When I first heard the news of my boys’ diagnoses, I really struggled.
Not just because it was so hard to accept – although it was and sometimes still is.
I also struggled, because it was so difficult to find resources that felt relevant to our situation.
Many of you have asked me the same question I asked back then – Why can’t I find resources that actually seem to “get” it? I have no idea where to start.
I think after much research, frustration and sometimes anger, I now know at least a part of the answer.
There isn’t one.
There isn’t one or two or even three combined resources that will totally “get” your situation.
The crazy thing about both autism and dyslexia, is that they affect every child with one diagnosis (or the other, or both) just a little bit differently. Just as every single one of our brains function differently, so too does the impact of these challenges on each individual brain’s functioning.
There actually is a saying I like to quote that epitomizes this , although I have no idea who should be credited for it. “If you have met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”
Because this has been my exact experience, I am always the first to say, “You are your child’s momma. You know more than you think, and you are just as much an expert as any doctor or educator.”
Having said that, I would also like to share some of the many resources that have helped me, in case they might help you too.
Know this – I want real. I want honest. I want practical.
If I am going to take the time to seek out a resource to help with my kids, it better be one that “gets it”. (Momma got no time for unrealistic, only sharing the good, glossing over all the messes, makes me feel like I will never get it together options. Can I get a witness?)
I have arranged this list by topic, and have included books and sources that have made a difference in my day-to-day life. Most of them have nothing to do with my little guys’ brains and have everything to do with mine.
Find my must-read, favorite books for parenting a child with special needs here.
Here are my Top Picks for Additional Resources that really “Get It.”
Autism/Sensory Processing Disorder/Anxiety Disorder
What Color Is Monday? How Autism Changed One Family for the Better by: Carrile Carriello
The Out-Of-Sync Child Has Fun by: Carol Stock Kranowitz (A must for understanding and coping with sensory issues)
No More Meltdowns by:Jed Baker
Life with Greyson + Parker – a beautiful and encouraging mommy blog with two little boys on the spectrum
Please allow me to also introduce you to my book. Everyday Autism is my story about mothering the first year after my son’s diagnosis. It is exactly the book I wish I would’ve read in those early months.
Dyslexia/Slow Processing Speed
Dyslexia 101 by: Marianne Sutherland
Homeschooling With Dyslexia (Website – includes individualized classes and coaching for parents whether or not they are homeschooling their dyslexic child. I have taken the classes and CANNOT recommend this enough. Marianne is an amazing mom with seven dyslexic kids.)
Abundant Life (blog)
The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas by: Linda Dobson
Educating the WholeHearted Child by: Sally and Clay Clarkson
Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner by: Kathy Kuhl
And my new book: Special Education at Home
Overall Motherhood, Marriage and Homemaking
Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by: Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
Money Saving Mom (blog)
And, for the days you just want to go back to bed –
(Actually, consider the Bible on all of these lists. In it, I have found by far the most encouraging, practical wisdom for every aspect of my life!)
Please feel free to list and share any resources you think I have missed in the comments below. This is intended to be a page dedicated to providing help, information and ultimately encouragement to this wonderful community of readers.
Also, I want to fully disclose that the links for books above are affiliate links. This means that my family will receive a super small percentage of the Amazon purchase price if you choose to buy after clicking on any of them. If you are not comfortable supporting us in this way, no problem. This link will take you directly to Amazon and you can shop without the affiliate marketing. The primary purpose of this page, and overall blog, is to share support, resources and encouragement.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.