Children’s books about tough stuff

So many parents turn to books to help explain some of the more difficult aspects of life to their children, so I’m always on the lookout for lists of books that tackle the tough subjects.  This list contains books about divorce, potty training (this one has a lot of good reviews on Amazon), anxieties, death, being different (several books), bullying, bad behaviour, moving, cancer, etc.

Autism, from an Autistic perspective

Autism, from an Autistic perspective, by Chris Bonnello (of Autistic, Not Weird blog). I have posted a few of Chris Bonnello’s articles previously, and really enjoy reading/hearing his perspectives. This clip is just as good- the only problem with it is that it’s an excerpt of a longer presentation, called “An Autistic’s Top 20 tips for working with Autistic people”, and only shows the first four tips! I won’t include spoilers here, but he’s a very engaging and humorous presenter, and gives great examples to support his points.

Siblings and acceptance

In Jesse’s Shoes, by Beverly Lewis. Written from the perspective of the sister of a boy with special needs (most likely autism)- from embarrassment about how her peers see them both, through to literally walking in his shoes. She learned to appreciate him and his interests, and to stand up to and educate the troublemakers. Great story for promoting understanding of both autism, and sibling issues. The book does contain some Christian content.

Focus on positive

Reclaiming the dignity lost in a diagnosis, by Cas Faulds (We are like your child blog).

My son is autistic, and I know what it is like to sit with professionals and be told how limited your child is.  

Her recommendation: Rewrite the professional report using positive (neurodiverse) language, rather than negative/deficit (pathology) language- and she includes an example.

You are going to have to introduce your child to teachers and therapists and you’re going to have to do that more than once.  When you do, you want to do that from a place of strength rather than a place of weakness.  You want to highlight your child’s unique potential rather than place limitations on them.  

Introverted parents

The benefits of being an introverted parent, by Kristen Howerton. Rather than seeing her introversion as a parental flaw, the author looked at her skillset as a parent, and recognised many areas in which her introversion was an asset. She may not invite all the neighbourhood kids over for afternoon tea, or play with all of her kids at once, but her overthinking/analysis helps her to stay in tune with them, she helps her kids process their feelings, enjoys one-on-one times with each of them etc.

Aspie life experiences

I’ve just discovered a new-to-me blog called Life on the Spectrum. Some great articles, including a few about adult female diagnosis and life experience.  It’s this latter topic that I’m linking to here:

Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome– a very honest list of everyday life experiences, eg

People call you “sad” for being interested in interesting stuff.
You don’t understand what’s so funny about teasing. You feel you’re being mocked.
You are exhausted by always pretending to be normal, but fearful the Real You will be rejected.
You laugh later, and more loudly, than everyone else.
You feel “different” from most people, and feel that you don’t “fit in”.

Assaulted by the detail– her description of “detail assault” is very thorough and understandable, especially with the specific example she provided.

We aspies can’t help consciously processing a huge amount of input at any given moment, whereas others can just subconsciously filter it out. It doesn’t have to be a sudden event either; a large amount of general input can render me completely dysfunctional given enough time. It’s all about the quantity.

Please, spare a thought for everything else that’s going on in an aspie’s head and, if you spot him going off on a mental tangent, realise his distraction might be conscious, but it’s not necessarily voluntary.

Reddit thread on disability

A powerful Reddit thread reveals what it’s like to be disabled (Washington Post).

[A] reddit user posted a thread about the lives of people with disabilities. Called “Disabled people of reddit, what is something we do that we think helps, but it really doesn’t?”, the thread received almost 10,000 comments from people with a wide range of disabilities, such as missing limbs, cerebral palsy, severe back pain and rheumatoid arthritis, in just a few days.

Here are 14 of the most common suggestions that people with disabilities made about how to treat them. Some of these suggestions are incredibly insightful; others should be obvious, but apparently bear repeating.