“My brain is always sending me off on little missions, whether or not I want to do them. And if I don’t obey, then I have to fight a feeling of horror. Really, it’s like I’m being pushed over the brink into a kind of Hell. For people with autism, living itself is a battle.”
~Naoki Higashida from The Reason I Jump
Very profound words, right? That book was life-changing for me. If you haven’t read it and have a child with autism, it’s a must read. There are many first-person books from people living with disabilities, and hearing their words and their thoughts can be life changing. It has me viewing my son’s autism in a whole new light, since having read it.
So with that in mind, I thought I would ask my readers what they have read that are life changing books for them. Books, that when you’re reading them, you’re having that Oprah “a-HA!” moment. It has changed the way you interact with your child, helped you understand your child better. The Reason I Jump was one for me. Another was Dr. Paul Offit’s Autism’s False Prophets. We received my son’s diagnosis right before this book came out and it was life changing for me, to the point that I made it a point to visit with Dr. Offit and thank him. It made me realize how vulnerable I was and that I would not let myself be taken advantage of.
Side note: I am aware that I am not using people first language, and I am also using disabled rather than special needs. All are acceptable to use. Neither people first nor using identity first is better than the other. And avoiding the word disabled implies that it’s a bad/negative word. It’s not. There is a movement right now called #SayTheWord to take back ownership of the words disabled and disability.
So, here is the list of books from my readers, books that gave them an “a-ha!” moment and were life changing for them, as far as raising a child with disabilities or learning disabilities. I realized when I was grabbing the pictures and links from Amazon that they have a feature where I can grab a widget with the price too. So the price you are seeing on these life changing books should be current, though it might vary for Kindle and so on. And there’s always the library!
First, you cannot go wrong with any of the Ross Greene books. All are fantastic.
Same with Ross Greene, you can’t go wrong with John Elder Robison. This is his most famous book, but they are all good. He and Temple Grandin both offer first-person accounts of what it is like to live with autism.
No More Meltdowns has helped many parents develop effective strategies to deal with meltdowns. And prevent them!
School Struggles is a great one if you child has learning disabilities.
Trauma is a relatively new teaching awareness, though it shouldn’t be. But if a child has been through trauma, they cannot learn if it has not been healed. And we are learning a lot about trauma and children and understanding them.
Along the lines of a first person account, the authors do not have autism but offer some insight into it.
So that’s a pretty long list. Did I forget some, some that are your favorites? Tell us in the comments!