Summer Holiday reading for parents and carers of children with Additional Needs

Mark Arnold by Mark Arnold Additional Needs

Mark Arnold

Mark Arnold

Mark heads up Urban Saints pioneering additional needs ministry programme and is co-founder of the ‘Additional Needs Alliance’, a learning and supp...

Summer Holiday reading for parents and carers of children with Additional Needs

It’s holiday season! That time when we either pack up our stuff and head somewhere for a week or two, or maybe have a ‘staycation’ and relax a bit locally. Either way, a popular item in our collection of things for the holidays is our reading list; some great books that will entertain, delight, scare or surprise us!

But how about if we think about this from the point of view of parents and carers of children with additional needs.

What books might we add to our summer reading list that will give us some helpful understanding or top tips that will help us with our child?

>Here’s some book recommendations from me that you might like to add to your summer additional needs reading list!

‘The Reason I Jump’ – Naoki Higashida – ISBN 978-1-444-77675-1

Written by an Autistic boy when aged 13, telling his story and describing the world as he experiences it. There is also an award-winning film based on the book.

‘My Diary’ – Emily Owen – ISBN 978-1-78893-166-3

A real story of childhood disability, challenge, and hope. Covering issues of self-image, self-worth, loss, faith, perseverance, and mental health through the experience of a teenager.

‘Eye Can Write’ – Jonathan Bryan – ISBN 978-1-91160-078-7

A true story of a child growing up unable to speak or communicate, then given the tools and belief to release his potential and unlock his communication. A personal and powerful story.

‘The Story Behind The Songs’ – Kat Mills – ISBN 978-1-9160-7440-8

Written by adult who identifies as Autistic and also has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), sharing the related stories behind some of her highly acclaimed and successful songs.

‘The Life You Never Expected’ – Andrew & Rachel Wilson – ISBN 978-1-78359-352-1

Sometimes as parents you end up living the life you never expected, as the writers did when both their children were diagnosed with additional needs. This is a story about surviving and thriving.

‘Shattered’ – Rachel & Tim Wright – ISBN 978-1-78259-896-1

This is not a ‘fix it quick’ kind of book… this is the book you want when your dreams seem out of reach. Bravely honest, funny, faith filled, and refreshing.

‘A Boy Made Of Blocks’ – Keith Stuart – ISBN 978-0-7515-6327-6

Inspired by the author’s experiences with his own son, this book is a moving, hilarious and most of all true-to-life story of love, family, Minecraft, and Autism.

‘One Thousand Gifts’ – Ann Voskamp – 978-0-310-32191-0

A book that will challenge you to look differently at each day, to count your blessings, to live fully right where you are. It will help you look away from the dark places and to see the glimmers of light.

‘Forest School and Autism – A Practical Guide’ – Michael James – ISBN 978-1-78592-291-6

Michael James runs his own Forest School in Somerset. He has 15+ years experience working as a support worker for Autistic people and is a member of the Forest School Association.

I hope you enjoy these book list recommendations and find them helpful. If you know other parents or carers on a similar journey to yours, why not start a book club and meet over a coffee to chat about the books you’ve read!

Happy summer!


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