Resources for Special Needs Kids

March is Community Social Services Awareness Month.

When my third child was 15 months old, he could not roll over and did not babble; the only sound he made sounded like something out of PacMan.  My husband and I didn’t know what we should do, but we knew we needed help.  Now, 18 months later, our son has a group of amazing people on his team: his people from the Infant Development Program, his physiotherapist, his speech pathologist, his pediatrician, his daycare, and several staff at BC Children’s hospital

Every accomplishment of his is shared, and not just by his family and his team.  We have gotten so much in the past 18 months from the library in terms of books, DVDs, staff knowledge and interlibrary loans.  (Special thanks to Dee, who does our interlibrary loans – at least half of what I know from books I learned thanks to things you’ve gotten in for me.)  Here our some of the books in our collection that have really made a difference to me in being the mama of a son with developmental delays:


It Takes Two to TalkIt Takes Two to Talk: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Children Communicate, by Ayala H. Manolson

A companion to the Hanen program, a parent education class for speech-delayed children, this guide provides practical tips on how to maximize your child’s opportunities to communicate.  Many of the tips are given easy to remember acronyms, making them easier to remember – a real bonus for frenzied parents.


Elephant in the PlayroomThe Elephant in the Playroom: Ordinary Parents Write Intimately and Honestly About the Extraordinary Highs and Heartbreaking Lows or Raising Kids With Special Needs, Edited by Denise Brodey

The true stories in this collection share the same raw hurt and the same persistent hope.  If you read just one, try “Danger: Do Not Compare Child to Others.”  I credit it with freeing me to cancel my monthly developmental milestones newsletter from


SparkThe Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing a Genius, by Kristine Barnett*

When Jacob Barnett was diagnosed with autism, his family was advised that he’d never learn to read.  His mother, Kristine, had the courage to deny what a team of experts insisted was true and to dedicate herself to helping her son be a better version of himself.  What makes this book so remarkable is the matter of fact way Kristine shares her family’s extraordinary journey.  (New Release, April 2013)

Whenever our son asks for something using a word or gesture we understand, or kicks a ball, or jumps in a mud puddle, I whisper, “Thank you,” to all of the wonderful people who have helped us.  My family owes you a debt we can never repay.


(*A huge Thank You to NetGalley for sending me an advanced readers’ copy of this title.  It has been an inspiration.)

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