March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month! Started in 1987, the initiative celebrates the inclusion and contributions of people with developmental disabilities.
According to the US Department of Health, developmental disabilities are differences that are usually present at birth, and that uniquely affect the trajectory of the individual’s physical, intellectual, and/or emotional development. These include (but are not limited to):
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Cerebral Palsy
- Fragile X Syndrome
- Intellectual Disability
- Language Disorders
- Learning Disorders
- Tourette Syndrome
Reading books featuring characters with disabilities has several benefits for young ones. First, it is crucial for children from marginalized groups to identify themselves in the books they read. Second, such books allow children to learn about lives and stories different from their own. Third, exploring diverse stories encourages empathy towards oneself and others.
The following picture books showcase the experiences, challenges, and accomplishments of children with disabilities.
You can sign up for a free library card here.
If you’re looking for more book suggestions, we’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Book Recommendation form to send us some information about what you like to read and we’ll curate a list just for you.
When a little boy brings his older brother, born with one hand, for show-and-tell, his classmates ask him all sorts of questions and realize we’re all different in one way or another. Based on the author’s life.
This poetic and uplifting picture book illustrated by the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of “We Are the Gardeners” by Joanna Gaines follows a young girl born with cerebral palsy as she pursues her dream of becoming a dancer. You can also check out this title as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby.
Laila feels like her sparkly sunshine birthday celebration is on the brink of ruin when it starts to storm. But with the help of her mom and a little alone time with her service dog, she knows she can handle this.
Laurie doesn’t hear well and that can be hard sometimes, until the ear doctor gives her hearing aids. Based on the author’s childhood experience, the story is rooted in the physical realities and challenges of communication.
A beautiful and inclusive picture book all about celebrating being yourself from Down syndrome advocate and viral sensation Sofia Sanchez.