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Books for learning disabilities

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We are told that books are knowledge. When you are a parent of a child with a disability you may not know where to turn. There are books out there that can help. The National Center for Learning Disabilities (http://www.ncld.org) and Bonnie Goodsmith put together a superb list of books about learning disabilities. The list is as follows:

Raising Resilient Children by Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein
Children with learning disabilities face many challenges that can damage their self-esteem. This book will help you harness your child’s strengths to foster positive self-esteem. Learn how to equip your child to meet challenges and bounce back from difficult experiences.

A Special Education: One Family’s Journey through the Maze of Learning Disabilities by Dana Buchman and Charlotte Farber
In this heartfelt memoir, co-written with her daughter, fashion designer Buchman describes her search for ways to help her daughter learn, a journey that became one of self-discovery as well.

The Dyslexic Advantage by Brock L. Eide and Fernette F. Eide
While people with dyslexia typically struggle to decode the written word, they often also excel in such areas of reasoning as mechanical (required for architects and surgeons), interconnected (artists and inventors), narrative (novelists and lawyers), and dynamic (scientists and business pioneers). This book provides a very different, and hopeful, perspective on dyslexia.

A Special Mother: Getting through the early days of a child’s diagnosis of learning disabilities and related disorders by Anne Ford and John-Richard Thompson
Filled with essential advice and the voices of mothers whose children have LD and related disorders, this book (one of a trio of books by this author) lets parents know they are not alone and that they can help their child to thrive.

Parenting a Struggling Reader by Susan Hall and Louisa Moats
Hall and Moats offer a detailed, realistic program for getting parents actively involved in their children’s reading lives. They present a four-step plan for identifying and resolving reading deficiencies, as well as advice for parents whose children received weak instruction during the crucial early years.

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey
Two physicians, both with ADD, use numerous case studies to present a clear picture of attention deficit disorder and how it intersects with other conditions (e.g., depression, substance abuse, and obsessive-compulsive disorder). They also stress the advantages of having ADD, such as high energy, intuitiveness, creativity, and enthusiasm. Especially helpful are the tips for dealing with ADD in a child, a partner, or a family member.

Making the System Work for Your Child with ADHD by Peter S. Jensen
Jensen, a physician, researcher, dedicated parent advocate, and father of a son with ADHD, shows parents how to enhance their effectiveness as decision makers and advocates for their children. This practical, helpful and reassuring book describes how to successfully navigate the healthcare and education systems.

It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success by Richard Lavoie
Veteran special education teacher Lavoie offers help to parents who want to help their children with learning disabilities overcome social skill deficits. Lavoie stresses communication and patience as parents guide their children through the maze of social interactions encountered daily, from arranging successful play dates and navigating the social challenges of school, to language difficulties, social anxieties and family issues.

True Stories about Real People Succeeding with LD by Jill Lauren
This book offers poignant, real-life stories that highlight a remarkable group of youth and adults with LD who lead fulfilling lives because of their hard work, courage and resilience. These inspiring people describe the resources they used to focus on their strengths and to persevere.

A Mind at a Time by Mel Levine
Children have different ways of learning, argues Levine, a professor of pediatrics and an educational researcher, so why do schools behave as though a one-size-fits-all education will work for everyone? Levine has isolated eight areas of learning, describing how each works and advising parents and teachers on how to help kids struggling in these areas.

Ready for Take-Off: Preparing Your Teen with ADHD or LD for College by Theresa E. Laurie Maitland and Patricia O. Quinn
Maitland and Quinn encourage parents to adopt a coaching-style approach and to stop micromanaging their teen's daily life. They provide college readiness surveys and worksheets to help parents play a productive role in their teenager's life, presenting ways to promote self-determination, daily living strategies and academic skills so their teen will be ready for college.

Learning Disabilities and ADHD: A Family Guide to Living and Learning Together by Betty Osman
Noted psychologist Betty Osman offers reassuring guidance and expert insight to help parents help their child. She addresses not only school issues, but also how learning problems can impact social interactions with peers and family.

My Dyslexia by Philip Schultz
Despite winning the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Philip Schultz grew up feeling ignored by his teachers and peers and wasn’t expected to succeed in school. Later, when his oldest son was diagnosed with dyslexia, Schultz realized that he too had the disorder. In this inspiring memoir, Schultz traces his difficult childhood and his new understanding of his early years.

Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level by Sally Shaywitz
Shaywitz, a neuroscientist and pediatrics professor, draws on scientific research and her own case histories to explain what causes dyslexia, how to identify it, and how to help children and adults “rewire” their brains to overcome it.

Guide to Learning Disabilities for Primary Care: How to Screen, Identify, Manage and Advocate for Children with Learning Disabilities by Larry Silver and Dana Silver
Written for professionals, this book is also an excellent resource for parents. It offers detailed information about the diagnosis, evaluation, and management of children with learning disabilities and related disorders of attention, language and behavior.

School Success for Kids with ADHD by Stephan Silverman, Jacqueline Iseman, and Sue Jeweler
This book talks about the causes and types of attention deficits, how they impact school success, and how to request evaluations. It provides helpful information about the laws that offer protections and services for students with special needs, and tools for parents and teachers to help with homework, organization, self-advocacy and more.

From Emotions to Advocacy: The Special Education Survival Guide by Peter Wright and Pamela Darr Wright
Wrightslaw was created after attorney Peter Wright won a landmark victory before the U.S. Supreme Court that has benefited all children with disabilities. In this book, he and Pamela Wright, a psychotherapist, offer parents valuable advice for understanding the complex interplay of parents, schools, disabilities and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other disability laws.

People connect with different books and authors so it is difficult to say which book would be what that parent needs. It is good to try a variety of books. If you know another parent going through the same thing, ask them if they have read and can recommend a good book. Happy Reading!

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