplifting and Encouraging Books to Read or Listen to Help them Relax
Our family loves finding books where the message is uplifting and encouraging. Maybe there are other mom’s out there that also like to read encouraging books as well. Find out what your mom likes to read and provide opportunities for her to do that. My mom has loved watching and reading inspirational books by Joel Osteen.
Here are a list of possible encouraging and uplifting books
This Life I Live: One Man’s Extraordinary, Ordinary Life and the Woman Who Changed It Forever by Rory Feek
Start with Amen: How I Learned to Surrender by Keeping the End in Mind by
The Magnolia Story by
Get Them a Special Gift to Show your Appreciation and Love
A bouquet of flowers
Indoor Herb Garden
Mom Coffee Mug
The special gifts could go on and on forever. Every person likes a special gift that comes from the heart. These are just some ideas to get you started in the gift giving process.
This post goes out to all mothers who work hard to provide for their families and work to take care of their children to the best of their abilities. I hope you can find some inspiration from the ideas listed above to show your love and support to all the mother’s in your life. This list is not just about mother’s but both parents or fathers who are just trying their best to raise happy healthy children. Is there something you would like me to add to this list of ideas? We would love to hear from you!