Kids of all abilities have similar experiences, how they manage the process can be different and require more care. We’ve reviewed several books for kids with special needs and the parents and professionals working with them. Some of these are designed for kids with disabilities and some are created to help explain disabilities to kids.

Strangers Assume my Girlfriend is my Nurse by Shane Burcaw
$18.99; FierceReads.com

With his signature wit, twenty-something author, blogger, and entrepreneur Shane Burcaw is back with an essay collection about living a full life in a body that many people perceive as a tragedy. From anecdotes about first introductions where people patted him on the head instead of shaking his hand, to stories of passersby mistaking his able-bodied girlfriend for a nurse, Shane tackles awkward situations and assumptions with humor and grace. On the surface, these essays are about day-to-day life as a wheelchair user with a degenerative disease, but they are actually about family, love, and coming of age.

Not so Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability by Shane Burcaw
$10.99; Amazon.com
Not So Different offers a humorous, relatable, and refreshingly honest glimpse into Shane Burcaw’s life. Shane tackles many of the mundane and quirky questions that he’s often asked about living with a disability, and shows readers that he’s just as approachable, friendly, and funny as anyone else.

Guion the Lion by Rebecca Wilson Macsovits
$17.99; GuionTheLion.com
Guion the Lion follows the adventures of an imaginative little lion who sees things a little differently from his friends and teaches children the importance of appreciating individual differences. It also features beautiful imagery, fun activities and facilitation questions to encourage dialogue with children and their caregivers around the book’s many important themes.

The Classroom Mystery by Tracy Packiam Alloway
$16.95; QuartoKnows.com
Someone has been stealing food from Snowball, the classroom pet bunny. Can Izzy use her SEN Superpowers to track down the culprit and save the day? Explores the topic of ADHD with an empowering story and adorable illustrations. The SEN Superpowers series celebrates the positive traits associated with a range of common SEN (Special Education Needs) conditions, boosting the confidence and strength-awareness of children with those conditions, while also allowing for better understanding and positivity among their peers. Also available: The Map Challenge.

Doggy Defenders: Willow the Therapy Dog
$9.99; Amazon.com
In this endearing picture book, readers meet helping hound Willow, and follow her as she spends an exciting day at work. Gorgeous photography brings to life the true stories of sweet Willow’s role as a therapy dog in Washington, D.C. Simple, lyrical text lets readers journey along as Willow visits patients at a hospital, helps children read at a library pajama party, and brings smiles to people who need them.

My Brother Otto by Meg Raby
$16.99; Gibbs-Smith.com
A child-friendly, endearing, and fun picture book for children about the love, acceptance, and understanding a sister, Piper, has for her little brother Otto, who is on the autism spectrum. The author holds a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology with a certification in Autism Spectrum Disorders and has experience working with children ages 2–17 on the autism spectrum.

Little Unicorn is Scared by Aurélie Chien Chow Chine
$12.99; Amazon.com
Little Unicorn is the perfect character for early readers to learn about their own emotions and how to deal with them. Also available: Little Unicorn is Angry.

SEN Superpowers: The Perfect Project by Tracy Packiam Alloway
$16.95; QuartoKnows.com
When Charlie’s class have to do a class project on trains, can he use his SEN Superpowers to help his group get the job done? Explores the topic of autism with an empowering story and adorable illustrations. The SEN Superpowers series celebrates the positive traits associated with a range of common SEN (Special Education Needs) conditions, boosting the confidence and strength-awareness of children with those conditions, while also allowing for better understanding and positivity among their peers. Also available: The Playground Problem.

Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky & Patrick Downes
$16.99; Candlewick.com
Based on a real-life partnership, the heartening story of the love and teamwork between a girl and her service dog will illuminate and inspire. Rescue thought he’d grow up to be a Seeing Eye dog. When he gets the news that he’s better suited to being a service dog, he’s worried that he’s not up to the task. Then he meets Jessica, a girl whose life is turning out differently than the way she’d imagined it, too. Now Jessica needs Rescue by her side to help her accomplish everyday tasks.

GOA Kids – Goats of Anarchy: Angel and Her Wonderful Wheels by Leanne Laurciella
$17.95; QuartoKnows.com
Discover the story of Angel, a baby goat who is different from the others. Angel, who can’t walk like other goats, is rescued by Leanne Lauricella, founder of the Goats of Anarchy animal sanctuary. With Leanne’s help, Angel gets a new set of wheels—a pink cart that helps her learn to walk, run, and play.

GEMINA coverGEMINA, The Crooked-Neck Giraffe
by Karen B. Winnick
$15.95; Amazon.com
Gemina stood out from the other giraffes at the Santa Barbara Zoo. She was the famous crooked-neck giraffe. Everyone who saw her wondered if she was all right. Did her neck hurt? As months passed, Gemina’s neck leaned more and more to the side but it never seemed to bother her. Gemina didn’t let her difference stop her from doing anything the other giraffes did. Told with affection and illustrated with oil paintings, this is Gemina’s story, a celebration of the life of a very special giraffe. All proceeds from the sales of this book were generously donated by the author and go directly to support the animals at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Reasons to Smile: Celebrating People Living with Down Syndrome reasonstosmile_book
by Andrea Knauss & Elizabeth Martins
This compilation of 56 encouraging and eye-opening short writings by a variety of authors across the globe celebrates the lives of people living with Down syndrome. Together with 56 inspiring “slice of life” photos, these candid true stories, including the renowned “Welcome to Holland,” provide inspiration and connection. Parents and families of children living with Down syndrome will discover a wealth of positivity and valuable guidance.

itcantbetrue_bookDK Braille: It Can’t Be True
$29.99; DK.com
How big is the sun? What is the smallest bird? Where is the tallest building? Explore astounding facts and stories through high-impact and embossed images in this special book designed specifically for blind or visually impaired readers. The pages combine braille, large print, and high contrast photography with clear and predictive layouts. Fact boxes offer instant information for readers, and the image adapted embossed images make new concepts as clear as possible for the tactile reader. Each spread is based around a fact, so readers can feel a hailstone three times wider than a tennis ball or a bird so small it can sit on the end of a pencil.

onthemove_book

DK Braille: On the Move
$22.99; DK.com
All aboard! Learn about the exciting world of transportation. Readers can take fun quizzes and learn amazing facts through high-impact and embossed images in this special book designed specifically for blind or visually impaired readers. From submarines deep in the ocean to hot air balloons in the sky, this book covers nearly all forms of travel and takes readers on their own exciting journey. The pages combine braille, large print, and high contrast photography with clear and predictive layouts. Annotations offer instant information for readers, and the image adapted embossed images make new concepts as clear as possible for the tactile reader.

I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autismiseethingsdifferently
Barronseduc.com

The topic of autism is explored in a way that encourages positive interaction among children, parents, and teachers. The story line is simple and easily accessible to younger children, who will learn that exploring the personal feelings around social issues is a first step in dealing with them. Full-color illustrations on every page.