11 Books for Kids With Disabilities

11 Books About Kids With Disabilities
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11 Books About Kids With Disabilities: PreK to Young Adult

Representation is so important in books, especially for kids looking for guidance and inspiration. Kids want to be able to see themselves in the characters they read about.

That’s why we rounded up our top picks for books about children and families with disabilities. These books cover physical and developmental disabilities for all ages, ranging from PreK to young adult. 

Remember– books are a great way to open up the convo with your kiddos. Talk with them about what they read, what they learned and what they might still have questions about. Read (pun intended) on for the list of 11 children’s books about disabilities. 

Psst… Here are 12 Non-Fiction Books About the LGBT Community for All Ages!

PreK to 2nd grade

Different– A Great Thing to Be, by Heather Avis

A New York Times Bestseller, Different– A Great Thing to Be follows the story of Macy, a young girl who doesn’t quite fit in with her classmates. She jumps to her own beat, sometimes quiet and sometimes loud, and the other children don’t understand her.

Written in a rhyming style, this book celebrates differences and encourages kids to accept everyone. 

When Things Get Too Loud, by Anne Alcott

A story about sensory overload, When Things Get Too Loud is a reminder that the world can be an overwhelming place for a lot of people.

When Bo’s Feel-o-Meter goes from 1 to 10, he just wants to hide. Children and parents can walk through a visual guide of emotions and ideas for dealing with them during overwhelming situations for kids with sensory overload. 

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures, by Julia Finley Mosca

A picture book about a girl diagnosed with autism, The Girl Who Thought in Pictures is an empowering story that debunks myths and stereotypes.

No one expected Temple to talk, let alone become one of the best voices in modern science. But as a visual thinker, Temple did just that, inventing groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe. 

3rd grade to 6th grade

Stuck, by Jennifer Swender

Learning disabilities are the subject of Swender’s book that follows Austin, the new kid in school who struggles to read. Slowly but surely, Austin finds people at his new school who support him along the way, making him feel comfortable and confident. 

Roll With It, by Jamie Sumner 

Ellie is a young girl who recently changed schools and has to suddenly be the new kid— who’s also in a wheelchair. She’s overwhelmed, nervous and challenged at first. Will the other kids make fun of her? Will they accept her?

But soon she makes really good friends. This is a great book for kids who also have physical disabilities and need a glimmer of hope that everything will be okay! 

6th grade to 8th grade

Hummingbird, by Natalie Lloyd

Twelve-year-old homeschooled Olive is tired of being seen as “fragile” just because she has osteogenesis imperfecta (otherwise known as brittle bone disease).

When she starts at a new school, she hears about a magical, wish-granting hummingbird that supposedly lives near Macklemore and embarks on a hunt to find it. Along the way, she makes friends and meets new people who show her that being different is not so bad after all. 

Caleb and Kit, by Beth Vrabel 

12-year-old Caleb has cystic fibrosis, a diagnosis meaning lungs that fill with mucus and a shortened lifespan. Caleb tries not to let his disorder define him, but it can be hard with an overprotective mom and a perfect big brother.

But when Caleb meets Kit, his world completely changes. This is a wonderful story about the meaning of friendship and coping with disability. 

A Kind of Spark, by Elle McNicoll

Award-winning and neurodivergent author Elle McNicoll delivers an insightful and stirring debut about the European witch trials and a girl who refuses to relent in the fight for what she knows is right.

This book unpacks what it means to have autism– to think differently than everyone else, to see things others do not. 

Young adults

Sitting Pretty: The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, by Rebekah Taussig 

Disability advocate and creator Rebekah Taussig was paralyzed growing up, and now she shares her story in this memoir.

The collection of essays talks about what it means to live in a body that doesn’t fit, and how that affects day-to-day life. It encourages us as society to bring more stories to light, sharing our experiences with others. 

Same But Different: Teen Life on Autism the Express, by Holly Robinson Peete, RJ Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete

Triplets join forces to write a book about what it means to be a teen with autism. This book covers not only the experience of having autism, but what it means for those around you, like siblings.

Dating, sports, parties, body changes, school– it’s all tackled in Same But Different, making it the perfect book for young adults with developmental disabilities. 

The Ables: 4 Book Series, by Jeremy Scott

Phillip is excited to start his superhero classes, gifted with the power of telekinesis. That is until he learns he’s assigned to the special-ed classes.

