10 Helpful Special Needs Books for Parents Teachers and Children

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While working with students with special needs, it is important for them to feel like they have a sense of belonging in this strange world. It is more important that they know that they are not alone. Parents and families of children with special needs need to know that they are not alone in the unique challenges and needs of these special children.

Special needs books can offer families and carers invaluable support and advice, helping them to navigate this often complex area. Whether the need is physical, mental, or emotional, there is a wide range of books available catering to varying levels of need and understanding.

With an ever-growing population of people with learning disabilities or special educational needs, there is a pressing need for books written specifically to address their needs. Children’s special needs books can offer stories that illustrate situations and challenges commonly encountered by those with such conditions.

The characters in the books can then provide guidance and advice that provides a basis for personal experiences and teaches them how best to handle such situations. These stories are also often accompanied by illustrations that give the stories more depth and color.

10 Special Needs Books

1. Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime

Parents looking for special needs books to read with their children should consider this beautiful book. This coming-of-age story follows Christopher John Francis Boone, an autistic 15-year-old boy, who embarks on a thrilling adventure to solve the mystery of who killed his neighbor’s dog.

Set in England, this absorbing novel offers unique insights into what it’s like to live with autism and could be a fantastic learning opportunity for families with special needs children. Not only does it help increase understanding of those on the spectrum, but also is easy to understand due to its vivid language and simplistic approach. Get the book here.

2. Flying To The Light By Elyse Salpeter

This is one special needs books that uses a storybook format to navigate everyday challenges and it also provides helpful support for caregivers trying to understand the need of their child. With wisdom from first-hand experiences, this insightful guide offers detailed strategies and features valuable activities designed to educate and empower both parents and children on the autism spectrum.

It allows for meaningful conversations about difficult topics like navigating job opportunities, navigating intimate relationships, and socializing outside of the home. Written with warmth and optimism, this inspiring book will give readers a sense of hope in their journey with supporting those they love with special needs. Get the book here.

3. Counting to D by Kate Scott

This is an essential book to teach children about special needs. Written in both English and American Sign Language, Scott includes the numbers 1-15 as well illustrations of unique physical tasks that are needed for maintaining independent living. Each skill set provides children with simple practice steps and opportunities to learn vocabulary words.

Furthermore, the story follows a brother and sister on an adventure while they practice each task as they go. Not only is the story engaging, but it also helps children understand why these skills are important and can even promote a sense of self-confidence in their ability to learn and use practical skills for everyday life situations. Get the book here.

4. Roll With It By Jamie Sumner

The remarkable story of an unstoppable young girl with cerebral palsy whose life takes a surprising turn when she relocates to a fresh town. Ellie speaks her mind with blunt sincerity. This can be a shock to people who anticipate that, due to her wheelchair-bound state, she will have no other personality than one of being overly cheerful and affectionate.

Though Ellie may be having a Stouffer’s dinner tonight, she has grand aspirations of becoming an expert baker one day. When Ellie and her mother relocate to attend to Ellie’s sick grandpa, she is forced to start afresh in a new city at an unfamiliar school. Get the book here.

5. We’ll Paint The Octopus Red By Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

This is one of the special needs books that follows the story of little Emma as she adjusts to and prepares for the arrival of her newborn sister who has Down Syndrome. Told from the point-of-view of an older sister, it candidly addresses many questions that a child may have about their new sibling with special needs in a nurturing and age-appropriate way.

Through Jazmin’s interactions with her baby sister, caring doctors, loving parents, supportive friends, and creative therapies, We’ll Paint The Octopus Red shows readers that all people can live fulfilling lives despite disabilities. Get the book here.

6. My Brother Sammy Is Special By Becky Edwards And David Armitage

This real-life story follows siblings Sammy and Jake. Sam is diagnosed with autism and Sammy’s brother helps him learn how to better cope with his condition.

Through lively illustrations, age-appropriate language, and concrete advice from the characters, this lovely book encourages children to accept those in the world who are different from them. Get the book here.

7. I Talk Like A River By Jordan Scott

When a young man who is afflicted by stuttering finds himself feeling isolated, disconnected, and unable to communicate effectively – it takes an understanding father and a stroll near the river to help him find his true voice.

Across the globe, parents of all kinds can relate to a father’s capacity to reconnect his children with their surroundings. Compassion pours from them when they witness this bond between parent and child in this wonderful book. This is one of the must-read special needs books on our list. Get the book here.

8. Wonder By R.J. Palacio

One special book that is gaining popularity for its uplifting message about dealing with disabilities is Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This novel follows the story of August Pullman, a fifth-grader with a facial difference who attends school for the first time after being homeschooled previously because of his condition.

Through his struggles, parents and children can read this inspiring story together and explore issues such as bullying and fitting in while having empathy through each character’s perspectives throughout the book. Get the book here.

9. Rescue And Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship By Jessica Kensky And Patrick Downes

This heartwarming story follows the unique bond between a service dog, Rescue, and his best friend, a little girl named Jessica. As they explore the world together, readers can observe as Jessica, a blind girl learns to adapt to her disability and appreciate the unending and unconditional love of her furry companion.

Young readers will be heartened by this sweet book filled with vivid illustrations. Moreover, they’ll have an invaluable tool to help explain difficult concepts around physical disabilities to young children in a simple and reassuring way. Get the book here.

10. Benji, The Bad Day, And Me By Sally J. Plath

This is an engaging and funny story about a seven-year-old boy with autism named Benji, illustrating with humor and compassion his experience of attending school for the first time. It is also a great tool for raising awareness during autism awareness month, as it does so in a meaningful and comprehensive way.

The novel takes readers on Benji’s journey as he navigates new peers, classrooms, and emotions while coming to terms with his ‘not so ordinary’ self. In addition to its charming storyline, the sweet story provides practical advice on how parents can best support their children both at home and in school settings. Get the book here.


In conclusion, these special needs children’s books can provide a fantastic opportunity for families and caregivers of those with special needs to gain insight into their condition and understand the daily challenges they face. Each book offers something unique, whether it be humor, wisdom, or a toolkit to help navigate everyday situations.


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