Special Needs Book Recommendations

Here are book recommendations from many special needs parents here at Mothering.  Please add to this list if you have read a good special needs book that fits into our community’s general philosophy (and the book is not already on this list).


General – All Special Needs

Changed by a Child, Barbara Gill

The Child With Special Needs: Encouraging Intellectual and Emotional Growth, Stanley I. Greenspan, Serena Wieder, Robin Simons

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish

Married with Special-Needs Children: A Couples’ Guide to Keeping Connected, Laura E. Marshak, Fran P. Prezant



Driven To Distraction : Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood, Edward M. Hallowell, John J. Ratey



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


Autism Spectrum

Engaging Autism: Helping Children Relate, Communicate and Think with the DIR Floortime Approach, Stanley I. Greenspan

The New Social Story Book: Over 150 Social Stories that Teach Everyday Social Skills to Children with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, and their Peers, Carol Gray

1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s, Ellen Notbohm, Veronica Zysk

Playing, Laughing and Learning with Children on the Autism Spectrum: A Practical Resource of Play Ideas for Parents and Carers, Julia Moor

Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Other ASDs, Chantal Sicile-Kira

Targeting Autism: What We Know, Don’t Know, and Can Do to Help Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Shirley Cohen

Asperger Syndrome And Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions For Tantrums, Rage And Meltdowns, Brenda Smith Myles, Jack Southwick

A Mind Apart: Understanding Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Peter Szatmari, MD

The Myriad Gifts of Asperger’s Syndrome, John M. Ortiz, PhD

Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, Tony Attwood

Hitchhiking through Asperger Syndrome, Lise Pyles

Parent to Parent, Ann Boushey

Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism, Roy Richard Grinker

Making Peace with Autism: One Family’s Story of Struggle, Discovery, and Unexpected Gifts, Susan Senator

Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family’s Triumph over Autism, Catherine Maurice

Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant, Daniel Tammet

Thinking In Pictures: and Other Reports from My Life with Autism, Temple Grandin

The Siege: A Family’s Journey Into the World of an Autistic Child, Clara Claiborne Park

Exiting Nirvana: A Daughter’s Life with Autism, Clara Claiborne Park

Elijah’s Cup: A Family’s Journey into the Community and Culture of High-Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, Valerie Paradiz

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s, John Elder Robison

Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn’t Fit In — When to Worry and When Not to Worry, Perri Klass, M.D. and Eileen Costello, M.D.


Autism Spectrum – for children to read

Ian’s Walk: A Story about Autism, Laurie Lears, Karen Ritz

Everybody Is Different: A Book for Young People Who Have Brothers or Sisters With Autism, Fiona Bleach

Rules, Cynthia Lord


Behavior Issues

The Challenging Child: Understanding, Raising, and Enjoying the Five “Difficult” Types of Children, Stanley I. Greenspan, Jacqueline Salmon

Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach, Howard Glasser, Jennifer Easley

All Children Flourishing – Igniting the Greatness of Our Children, Howard Glasser, Melissa Block

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children, Ross W. Greene

Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children With Severe Behaviors, Heather T. Forbes


Biomedical Interventions (Autism, ADHD, Asthma, Allergies, and more)

Children with Starving Brains: A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Jaquelyn McCandless, M.D.

The Natural Medicine Guide to Autism, Stephanie Marohn

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders, Kenneth Bock, MD, Cameron Stauth

Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment For: Autism, ADD, ADHD, Depression, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Schizophrenia, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet, Elaine Gloria Gottschall

Enzymes for Autism and other Neurological Conditions, Karen L. Defelice


Deaf/Hearing Loss

Raising and Educating a Deaf Child,Marc Marschark

Choices in Deafness, Sue Schwartz, PhD, editor

The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community, Harlan Lane

Deaf Like Me, Thomas S. Spradley, James P. Spradley


Deaf/Hearing Loss – for children to read

I Can Sign My ABCs, Susan Chaplin

Wow: Baby Signs: Feelings (Wow Baby Signs), Kathy Robinson


Down Syndrome

Differences in Common: Straight Talk on Mental Retardation, Down Syndrome, and Life, Marilyn Trainer


Emotional Issues

Children and Babies with Mood Swings: New Insights for Parents and Professionals, Stanley I. Greenspan, MD, Ira Glovinsky PhD, Cindy Glovinsky, MSW

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children, Ross W. Greene

Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens + Teens, Laura S. Kastner, PhD, Jennifer Wyatt


Executive Skills and Self-Regulation

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential, Peg Dawson, Richard Guare

How Does Your Engine Run? Leader’s Guide to the Alert Program for Self Regulation, Mary Sue Williams, Sherry Shellenberger

Incredible 5-Point Scale Assisting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Understanding Social Interactions and Controlling Their Emotional Responses, Kari Dunn Buron, Mitzi Curtis


Feeding/Eating Issues

Just Take a Bite: Easy, Effective Answers to Food Aversions and Eating Challenges, Lori Ernsperger, Tania Stegen-Hanson

Great Therapy Ideas!: Oral Sensory-Motor Tool-Toys & Techniques, Boshart, Demetrion, Haislip, Harrison, Jared, Kelly, Schueller, Szypulski


Nonverbal Learning Disorder

Bridging the Gap: Raising a Child with Nonverbal Learning Disorder, Rondalyn Varney Whitney

Nonverbal Learning Disabilities at Home: A Parent’s Guide, Pamela B. Tanguay

Helping a Child with Nonverbal Learning Disorder or Asperger’s Disorder: A Parent’s Guide, Kathryn Stewart


Potty Learning

Stress-Free Potty Training, Sara Au and Peter L. Stavinoha, PhD

Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism or other Developmental Issues, Maria Wheeler, M.Ed.


Sensory Issues (SPD, SID)

The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A.

The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder, Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A.

Raising a Sensory Smart Child, Lindsey Biel, M.A., OTR/L, Nancy Peske

Starting Sensory Integration Therapy: Fun Activities That Won’t Destroy Your Home or Classroom, Bonnie Arnwine

The Sensory-Sensitive Child: Practical Solutions for Out-of-Bounds Behavior, Karen A. Smith, PhD, Karen R. Gouze, PhD

Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder, Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR


Speech Issues

The Late Talker: What to Do If Your Child Isn’t Talking Yet, Dr. Marilyn C. Agin, Lisa F. Geng, Malcolm Nicholl

Play To Talk: A Practical Guide to Help Your Late-Talking Child Join the Conversation, James MacDonald, PhD

The Big Book of Exclamations, Teri Kaminski Peterson, Chris McAllister

Diaper David (book series), David Shannon

Childhood Speech, Language & Listening Problems: What Every Parent Should Know, Patricia McAleer Hamaguchi

Schuyler’s Monster: A Father’s Journey with His Wordless Daughter, Robert Rummel-Hudson



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