Please note that these links were correct at the time of publication. The list is offered as a support to parents, not as an official recommendation by the centre.
|Cover||Book Title||Author||Age Group||Synopsis|
|In A Pickle Over PANDAS||Melanie S. Weiss||This book is about a young boy’s journey with a harrowing illness called PANDAS, an acronym for Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus. He wakes up one morning, and overnight, is stricken with unusual and frightening symptoms that turn his world upside down. Some of the symptoms he experiences are anxiety & OCD. This happened all because an autoimmune response caused dysfunctional antibodies to invade the basal ganglia of the brain instead of fighting off the streptococcus bacteria. The boy has never even heard of PANDAS. After a long road, filled with doctor visits, blood draws, procedures & surgery, he is finally on the road to recovery. In time, he is able to forget about this harrowing illness. Then, the only PANDAS he knows of are the black and white bears at the zoo.
About the author - Melanie S. Weiss, RNC-MNN, BSN has been a registered nurse for thirty years, certified in maternal-newborn nursing. Her goals in writing this book were to explain a frightening illness to the children afflicted with it, in an informative but non-frightening way, and to raise awareness about the disorder. She is also the author of the article, “The Pandemonium of PANDAS.” Melanie lives in Long Island, NY with her husband and three sons and is an employee of the North Shore LIJ Health System.
|The Essential Manual for Asperger Syndrome (ASD) in the Classroom||Kathy Hoopmann||Perfect for time-poor teachers, this essential handbook is an easy-to-navigate resource that promotes a positive learning environment in which students with Asperger syndrome (ASD) can thrive. Kathy’s unique ability to explain the ASD mind-set shines through as her concise descriptions reveal how to recognise and develop the child’s strengths to the fullest potential whilst guiding and mentoring through areas of difficulties. Full of effective and innovative strategies, the book covers areas such as meltdowns, forming friendships, literal thinking and speaking, and the overwhelming influence of sensory sensitivities.
|Toe By Toe||Keda Cowling & Harry Cowling||Ages 7+||Highly Structured Multi-Sensory Reading Manual for Teachers and Parents. Toe By Toe can be used by anyone aged 7 and upwards. It is essentially a decoding book, which trains students to convert letters (or groups of letters) into the appropriate sounds. In simple terms, it gives people the ability to read the English language. It has been used successfully with adults and children, including those for whom English is not their first language. http://www.toe-by-toe.co.uk/|
|Stareway To Spelling - An Aid To Spelling||Keda & Kelsey Cowling||A manual designed to ensure that any student can read and spell the 300 most used words in the English language quickly, confidently and accurately. Stareway To Spelling ensures that the 300 most used words are committed to long-term memory and recalled at will by the student.
|Susan Laughs||Jeanne Willis||Ages 4+||This sweet story, told in rhyme, follows a little girl named Susan through everyday activities. Susan swims with her father, does her schoolwork, plays with her friends, and rides a horse — just like most girls and boys. It’s not until the very end of the book that we find out that Susan uses a wheelchair, and we’re taught that her physical disability doesn’t change her ability to be just like any other kid. It’s a great one for our youngest children, whether they’re in pre-k or kindergarten, which is the right time start talking about empathy for kids who are not exactly like us.|
|Looking After Louis||Lesley Ely||Ages 6+||Louis has autism and his classmates learn how to play with him so that he feels comfortable and included, like in a simple game of soccer. Narrated by a girl named Emma, who sits next to Louis in the classroom, this book helps children begin to understand what autism is and highlights the advantages of inclusion for all children. The book is upbeat, vibrant and fun, so kids will enjoy the story without feeling like they’ve sat down for a lesson.|
|Wonder||R.J. Palacio||Ages 8+||Wonder should be mandatory reading for kids and their parents. This uplifting and truly moving novel is about August (Auggie) Pullman, who was born with a congenital facial abnormality. He’s going to school for the first time in the fifth grade, which comes with all the fears any kid would face, only heightened. We’re never told what Auggie looks like exactly, but we know that his face causes others to stare, feel frightened, and sometimes make fun of him. What’s really special about this book — and why we named it among our best children’s books of 2015 — is that it’s told from different perspectives, including Auggie’s sister, best friend, even the class bully. It’s a remarkable way to learn that not everyone good is good all the time, and not everyone “bad” is truly bad. It’s also a reminder that all kinds, no matter what, need and deserve friendship, understanding, and the freedom to be yourself. Just be prepared to have a stack of tissues — Wonder is a roller coaster of emotions. But you’ll be left inspired and believing that love and kindness always have the ability to win out.|
