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Pure Friendship for Individuals with Special Needs
Lorna d'Entremont

Five Books for Helping a Child with Special Needs Be Prepared for School and Life

Have you been struggling to teach a child with learning challenges? Do you feel like you are failing as a homeschooling teacher or as a parent of a child with special needs? If you have been searching for help for your struggling learner, a child with high-functioning autism, or a child with different special needs, the self-help books featured in this post will be very helpful. All parents want to help their children be better prepared for school and for life. Parents of children with special needs face many challenges in making this happen. The self-help books I recommend will help you overcome some of these challenges. You will come away with a new sense of purpose and empowerment. In one of the books featured in this post, Dr. Heather MacKenzie shares her philosophy about children in general, children with special needs, and children with autism in particular. She believes that all children want to learn and can learn; it’s up to the adults around them to sustain that desire and make it possible for each child to learn optimally. She is averse to using labels with children, as these tend to alter how people view children and lower expectations. We must view each child as a learner with as yet unknown potential. If you are searching for parenting or teaching advice to enhance your child’s success in school and life in general, reach out for these self-help books. Most have immediately doable tips. In most situations, caregivers do not need to spend money on equipment or hours of therapy to see positive changes in the children in their care.

1. Self-Reg: How To Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life 

 Self-Reg: How To Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life. By: Dr. Stuart Shanker

by Dr. Stuart Shanker

There is no such thing as a bad kid. According to world-renowned professor of psychology Stuart Shanker, even the most frustrating, annoying, or troubling behavior has an explanation—and a way forward. In Self-Reg, Dr. Shanker reveals a revolutionary new understanding of stress and how it affects children’s emotions and behavior. He also offers practical advice for parents to help their kids engage calmly and successfully in learning and life. Self-Reg is a powerful method for understanding stress and managing tension and energy. The signs of dysregulation can show up in the behavior, mood, attention, and physical well-being of a child, teen, or adult. Self-regulation is the process of identifying stressors and reducing them. It can dramatically improve a child’s mood, attention, and concentration. It can help children to feel empathy and to develop the sorts of virtues that every parent knows are vital for their child’s long-term well-being. Of course, before parents can teach their children self-regulation, they must master it themselves. This book helps readers understand that they are over-stressed, why, and what they can do to manage their or their child’s stress load in order to recover their own or their child’s joy of life. Read complete review.

2. From Flapping to Function: A Parent’s Guide to Autism and Hand Skills From Flapping to Function: A Parent’s Guide to Autism and Hand Skills By:Barbara A. Smith, MS, OTR/L.

by Barbara A. Smith, MS, OTR/L.

A one-stop resource, From Flapping to Function explains the challenges that impact developing hand skills and the strategies that help children reach their potential. These challenges may include difficulties with • sensory processing • functional vision • executive functioning • behaviors that interfere with learning Parents, teachers, and other caregivers can create environments and adapt activities for children with autism and other developmental disabilities that help them to reach their potential. Many of these strategies are simple, inexpensive, and easy to implement. The strategies described in this book help parents, teachers, and others to implement strategies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether at school, at home, or in the community. Caregivers can provide effective and consistent interventions across a variety of settings. Read complete review

3. Self-Regulation in Everyday Life: A How-to Guide for Parents Self-regulation in Everyday Life: A How-to Guide for Parents By: Heather MacKenzie, Ph.D.

by Heather MacKenzie, Ph.D.

Self-Regulation in Everyday Life is a step-by-step guide for all parents who want to help their child be better prepared for school and for life. It helps parents shift from teaching specific behaviors to working on foundation skills in body, cognitive, and emotional self-regulation. In everyday situations, parents can help children become more confident, strategic, and resourceful. The book includes checklists to identify self-regulation needs and progress, as well as helpful guidelines for determining expectations at each age level. After purchasing the book, you’ll have access to a rich resource of materials, illustrations, and Internet and other resources coordinated with target areas. The advantages of improved self-regulation are enormous and far-reaching, encompassing academic achievement, social skills, employment, health, and social responsibility. Every child can benefit from improved behavioral, cognitive, and emotional self-regulation, and this guide helps you do that with your child. Read complete review.

4. Teaching a Child with Special Needs at Home and at School: Strategies and Tools that Really Work!Teaching a Child with Special Needs at Home and at School: Strategies and Tools that Really Work! by Judith B. Munday, M.A., M.Ed.

by Judith B. Munday, M.A., M.Ed.

Teaching a Child with Special Needs is a highly readable and informative guide for anyone who teaches a child with special needs. It provides practical and easy-to-use teaching strategies that will equip parents and teachers with the knowledge of “what works” for struggling learners at almost any grade level. With 296 pages and well-documented references, the book has chapters about learning disabilities, autism spectrum learners, and language-based learning disabilities. In addition, readers can learn about assistive technology, graphic organizers, and other powerful instructional tools that really help children with special needs. The book is written for anyone who teaches a child with special needs, particularly students with learning disabilities and/or on the autism spectrum. The audience will include homeschooling parents, teachers in small private or Christian schools, or even teachers in public-school settings who feel overwhelmed by the inclusion of numerous students with special needs. Many struggling learners will be much better off because their educators have this effective teaching resource. It is filled with information about different learning challenges and crammed with strategies on how to teach to help your child make progress. Read complete review.

5. Reach For Me: The Story of My Son ConnorReach For Me: The Story of My Son Connor By: Michael A. Boylan

by Michael A. Boylan

Reach for Me is the inspirational true story of how Michael Boylan’s life changed abruptly upon the news of his son’s diagnosis of Williams Syndrome. The diagnosis was followed by the collapse of his marriage and family, and the loss of his home, his business, and life as he knew it. The purpose of the 222-page book is to help caregivers through their most stressful situations, no matter what problem they are facing. This book is for the 35 million caregivers in the U.S. and even more outside of it. Most people can’t comprehend the many struggles caregivers go through. They can often feel alone and not in control of their life. The hope is that this book can help caregivers overcome these challenges and come away with a new sense of purpose and empowerment. Read complete review.

WRITTEN ON February 16, 2017 BY:

Lorna d'Entremont

Lorna d’Entremont has a Master of Education and has taught thirty years in French elementary classrooms in Nova Scotia. When she retired from teaching, she joined her daughter as co-owner of SentioLife Solutions,Ltd. the makers of the sensory, oral-motor tools SentioChews and KidCompanions Chewelry. She blogs about issues that concern parents of children with special needs and also writes reviews for their Special Needs Book Review site. She is a wife, mom of three, and grandmother of five granddaughters.