Notice: The information contained and resources recommended on this website are for general information and educational purposes only and in their entirety do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite.  The resources listed here have been found helpful, in parts or in their entirety, by some individuals at times.  They are recommended to be used with discretion and are not a substitute for professional, medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis.  We do not necessarily endorse links listed on some of these recommended websites.

Resources for Developmental Disabilities

There are 5 types of developmental disabilities: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disability, Attention Deficit Disorder and Learning Disabilities.  These disorders manifest with impairments in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas.  Each of them are also rated on a spectrum.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behavior. The term “spectrum” in autism spectrum disorder refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity.

Autism spectrum disorder includes conditions that were previously considered separate — autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and an unspecified form of pervasive developmental disorder. Some people still use the term “Asperger’s syndrome,” which is generally thought to be at the mild end of autism spectrum disorder.

Autism spectrum disorder begins in early childhood and eventually causes problems functioning in society — socially, in school and at work, for example. Often children show symptoms of autism within the first year. A small number of children appear to develop normally in the first year, and then go through a period of regression between 18 and 24 months of age when they develop autism symptoms.

While there is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, intensive, early treatment can make a big difference in the lives of many children. – Mayo Clinic


 Educating the Young Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder by  Michael Abraham
This 64-page book guides teachers through all steps of introducing a student with ASD into the classroom and developing a welcoming classroom, fostering social development and communication, and moving forward with the curriculum. The book also includes a special section for parents.

The New Social Story Book by Carol Grey
Since the early ‘90s, Carol Gray’s world-famous Social Stories have helped thousands of children with autism spectrum disorders. Developed through years of experience, these strategically written stories explain social situations in ways children and adults with autism understand while teaching social skills needed to be successful at home, school, work, and in the community.

People with autism have difficulty with social skills. One way to teach these skills is through social stories. Carol Grey was a pioneer in this field. The price of her book could be somewhat prohibitive and iyou can try your hand at writing your own custom stories. The following website teaches you how.

Social Stories

Uniquely Human by Dr Barry Prizant

Autism therapy typically focuses on ridding individuals of “autistic” symptoms such as difficulties interacting socially, communication problems, sensory challenges, and repetitive behavior patterns. Instead of classifying “autistic” behaviors as signs of pathology, Dr. Prizant sees them as part of a range of strategies to cope with a world that feels chaotic and overwhelming. Rather than curb these behaviors, it’s better to enhance abilities, build on strengths, and offer supports that will lead to more desirable behavior and a better quality of life.


Websites                                                                                                                                                                                                          The world’s largest Autism treatment provider                                                                                                                                                                                                         Autism Canada is the only Canadian autism advocacy organization with a national perspective on the issues currently facing those with ASD, their families and other stakeholders.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most common lifelong motor disability impacting more than 17,000,000 people around the world. CP is the result of damage to the developing brain and describes a group of movement disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.


Out of My Mind by Sharon M Draper
Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She can’t walk. She can’t talk. She can’t write. All because she has cerebral palsy. But she also has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it. Most people—her teachers, her doctors, her classmates—dismiss her as mentally challenged because she can’t tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

Why Do You Walk That Way? by Amy Cole
Amy was born with cerebral palsy and grew up with many medical appointments and ER visits. She has faced many challenges with everyday activities and walked with a limp her entire life. Despite these difficulties, she has chosen to live with joy and perseverance.  She relates the struggles she faced as a child and how her support system and optimistic mindset helped her push forward and live life to the fullest.


Intellectual Disability

The most common types of intellectual disabilities include autism, Down syndrome, fragile x syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. See above info for Autism. FASD is addressed on our Resources page, under Children from Hard Places.


Whole Child Reading  by Natalie Hale
Discover the keys to teaching children and adults with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities how to read for meaning.

Supporting Positive Behavior in Children and Teens with Down Syndrome by David Stein                                                                                                This book examines how the brain of a person with Down syndrome works, how those differences impact behavior, and why bad behavior should not be viewed as a willful act. Governed by this new awareness, parents are in a better position to change and manage their child’s behavior

Websites                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The National Down Syndrome Society envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming communities.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that impacts the parts of the brain that help us plan, focus on, and execute tasks. ADHD symptoms vary by sub-type — inattentive, hyperactive, or combined


Empower ADHD Kids! by  Becky White
Help children with ADHD in kindergarten through grade 6 be their best! Step-by-step plans that help teachers and parents teach practical strategies for mastering learning and social competencies to children with ADHD. The activities provide a strong working knowledge of the characteristics of ADHD. The book includes goal-setting techniques, strategies to help children focus, problem-solving strategies, and ideas to help children with ADHD realize their strengths.

Pay Attention Please! by Sherrill B Flora
Help students in pre-kindergarten–5 work out their wiggles using “Pay Attention, Please!” This 64-page book helps students with ADHD and students who are otherwise wiggly and overly busy learn how to pay better attention and focus for longer periods of time.