|El Deafo||Cece Bell||Ages 10+||This graphic novel memoir by Cece Bell who chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her experience wearing a large hearing aid in middle school in the 1970s — a time that none of us want to stand out from other kids, for any reason. It has all the hallmarks of a coming of age story: crushes, school woes, and making friends, but with the theme of understanding and accepting the differences among our classmates. And hey, if R.J. Palacio likes it, you know it’s a good one.|
|Out of My Mind||Sharon M. Draper||Ages 10+||In this novel, brainy 11-year-old Melody has a photographic memory and has a lot to share with the world — but few people know it, because Melody can’t talk, walk, or even write. The feeling of being stuck inside her head inspires the title of this novel, but eventually Melody finds her voice in what I think is an unforgettable YA story. This book will definitely leave an impression in lots of kids, making it one you should definitely consider for your older middle-grade readers.|
|Marcelo in the Real World||Francisco X. Stork||Ages 12+||Lead character Marcelo Sandoval has autism and has always attended a special school to help him with his differences. But the summer after his junior year of high school, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm’s mailroom in order to experience “the real world.” This YA novel has been compared to Mark Haddon’s 2004 best-selling The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for its intensity and the purity of its voice. While it’s recommended for kids 12 and up, this is one for kids with the maturity to grasp themes like moral dilemmas and a world that’s not always black-and-white. Or maybe, this is one you can read along with your kids and discuss it each night.|
|After Ever After||Jordan Sonnenblick||Ages 12+||This sequel to the wildly popular Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie is about Jeffrey, now a teen and eight years after his cancer diagnosis, with the disease now in remission, though he’s been left with learning disabilities and a limp, and a struggle to feel “normal.” The story deals with the effects of his treatment — and how others treat him, which is where readers really get to put themselves in the shoes of all the characters here. Add in academic struggles and standardized tests, first crushes, sibling fights, and life is pretty tough for Jeffrey; yet the book is told with so much humor, honesty, and understanding, it’s an enjoyable lesson in kindness and empathy, written for an age group that can never have too many of those.|
|Freaks Like Us||Susan Vaught||Ages 13+||Authored by an adolescent psychologist, this mystery novel about a boy with schizophrenia offers great insight on mental illness through a expertly crafted page-turner. Jason Milwaukee’s best friend, a selective mute named Sunshine, disappears, which leads the entire town on a maddening search for the lost child. What happened, who did it, and many more questions arise in this story — though really, the novel is about understanding the daily struggles of mental illness and high school–aged kids will find it imminently compelling.|
|All Dogs Have ADHD||Kathy Hoopmann||All Dogs Have ADHD takes an inspiring and affectionate look at Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), using images and ideas from the canine world to explore a variety of traits that will be instantly recognisable to those who are familiar with ADHD. Following the style of the award-winning All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome, charming colour photographs of dogs bring to life familiar ADHD characteristics such as being restless and excitable, getting easily distracted, and acting on impulse. This delightful book combines humour with understanding to reflect the difficulties and joys of raising a child with ADHD and celebrates what it means to be considered `different'. This absorbing and enjoyable book takes a refreshing approach to understanding ADHD. http://www.kathyhoopmann.com/books-alldogs.html|
|All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome||Kathy Hoopmann||This engaging book is an ideal, gentle introduction to the world of Asperger Syndrome (AS). Drawing inspiration from the feline world, its delightful colour photographs of cats bring to life familiar characteristics such as sensitive hearing, scampering at the first sign of being stroked, and particular eating habits. Touching, humorous and insightful, this book evokes the difficulties and joys of raising a child who is different and leaves the reader with a sense of the dignity, individuality, and potential of people with Asperger Syndrome.
