Sunday, October 12, 2008

Reading List

It was brought to my attention yesterday that I have amassed a bit of a collection of Ds-related reading material. (Yeah, for me, the more input, the better.) I'll post what I have here, just in case anyone was looking for something for themselves or the kiddos.

I ordered a lot of what I have from Woodbine House or Amazon. Looks like there's a sale and a contest going on. WooHoo!

I'm not saying that these are the only resources that are applicable to a Ds dx, but it helped me, as a new mama, to see children like my child in books, articles, on TV, etc. I think there are many books out there that do a good job in showing the acceptance of differences and one of my favorites features no children at all. I just hope this info is helpful to someone - including parents/teachers who might not be directly affected by Ds or children with special needs in general.

There's nothing wrong with sharing with kids that differences are normal and acceptance is expected. The worst that could happen is that we end up with more adults that are kind and compassionate. I'm all for that.

Book summaries are from the web sites. Italicized comments are my own.

Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome
This guide focuses on speech and language development from birth through the stage of making 3-word phases for children with Down syndrome. Thoroughly covers problem areas and treatments.

Fine Motor Skills for Children with Down Syndrome
Comprehensive resource on fine motor development for children with Down syndrome.

Gross Motor Skills in Children with Down Syndrome
This guide on gross motor skills describes and illustrates more than 100 easy-to-follow activities for parents and professionals to practice with infants and children from birth through age six.

A poignant collection of personal stories by mothers describing the gifts that their child with Down syndrome has brought into their lives.
My absolute favorite. I devoured this book and immediately felt less alone in adjusting to Malea's dx in those early moments.

I Can, Can You?
This full-color board book features adorable babies and toddlers with Down syndrome eating spaghetti, sharing, playing ball, and more.
We read this one, though I think it would be great if more parents without a child with Ds had books like this one in their homes.

My Friend Isabelle
A story about what makes a friendship, featuring two friends, one who is a typically developing child and one who is a child with Down syndrome.
The companion Teacher's Guide is a great tool for teaching about differences and promoting tolerance both in and out of the classroom.
For the same price you can have the book AND the Teacher's Guide. I say, "Why not?" Just make sure to select the right one if that's what you want.

Babies With Down Syndrome: A New Parent's Guide
Guide for new parents who have welcomed a baby with Down syndrome into their lives. It covers these important areas: diagnosis; medical concerns & treatment; coping with your emotions; daily care; family life; early intervention; special education; and legal rights.
A lot of people (like me) don't like this book. Some do. Maybe I should pick it up again and take a look now that the dx isn't so fresh. It says right one the cover, "The first book that parents and family should read"...Eh, not so much.

Medical & Surgical Care for Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents
This guide eliminates the need for parents to scour medical texts and journals in search of information they can understand about their child's medical condition. Easy-to-read and well-organized, the book covers medical treatments and conditions-from heart disease to skin conditions-more common among children with Down syndrome.
I remember this one scaring the crap out of me. I believed that Playette would come down with every condition listed. Again, this one might be better when one is further along in the journey. Just my $.02.

We'll Paint the Octopus Red

As six-year-old Emma anticipates the birth of her new baby brother or sister, she vividly imagines all of the things they can do together. When the baby is born, her father tells her he's a boy, named Isaac, and he has Down syndrome.
Some folks don't like this one because the parents are sad, which I can understand. I think it really depends on what your kid(s) can handle and only the parents know that best. Why do I have it? Eh, I was on a roll ordering books. The sequel is The Best Worst Brother. I don't have that one yet.

Russ and the Firehouse
Russ, a five-year-old with Down syndrome, visits his uncle's firehouse and gets to help with the daily chores.

Russ and the Apple Tree Surprise

Russ longs for a swing set in his backyard instead of an apple tree. Apple trees are boring! Then he and his Dad pick apples, and Russ bakes a pie with his mother and grandmother. Russ soon discovers the apple tree has an extra surprise for him.
I've read Russ and the Almost Perfect Day, and I thought I had it, but maybe I just borrowed that one. Regardless, it's cute and I liked it.

Someone Special, Just Like You
Shows preschool disabled children actively playing and learning....In dispelling the fear of the unknown and showing our common needs for physical affection, community, skills, and independence, this book should do much to help the disabled child gain acceptance from other children.

Friends at School
A photo essay that shows pre-school children of mixed abilities busily working and playing at school, illustrating the true meaning of the word "inclusion."

Our Special Child: A Parent's Guide to Helping Children With Special Needs Reach Their Potential
I remember being drawn to this title. I haven't read it yet.

Differences in Common: Straight Talk on Mental Retardation, Down Syndrome, and Your Life
The author is the mother of a young adult with Down syndrome and activist for the rights of the disabled. She writes about the many issues which families of children with Down syndrome must face: public attitudes, family adjustment, education, mainstreaming, adolescence, and independence.
Another one I haven't read yet, but maybe I should check it out soon.

Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son's First Two Years With Down Syndrome
Montana wife and mother Groneberg traces in her tenderly moving account the life-changing realization after the premature birth of her twin boys that one of them, Avery, has Down syndrome.
My most recent read and I enjoyed it. I don't own this one because I got the bright idea to ask my library to order it so that it would be there for all. Check out the author's blog.

Not a book, but...

Down Syndrome: The First 18 Months DVD

Thirteen leading medical and developmental experts on Down syndrome, experienced parents, and infants and toddlers with Down syndrome are brought together in this DVD to inform, inspire, guide, and support.
I haven't watched it yet, but I will either on the plane or while I'm in AR. After that, I'd be glad to pass it along.


Lisa said...

What a great list, Chrystal, thank you! I have several of the books on your list, but not all. I LOVED Road Map to Holland, and in fact have chosen it for the monthly selection for discussion for my book club for November - just because I think even for people who are not personally touched by DS, it's a beautiful memoir. As for Babies With Down Syndrome, personally I think it's a horrible book - why it's touted as the first book new parents should read is beyond me. I have yet to encounter a parent of a child with DS who opened this book early on in their journey and felt anything other than crushed by it.

sheree said...


I am definitely ordering a bunch of these.

On the drive home last night, I even told Nguyen I might have to write a children's book having to do with Ds. We'll see about that, ha!

Oh- and yeah, I hated "Babies With Down syndrome" It was way too gloomy.

K- I'm off to google!

jennifergg said...

thanks for including me! and i love libraries! i'm glad yours had ROAD MAP...