2014 Recommended Reading List for Parents of Special Needs Children

Books for Parents of Special Needs Children
Compiled by Cheryl K. Teal

Our list of recommended reading includes recently published titles on areas of exceptionality including autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, sensory integration disorder and more.

Autism Spectrum Disorders: What Every Parent Needs to Know by Allan I. Rosenblatt (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2012). This authoritative guide offers a wide range of information on all aspects of autism spectrum disorder, from symptoms and diagnosis to education and treatment, including complementary and alternative medicine. Rosenblatt gives information on child advocacy and community resources and helps parents have effective plans for the transition through adolescence and into adulthood.

Back to Normal: Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior Is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder by Enrico Gnaulati (Beacon Press, 2013). A veteran clinical psychologist, Gnaulati is concerned about the alarming rise in the number of American children and youth diagnosed with mental health issues, including ADHD, bipolar disorder and autism spectrum disorder. He believes many of these are misdiagnoses, and he offers parents the information to differentiate serious conditions from behavior disturbances stemming from developmental, familial and social issues.

The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning by Ben Foss (Ballantine Books, 2013). Drawing on his own experiences with dyslexia and his work with children through his non-profit organization, entrepreneur Foss offers a three-step plan to help parents to focus on their child’s strengths in order to foster learning. He includes strategies on how to talk to schools and how to benefit from the latest technologies.

Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, LD, Autism Spectrum, Tourette’s, Anxiety, and More! The One Stop Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Other Professionals by Martin L. Kutscher, M.D. (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2014). Children with special needs are often affected by more than one neurobehavioral disorder, causing confusion as the symptoms interact. In this updated edition, the author concentrates on the role that parents, teachers, professionals and the children themselves play, first in recognizing the signs and then in appropriately identifying and treating the syndromes, specifically by being aware of the occurrence of more than one syndrome.

The Sensory Child Gets Organized: Proven Systems for Rigid, Anxious, or Distracted Kids by Carolyn Dalgliesh (Touchstone Books, 2013). Dalgliesh is a professional organizer and the parent of a sensory child, so she has field-tested these simple strategies for children with sensory processing disorder, anxiety disorder, ADD/ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder and OCD.

Sleep Better!: A Guide to Improving Sleep for Children with Special Needs (Revised) by V. Mark Durand (Brookes Publishing, 2013). Children with special needs may also have more than the usual sleep disorders. This updated edition covers topics such as bedwetting, walking or talking during sleep, tooth grinding, night terrors, and periodic limb movements. Durand offers simple, effective strategies for children with special needs such as autism, Tourette syndrome, cerebral palsy, and others, keeping in mind that the parents of these children are dealing with sleep difficulties of their own.

Cheryl K. Teal has a master’s degree in Library Science from North Carolina Central University. After her earlier careers as a teacher and a homeschooling mom, Cheryl now works as a Children’s Collection Development Librarian at Wake County Public Libraries in Raleigh.

Online Reading for Parents of Special Needs Children
Compiled by Karen Lewis Taylor

Disability Rights North Carolina, disabilityrightsnc.org/newsletters – Free, semi-annual newsletters from the state’s federally mandated disability protection and advocacy system. Topics include updates on recent litigation and client services, news about events and legislative matters, and information about issues that impact the lives of people with disabilities. Leaders also maintain a blog on state disability policy at disabilityrightsnc.org/disability-rights-nc-policy-blog.

Easy to Love but Hard to Raise Blog, easytolovebut.com – Created by the editors of the 2012 book by the same name, the blog supports and shares stories with parents of children impacted by “invisible” special needs such as ADHD, SPD, ODC, and others.

Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center, ecac-parentcenter.org – State-wide non-profit providing services and support to parents, students, educators and other professionals. Free, semi-annual newsletter, NewsLine, features information related to the education of infants, toddlers, children, youth and young adults with disabilities.

The Pacer Center, pacer.org/newsletters – Parent-run advocacy organization for children with special needs. Free newsletters and e-news are produced multiple times per year on issues including special education, early childhood development, technology, health care and advocacy.

Parenting Special Needs, parentingspecialneeds.org – Free, bi-monthly online magazine devoted to providing information and inspiration to parents of children of all ages with special needs.

Karen Lewis Taylor is the project editor of Exceptional Child.

Categories: Exceptional Child