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Book recommendations: Talking to kids about differently-abled people

February 14, 2022
Book recommendations for talking to children about people who are different

As a community of differently-abled people, it means so much when folks show love to our children through acceptance and inclusion. (I can speak personally when my daughter Eliza is shown this type of love.)

Our children are often vocal, active, and spontaneous because of Sanfilippo Syndrome. Or nonverbal and in strollers or wheelchairs. Or are engaged with an iPad so their parents can focus on the task at hand. So families of children with Sanfilippo often get stares and whispered comments when in public.

When your children notice us and ask you questions, it’s totally normal. Their innocent questions are a natural part of trying to understand the world around them. It’s an opportunity for them to learn about loving others through acceptance and inclusion.

Maybe you feel uncertain about how to talk to your children about people who are differently abled or dealing with life-altering conditions. We can help!

Here are some excellent, hand-picked books to help you and your child explore and discuss the subject. Books to give you and your child confidence and understanding next time you see us in public. (Always feel free to say “hello” too!)

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Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability

By Shane Burcaw

Shane tackles many of the mundane and quirky questions that he’s often asked about living with a disability in this humorous and refreshingly-honest book. He shows readers that he’s just as approachable, friendly, and funny as anyone else.

Why we like it:A captivating first-person account that literally answers the questions children have. The engaging daily-life photographs give children even greater understanding.

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Chromosome Kids Like Me

By Annette Fournier

A sweet story that takes something complex understanding chromosome disorders and compares it to something we can all understand: socks! Written by the mother of a child with unique chromosomes and reviewed by a geneticist, this easy-to-understand book helps explain chromosome disorders.

Why we like it: Lovely rhyming verses explain the science behind chromosomal disorders in a way that engages children.

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My Brother, MPS, and Me!

By Dawn Laney and Stephanie Cagle

Join Greg as he tells you about MPS (Mucopolysaccharidosis) and its impact on his brother Daniel.

Why we like it: This book is specific to the group of conditions (MPS disorders) that includes Sanfilippo Syndrome. While each MPS disorder varies, this book provides a closer insight into Sanfilippo than other, more general books.

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We’re Not So Different After All!

By Lissette Lent

This book helps raise awareness for children living with special needs and disabilities and teaches the importance of treating others with kindness and compassion.

Why we like it: A spunky story that has the most important lesson of all: the power of compassion and inclusion for everyone.

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Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

By Sonia Sotomayor

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor uses her experience growing up with diabetes to explore all sorts of physical, social, and developmental challenges children face and look at the special powers those kids have as well. 

Why we like it: This book explores a breadth of challenges beyond what is typically seen in children’s books. And empowers you to connect by simply asking to learn more.

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My Life with My Sister

By Sofia Vincente

Book narrator Sofia invites you, ”I’m presenting you my sister, who’s as normal as can be. With rare differences that define her, and make her special, you’ll see. Come discover beautiful moments with my sister…”

Why we like it: This lovely book is written by super sibling Sofia in honor of her sister Joana who has Sanfilippo. The book is bilingual, written in Portuguese and English. Proceeds benefit a fellow Sanfilippo organization, Sanfilippo Portugal.

We hope you enjoy these recommended children’s books about people who are different.

These books were personally reviewed by a partner family’s mom and super sibling and a Foundation staffer. These reviews are not sponsored, nor are the links to Amazon. These are purely our thoughts and recommendations. 

If you have any recommendations of other great children’s books about people who are different, please share them with us at Contact@CureSanfilippoFoundation.org

Check your local library for these and other children’s books about people who are different.

About Us

Cure Sanfilippo Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to advocating and funding research to bring about treatments and/or a cure for Sanfilippo Syndrome. Cure Sanfilippo has funded 30+ research grants around the world which has helped three clinical trials get underway, to date, treating children with Sanfilippo Syndrome. The Foundation creates and explores innovative and breakthrough research to ensure multiple promising paths are being explored in the effort to save children and better their quality of life. Learn more about Sanfilippo Syndrome and about us.

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