As both a speech language pathologist and a parent, I love to use stories to start meaningful conversations and encourage kids to follow their dreams, no matter what their disabilities or delays are. Reading inspirational children’s literature can help children with special needs improve their self-esteem and become more aware and confident in their abilities. This can help them deal with the many difficulties they face in their lives. They’re a good place to start.
Happy Dreamer by Peter Reynolds
For kids with a lot of different kinds of disabilities, Happy Dreamer is a great and inspiring book. Most of all, it’s great for kids with ADHD. For kids with ADHD, it can be hard and difficult to stay still and pay attention for long periods of time, which can be hard and difficult. If you follow your heart and can’t help but “hear a beat and I’ve got to move,” you’ll enjoy Happy Dreamer. Each page talks about a different kind of dreamer. At the end of the book, the author shows a wide range of people who dream and people who are happy. This is a book for kids that can be read over and over again and can start important talks.
Willow by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan
In the book Willow, there is a free-spirited girl named Willow who has a lot of ideas. When Willow goes to school, her teacher, Mrs. Hawthorn, doesn’t like it when kids use their imaginations. People should just follow the rules and stay inside the lines. Willow is always getting in trouble for breaking crayons, drawing things that aren’t the right color, and being different. There are even some people who don’t like her because she’s different and thinks outside the box. A book Willow loves is a gift for Mrs. Hawthorn for the holiday season. When Willow gave Mrs. Hawthorn a gift, she made Mrs. Hawthorn so happy that she decided to start over for the New Year. I love this story because it encourages kids to be who they are and never give up on others. Our kids are unique, and I think it’s important to celebrate that. I also think it’s important for them to be able to express themselves in many ways, especially through art.
What Do You Do with an Idea? by Kobi Yomada
Do you act on an idea? takes the reader through the process of having an idea that you love and believe in, but that other people might not. People in this book have a hard time with this big idea because they don’t know what to do with it. It keeps following the boy and grows and grows. Here, he says that when he is with his idea, he is the most happy. A story about how his idea changed from being here to everywhere. It was no longer part of me, but it was part of everything.
The Dot by Peter Reynolds
The Dot, which was written as part of a trilogy, is an important book that everyone should have in their library. Vashti says, “I just can’t draw,” at the start of the story. She should “make a mark and see where it goes.” Before she signs it, Vashti makes a dot on the paper. Her teacher tells her to do that. Her teacher puts Vashti’s dot picture in a gold frame to show everyone how creative and inventive she thinks her art is. A teacher believes in you when you make a lot of dots. Vashti makes small, big, and different-colored dots as soon as she knows her teacher thinks she can do it! Her art is so popular that it’s shown at the school art show. Finally, a little boy looks at her work and says that he wishes he could be an artist like her. Then, she gives him the idea to be creative and keep going. When you believe in yourself, you can make your dreams come true. The Dot is a book about that.
The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater
It tells the story of Mr. Plumbean, who lives on a neat street where every house looks the same. One day, a seagull comes by with a pail full of orange paint. he drops the paint on Mr. Plumbean’s house, which makes his roof look orange. Neighbors tell Mr. Plumbean that he needs to repaint his house right away. But Mr. Plumbean has a very different idea: Why not be different? It would be better if he showed off his creativity by decorating his house the way he wants, not the way his neighbors want him to. This is what Mr. Plumbean decides to do. He wants to get more paint in many different colors and make the house of his dreams. A hammock, palm trees, and even an alligator are some of the things he adds to the room. Neighbors are angry, but Mr. Plumbean always says, “My house is me and I am it.” It is where I like to be and looks like all my dreams. One by one, each neighbor is inspired by Mr. Plumbean, until they all decide to change the look of their own homes to match their own dreams. People make their homes look like hot air balloons, monuments, and big ships to make them look like they belong in the sky. This book has a very important message about staying true to yourself. Because he was willing to fight for himself, Mr. Plumbean is a very good person.
Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson
This picture book is about Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a boy who lives in Ghana, West Africa. It is based on the true story of this boy. In the beginning, Emmanuel was born with a deformed leg. People often didn’t want to help him because of it. In spite of this, his mother told him to go for what he wants.
Emmanuel was able to cycle for 400 miles across Ghana with only one leg, which shows us that disability is not a barrier to being able to do things.