Bullied, threatened, and betrayed, Phillip struggles, even as he and his friends–calling themselves the Ables–find ways to maximize their powers to overcome their disabilities. This supernatural story is a 4-part series, making it great for avid young adult readers. 

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The Ailey School – First Steps and Bounding Boys

<blockquote style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;"> <div dir="ltr"> <div class="m_-3740164643787738207m_4977048992707393770WordSection1"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #0070c0;">At The Ailey School, FIRST STEPS offers a structured creative movement curriculum that allows girls (ages 3-6) and boys (age 3), to develop body awareness and control and learn the basics of dance technique. BOUNDING BOYS (ages 4-6) provides a more athletic experience, and an energetic approach to teaching dance skills.</span></p> </div> </div> </blockquote>

TADA! Youth Theater

<div> <p dir="ltr"><strong>TADA! Youth Theater Summer Camps (July 10-August 25, 2023)</strong> Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! TADA! is excited to be back in person with our popular Week-long Musical Theater Summer Camps!  Every week your child will:</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <ul> <li>ENGAGE IN MUSICAL THEATER TRAINING</li> <li>CREATE, REHEARSE & PERFORM AN ORIGINAL MINI- MUSICAL</li> <li>EXPLORE THEIR INTERESTS AND IDENTITY</li> <li>SHARE THEIR VOICE AND BE HEARD</li> <li>RECEIVE INDIVIDUALIZED ATTENTION AND SOLO OPPORTUNITIES</li> <li>EXPERIENCE ENSEMBLE-BASED INSTRUCTION BY TWO PROFESSIONAL NYC TEACHING ARTISTS</li> <li>MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH NEW FRIENDS</li> </ul> On the last day of camp, we invite friends and family to attend the debut of your child’s original mini-musical!<br /> <p> </p> <p dir="ltr">Limited spots available! All of our classes take place in-person at 15 W. 28th Street (between Broadway & 5th) and culminate in a final sharing for an invited audience.  </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>For more info or to register for our Summer Camps, visit our website <a href="https://tadatheater.com/summercamps/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tadatheater.com/summercamps/&source=gmail&ust=1682524227382000&usg=AOvVaw1jPPuT0S0YVPJg0I1oXofv">HERE!</a></strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Looking for a sample class before registering?</strong> Join us Saturday, June 3rd for an in-person sample class, Q&A, and the best discount of the summer!  Registration required to attend! </p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong>For more info. or to register for our Summer Open house, click <a href="https://tadatheater.com/open-house/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tadatheater.com/open-house/&source=gmail&ust=1682524227382000&usg=AOvVaw2CheiFLQooj66wqzmTeKCc">HERE!</a></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong>No child should be turned away because of their inability to pay. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="https://tadatheater.com/financial-assistance/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tadatheater.com/financial-assistance/&source=gmail&ust=1682524227382000&usg=AOvVaw1-oTxJlL31iv2yEG3kUDrj">Financial Assistance available. </a></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong>Questions?</strong></p> <div style="text-align: center;"><strong>Email us at <a href="mailto:[email protected]" target="_blank" rel="noopener">[email protected]</a></strong></div> </div> <div> <div dir="ltr" data-smartmail="gmail_signature"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Steps on Broadway Youth Programs

<p class="m_6201101365486487057m_1751229968981391907gmail-m-6447730382188674378msonospacing" style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">For 40 years, the Youth Programs at the internationally celebrated Steps on Broadway have nurtured young dancers, ages 18 months to 18 years.  Whether seeking a fun dance experience or comprehensive pre-professional training, there is a program suited for everyone.  Classes include ballet, tap, jazz, theater dance, hip hop, contemporary, modern, pointe and more.  Taught by a faculty of internationally-recognized concert, ballet, Broadway and celebrated guest artists, every student is encouraged to discover their artistic uniqueness, deepen their passion for the art form, while growing as dancers and individuals. </span><u></u><u></u></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 10pt; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background: white;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; color: #5a5a5a;">Classes are offered throughout the academic year and summer.</span><u></u><u></u></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 10pt; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background: white;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; color: #5a5a5a;">First Steps (ages 18 mos – 5 yrs)</span><u></u><u></u></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 10pt; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background: white;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; color: #5a5a5a;">Kids & Teens (ages 6-18 yrs)</span><u></u><u></u></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 10pt; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background: white;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; color: #5a5a5a;">Pre-Professional Program (ages 7-18 yrs, by audition only)</span></p>