|Inside Asperger's Looking Out||Kathy Hoopmann||Inside Asperger's Looking Out follows in the best-selling footsteps of All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome and All Dogs Have ADHD. Through engaging text and full-color photographs, this book shows neurotypicals how Aspies see and experience the world. Each page brings to light traits that many Aspies have in common, from sensitive hearing and an aversion to bright lights and strong smells, to literal thinking and difficulty understanding social rules and reading body language and facial expressions. At the same time, the book highlights and celebrates the unique characteristics that make those with Asperger's Syndrome special. This is the perfect introduction to the world of Aspies, told from their own perspective, for the people in their lives: including family, friends, and classmates. Those with Asperger's Syndrome will also appreciate this book for the way it shares their own singular perspectives on life. http://www.kathyhoopmann.com/book-insideaspergers.html|
|Blue Bottle Mystery||Kathy Hoopmann||This is a warm, fun-filled fantasy story for children with a difference: the hero is Ben, a boy with Asperger Syndrome. When Ben and his friend Andy find an old bottle in the school yard, they little realize the surprises about to be unleashed in their lives. Bound up with this exciting mystery is the story of how Ben is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and how he and his family deal with the problems and joys that come along. Blue Bottle Mystery is a delight to read that is more than just another kid's book. For the first time, the issues and frustrations that a child may have with Asperger Syndrome are explored within a fictional format especially for children. Its portrayal of Ben as the central character offers other children with autistic spectrum disorders and their peers a positive role model. It is a valuable teaching tool that demystifies children with Asperger Syndrome, justifying their individuality as valid and interesting. In Blue Bottle Mystery Kathy has combined her love of children with her passion for fantasy literature to produce a delightful read for anyone who loves an adventure and wants a unique insight into the mind of an Asperger child. http://www.kathyhoopmann.com/books-bluebottle.html|
|Of Mice and Aliens||Kathy Hoopmann||The sequel to Blue Bottle Mystery, this is a science fiction novel for kids, with a difference. Ben is learning to cope with his newly diagnosed Asperger Syndrome, but when an alien crash-lands in his back yard, things really get complicated. The alien, Zeke, knows nothing about Earth's rules and norms and it is up to Ben and his friend Andy to help Zeke survive. The humorous parallels between the alien's inability to relate to humans and Ben's own idiosyncrasies highlight the difficulties Aspie kids face every day. Of Mice and Aliens is not just another kids' book. As well as being a delightful read for anyone who loves adventure, it is a valuable teaching tool that demystifies children with Asperger's, justifying their individuality as valid and interesting. http://www.kathyhoopmann.com/books-ofmice.html|
|Lisa and the Lacemaker||Kathy Hoopmann||When Lisa discovers a derelict hut in her friend Ben's backyard, she delights in exploring the remnants of an era long gone. Imagine her surprise when Great Aunt Hannah moves into a nursing home nearby, and reveals that once she was a servant in those very rooms. The old lady draws Lisa into the art of lace making and through the cross-crossing of threads, Lisa is helped to understand her own Asperger Syndrome. But Great Aunt Hannah also has a secret and now it is up to Lisa to confront the mysterious lacemaker and put the past to rest.
|Elemental Island||Kathy Hoopmann||Ages 8 - 13||Astie has always been different. Her 12th birthday is looming and she still has not decided on her thesis. All the Learners at the Hub picked theirs years ago. If it wasn't for her cousin, Jakob, life would be unbearable on Elemental Island. On the verge of being diagnosed with Social Syndrome, she stumbles upon Danny who has landed in a forbidden flight machine. To protect him, Astie persuades Jakob to tamper with the Overseer's memory. On the run from the Monitors together, Astie calls on her unique qualities to forge a friendship with the stranger and discover his reason for coming to the island. What she finds will shake the foundations of the place she calls home. Set on a secretive island utopia where science and logic rule, this intriguing novel explores and celebrates differences in people from an alternative perspective.
