Children with Disabilities

Children with disabilities and chronic illnesses may need help coping with their differences and limitations.  It can be helpful to share resources with them about their specific diagnosis and also general books on coping with physical or mental challenges.  Therapists have recommended the following books.  If you don’t see something for your client’s particular needs, consider looking to the foundation for their diagnosis.  They will often have book lists as well as support groups or camps to help your client.

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Children with Disabilities great katie kate
The Great Katie Kate Explains Epilepsyby M. Maitland DeLand, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

This superhero saga provides an entertaining and indispensable tool for parents and medical professionals who are seeking a positive way to help young epilepsy patients understand their condition and deal with their fears. As a well-respected physician who specializes in the treatment of women and children, the author presents challenging medical concepts in clear, accurate, and understandable prose.

This series also includes books for kids explaining cancer, diabetes,  and asthma.



Wonder by R.J. Palacio

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

If you know of another book that belongs on this list let us know here or tell us about it in the comments. Make sure you’re also following The Therapist’s Bookshelf on Facebook and Instagram.

Many therapists enjoy recommending books to their clients to supplement the work they are doing together. We also use books to help ourselves grow as people and practitioners. Remember though that books are never a replacement for real human connection, for supervision and continuing education, or for therapy when it’s needed. If you find yourself needing a therapist, a great place to start is Psychology Today. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.


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