Parents of Children with Special Needs

special needs parents

Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid: A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Children by Gina Gallagher and Patricia Konjoian  

I love recommending Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid to other parents of kids who struggle. It was written by two sisters, one who has a child with autism and the other who had a child with bipolar. They discuss the different ways they each coped with their kid’s diagnoses and give wonderfully irreverent advice to others on this journey.

far from the tree

Solomon’s startling proposition in Far from the Tree is that being exceptional is at the core of the human condition—that difference is what unites us. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, or multiple severe disabilities; with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, and Solomon documents triumphs of love over prejudice in every chapter.

All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent should parents accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on ten years of research and interviews with more than three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges.

Memoirs by Parents of Kids with Special Needs

Many parents of kids with special needs feel isolated in this journey.  They may not know how to cope with their child’s diagnosis or have the support system they need.  Memoirs by other parents who have been down this road can provide a me too moment for these parents and be very healing.

Bloom is an inspiring and heartfelt memoir that celebrates the beauty found in the unexpected, the strength of a mother’s love, and, ultimately, the amazing power of perspective. The author of the popular blog Enjoying the Small Things—named The Bump’s Best Special Needs Blog and The Blog You’ve Learned the Most From in the 2010 BlogLuxe Awards—Kelle Hampton interweaves lyrical prose and stunning four-color photography as she recounts the unforgettable story of the first year in the life of her daughter Nella, who has Down syndrome. Poignant, eye-opening, and heart-soaring, Hampton’s Bloomis ultimately about embracing life and really living it.



The Horse Boy: A Memoir of Healing by Rupert Isaacson

When his son Rowan was diagnosed with autism, Rupert Isaacson was devastated, afraid he might never be able to communicate with his child. But when Isaacson, a lifelong horseman, rode their neighbor’s horse with Rowan, Rowan improved immeasurably. He was struck with a crazy idea: why not take Rowan to Mongolia, the one place in the world where horses and shamanic healing intersected?

THE HORSE BOY is the dramatic and heartwarming story of that impossible adventure. In Mongolia, the family found undreamed of landscapes and people, unbearable setbacks, and advances beyond their wildest dreams. This is a deeply moving, truly one-of-a-kind story–of a family willing to go to the ends of the earth to help their son, and of a boy learning to connect with the world for the first time.

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