Scattered Minds by Gabor Maté
In this breakthrough guide to understanding, treating, and healing Attention Deficit Disorder, Dr. Gabor Maté, an adult with ADD and the father of three ADD children, shares information on:
· The external factors that trigger ADD/ADHD
· How to create an environment that promotes health and healing
· Ritalin and other drugs
· ADD adults
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) has remained a controversial topic in recent years. Whereas other books on the subject describe the condition as inherited, Dr. Maté believes that our social and emotional environments play a key role in both the cause of and cure for this condition.

You Mean I’m not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy? by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo
One of the bestselling books on attention deficit disorder (ADD) ever written. There is a great deal of literature about children with ADD. But what do you do if you have ADD and aren’t a child anymore? This indispensable reference—the first of its kind written for adults with ADD by adults with ADD—focuses on the experiences of adults, offering updated information, practical how-tos and moral support to help readers deal with ADD. It also explains the diagnostic process that distinguishes ADD symptoms from normal lapses in memory, lack of concentration or impulsive behavior.


Learning to Thrive with ADHD

I’m the student that gets in trouble multiple times every week for misbehaving or not paying attention. I try so hard. Sometimes I succeed, but often I get distracted, cause a commotion, or misbehave. I’m the little girl that can’t sit still at the supper table without jiggling or moving. I’m the dad that never calls my child by the right name. I’m the mom that forgets to do that important thing. I’m that boy that was making good grades and then one day I totally failed the test. I’m the boy that suddenly does that off the wall thing in the classroom. I’m that youth that interrupts the person talking, to say what I have to say, then I feel dumb about it.

A trusted website for families and adults living with ADHD and related conditions, and for the professionals who work with them.
Helping bridge the gap between possibilities and realities for those with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.

Other Information

YouTube explanation of ADD given by Thomas E Brown PhD from Understood.

Learning Disabilities

The learning disability is defined as “any mental condition that prevents a person from acquiring the same amount of knowledge as others in their age group.” The five most common learning disabilities are Dyslexia, ADHD, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia and Dyspraxia.


Fish in a Tree by  Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

General Information


Visual schedules
A visual schedule is a tool that gives the child information about what is happening, the sequence of events, what changes may be occurring, or when it is time to stop an activity and move on to another. A visual schedule may include objects, pictures, and/or written words. It can be as simple as a scrap paper with some hastily drawn pictures or as complex as small, laminated pictures with Velcro to stick them to a strip on the wall. Fantastic for morning and bedtime routines, school schedules, and more.
Available on Amazon or Etsy or make your own.

Time Timers
Excellent tool to help children understand the passage of time visually. Recommended for parents and all teachers—especially special education and K-12 teachers. The countdown clock can help those with special needs. As the time elapses, the bright red disc disappears. The visual design aspect of this timer helps ease transitions and encourages independence and increased productivity for people of all abilities. Available on Amazon and also as a free app for your device.


The Out-of-Sync Child by  Carol Kranowitz and Lucy Jane Miller
The groundbreaking book that explains Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Offers comprehensive, clear information for parents and professionals–and a drug-free treatment approach for children. This revised edition includes new sections on vision and hearing, picky eaters, and coexisting disorders such as autism and ADHD, among other topics.

The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun by Carol Kranowitz and Lucy Jane Miller
Carol Stock Kranowitz continues her significant work with this companion volume, which presents more than one hundred playful activities specially designed for kids with SPD. Also very helpful in working with children with other disorders which can affect the sensory systems.

Each activity in this inspiring and practical book is SAFE—Sensory-motor, Appropriate, Fun and Easy—to help develop and organize a child’s brain and body. Whether your child faces challenges with touch, balance, movement, body position, vision, hearing, smell, and taste, motor planning, or other sensory problems, this book presents lively and engaging ways to bring fun and play to everyday situations.

Sensory Processing 101 by Dayna Abraham, Claire Heffron, Pamela Braley, Lauren Drobnjak 

This easy-to-read guide is your starting point to gain a better understanding of sensory processing and the body’s sensory systems. You may have heard of Sensory Processing Disorder, but this book is designed to help all children – not just those with a sensory disorder. 

A website dedicated to shaping a world where millions of people who learn and think differently can thrive at home, at school and at work.
Resources, validation and support for the moms and dads (and teachers) out there
navigating the bumpy and bewildering road of a SPD diagnosis and/or many other parenting challenges.
The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders.
A whole website dedicated to books to help you on your journey.
Woodbine House was founded by the father of a child with Down syndrome who hoped to give other parents access to the type of practical, empathetic information he had struggled to find for himself. Their mission has grown to encompass publishing accessible, empowering books for families, teachers, and professionals who are seeking guidance and support in helping children and adults with any disability achieve their potential. They strive to be a trusted source of accurate, positive, and up-to-date information and provide this information in books that are created by parents and professionals who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place for people with disabilities.
Sharla is a mom of seven, five of whom have special needs. She wants to help you find blessings and joy amid the chaos and the clutter.