|Since We’re Friends||Celeste Shally||Preschool to Grade 2||Since We’re Friends is charming book about two boys. One has autism, the other does not. The story of their relationship provides practical examples of how to make such a friendship work. This book will help children see that their peers with autism can make a fun, genuine contribution to friendship.|
|My Brother Charlie||Holly Robinson Peete & Ryan Elizabeth Peete||Preschool to Grade 2||This is a heartwarming story about a boy with autism. The book is based on the life story of Holly’s 10-year old son who has autism. This novel gives us insight into life with autism, and helps kids understand why those with the condition struggle to make friends and express themselves.|
|What It Is to Be Me!||Angela Wine||Ages 4+||What It Is To Be Me! gives us a very real taste of what life with Asperger’s Syndrome is like. The book is written from the perspective of the author’s son, Danny, a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. Danny shares the ups, downs, and pride of being a child with Asperger’s. Fully illustrated, this book is insightful and entertaining for children and adults alike.|
|Why Does Izzy Cover Her Ears?||Jennifer Veenendall||Ages 4 - 8||This is an entertaining story about Izzy, a feisty first grader, whose behavior is often misunderstood as she tries to cope with sensory overload in her new surroundings. The book is brightly illustrated, and creates an environment that is accepting of students with sensory modulation difficulties, including many on the autism spectrum.|
|Tacos Anyone?||Marvie Ellis||Ages 4 - 7||Michael is a four-year old boy with autism. His older brother, Thomas, doesn’t understand why Michael behaves the way he does. A therapist teaches Thomas how to play with Michael, making sibling time fun again. This fully color illustrated, bilingual (English and Spanish) children’s book is written for young readers, parents, siblings, family members, and professionals who work with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.|
|Can I Tell You About Asperger Syndrome?||Jude Welton||Ages 6 - 12||Adam, a young boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, invites young readers to learn about the condition from his perspective. In this book, Adam helps children understand the difficulties faced by a child with Asperger’s. He tells them what Asperger’s is, and how they can help children with the condition by understanding their differences and appreciating their many talents.|
|The Autism Acceptance Book||Ellen Sabin||Ages 6 - 12||Adam, a young boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, invites young readers to learn about the condition from his perspective. In this book, Adam helps children understand the difficulties faced by a child with Asperger’s. He tells them what Asperger’s is, and how they can help children with the condition by understanding their differences and appreciating their many talents.|
|Autism, the Invisible Cord||Barbara S. Cain||Grades 4 - 7||Autism, The Invisible Cord follows 14-year-old Jenny as she describes her day-to-day life with her younger brother with autism, Ezra. Ezra can be both her best friend as well as her biggest obstacle to living a normal life, and Jenny often finds herself worrying about her younger brother. Through taking care of Ezra and a very special school project, Jenny ends up learning about her own character and strengths, and finds a way to shine despite everything else.|
|Different Like Me||Jennifer Elder||Ages 8 - 12||Eight-year-old Quinn, a young boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, tells young readers about the achievements and characteristics of his autism heroes. These are inspirational figures from the world of science, art, math, literature, philosophy and comedy. They include everyone from Albert Einstein, Dian Fossey and Wassily Kandinsky to Lewis Carroll, Benjamin Banneker and Julia Bowman Robinson.|
|Everybody Is Different||Fiona Bleach||Ages 9+||This book gives answers to the many questions brothers and sisters of young people on the autism spectrum have about their siblings. In addition to explaining the characteristics of autism in easy to understand terms, this little book is full of helpful suggestions for making family life more comfortable for everyone. The many illustrations make this a warm and accessible book for young people.|
|Walk With Me: An Interactive Children's Book||Jennifer Logan||Ages 3+||Written by an Occupational, this delightfully illustrated children's book is designed to engage your child in movements which have been carefully selected for children to help regulate their sensory system, reduce stress, build up their strength and coordination. Read this book with your child and get active with them. This story encourages pretend play, develops the connection between you and your child as you play together, while you develop your child's gross motor and sensory motor skills. Fun, imaginative and interactive this story featuring Australian Native Animals. Playful and imaginative performing the exercises in the sequence helps to create a calm, attentive state of mind great idea to complete just before it's time to sit down and complete homework. It is available in the 4 languages: