Most young people know someone who is living with a special need, and many of these young people have questions that deserve answers. Education about these special needs is the only way to ensure the most compassionate and understanding society, where all people are equally valuable, where each young person living with a special need is respected. This series educates young readers about a variety of special needs their peers live with every day. Each book in this set focuses on a different special need, from autism to ADHD, and includes stories about the lives of young people with these needs.
Lisa Albers, MD, Carolyn Bridgemohan, MD, Laurie J. Glader, MD Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School Cindy Croft, MD Project EXCEPTIONAL, State Special Needs Director, Concordia University
ADHD is a common condition in which kids are too energetic and have problems concentrating on one task. All too often, students with ADHD are simply thought to be "problem students," students who aren't trying hard enough or have discipline problems. Today, though, more and more people are becoming aware that ADHD is a serious medical condition, and there are medications and therapies that can help those who have it. As you read Connor's story in this book, you'll find out what it's like to live with ADHD. You'll see some of the challenges he faces as a result of his condition--and you'll discover what schools and families are doing to help kids like Connor live with their disabilities.
Children with autism have difficulty relating to others. Autism spectrum disorder is one of the most common special needs facing children, but even experts still don't fully understand it. Some children with the condition are very intelligent, while many others have intellectual disabilities. Each child with an autism spectrum disorder is different, but all struggle to live in a world that doesn't understand them. In this book, you'll read the story of Livie and her little brother Tucker, who has autism. As Tucker tries to navigate a world he can't comprehend, he faces many challenges--and Livie and her parents face challenges of their own as they try to help Tucker. You'll find out more about what it's like to live in a family with someone who has this disorder--and you'll get a glimpse into what it means to have autism.
It's impossible to predict all the ways that being blind will affect a person's life. From relearning things like reading and moving around, to the emotional impact of not being able to see, blindness and vision impairments present people with a whole new set of difficult challenges. In this book, as you read the story of Kyla's vision impairment, you'll learn about many of the disorders and injuries that can cause blindness and impaired vision. You'll also find out about the techniques and services used to treat and deal with blindness, including guide animals, white canes, Braille, and programs such as special summer camps. Becoming blind doesn't have to get in the way of leading a fulfilling life!
The human brain is a fragile organ, and as a result, brain damage is all too common. Tumors, strokes, accidents, gunshots, and impacts to the skull can all cause brain injury. These injuries can be minor--or they might cause memory loss or the inability to move normally. Many people who suffer brain injuries must relearn how to walk, talk, and do basic things like tie their shoes. In this book, you'll read the story of Jerome, a boy who suffered a dangerous head injury while riding his bicycle. You'll learn how schools, doctors, and others are helping people like Jerome regain control of their lives.
Not every sickness goes away in a few days or weeks. Unfortunately, some can last for months, years, or even the rest of a person's life. When this happens, it is called a chronic illness. It can cause many difficulties in people's lives, besides the illness itself. With some determination and help from friends and professionals, though, people with chronic illnesses can learn to face these challenges. Every young person faces challenges as they grow up, but those who have chronic illnesses have additional hardships. In this book, as you read Kayla's story, you'll learn about some of the difficulties these teenagers must overcome, and you'll discover some of the treatments and support systems that help them. Kids like Kayla have a tough time--but their lives can also be filled with hope!
In a world where most educational and social systems are designed for people who can hear, being deaf or hard of hearing presents young people with a unique set of challenges. They must find ways to communicate and overcome discrimination. In this book you will read about Denzel, who has never missed being able to hear. He was born deaf, and the idea of "sound" is confusing to him. As you follow Denzel's journey through a world designed for the hearing, you'll see him find ways to overcome the challenges of communicating with others. Being deaf doesn't have to be a handicap--and it won't keep Denzel from exploring, learning, or accomplishing his dreams!
Being a teenager is never easy. This phase of life is filled with changes, and new, unexpected challenges are always presenting themselves. For someone who has trouble controlling her emotions, these challenges can be especially hard to handle. As you read the story of Sheila, a teenager with an emotional disturbance, you will find out what it means to live with these extra challenges. You'll learn about some of the systems in place to help kids like Sheila, as well as some of the strengths and weaknesses of these systems. You'll discover that teenagers with emotional disturbance aren't so very different from you and your friends!
Young people with gender issues often face misunderstanding and prejudice. People think they're homosexual--or just weird. Being an adolescent is hard enough for anyone--but it's especially hard for young people who feel like they're trapped in the body of the wrong gender. In this book you will read about Kendra Campbell who was born a boy but feels like a girl. On the outside she's Kevin--but on the inside, she knows her name is Kendra. As you read Kevin--Kendra's story, you'll start to understand what gender really means. You'll find out how it feels to be trapped in a body of the wrong gender.
New parents who find out they're going to have a child with intellectual challenges are faced with many questions: Will she be able to function in the world? Will she have the same hopes and dreams as other children? Will her life be happy--or filled with sadness and failure? Along with the Brown family, you'll discover the answers to these questions as you read the story of Penelope Brown, a girl with Down syndrome. You'll see Penelope struggle to overcome others' ignorance and prejudice--and you'll watch her as she learns to follow her dreams.
Learning disabilities are extremely common. Teachers and parents often make the mistake of thinking children with these disabilities aren't trying hard enough or simply aren't as intelligent as other students--but in reality, young people with learning disabilities simply need special attention and a different approach to learning. Read about Charlie Begay, who thought he liked school, at least until he got to first grade. Now, no matter how hard he tries, he just can't make the words on the pages make sense--and his teacher doesn't seem to understand how hard he's trying. As you read Charlie's story, you'll discover some of the issues young people with learning disabilities face in today's educational system--and you'll learn how the educational system can help students overcome their disabilities.
There are many kinds of physical challenges. Some of these are the result of an injury, while other challenges are caused by a condition with which the person was born. Many of these conditions will last forever, and some will get worse as the individual gets older. When fourteen-year-old Samantha discovers that her new neighbor, Jenny, has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, Samantha's not sure what to expect. Through her growing friendship with Jenny, though, Samantha meets other kids with physical challenges. Each of these new friends has a different physical condition and faces different difficulties--and each one teaches Samantha a new lesson about how to look at others.
Not every child is lucky enough to live in a safe, loving home. Many young people live in difficult, unhealthy, or even dangerous conditions. Luckily, there are systems in place to help kids caught in theses situations. Child protective services are working hard to help children in need. Ryan Delaney is one of these kids. He spends most of his time living in a fantasy world, because that's easier than facing his real life. He lies to his friends about his parents and his home--but eventually, the truth catches up with him, forcing him to get the help he needs. As you read Ryan's story, you will learn about the history of the child protective services and find out about the programs and services offered today.
When a young person can't speak easily, sometimes other kids think he's not very intelligent. That's often not the case, though. A person with a speech impairment may be just as bright as anyone else. In this book, you'll read about David, who struggles with stuttering, and Martha, who has difficulty articulating certain sounds. You'll discover how they overcome their challenges--and how they rise above the prejudice they each face.
If your parents were unable to care for you, where would you go? Do you have family or friends who would take you in and support you? Unfortunately, many children don't have this option. The foster care system was put in place to help young people who find themselves without homes. As you follow the story of Bobby and Cara, two children whose family was torn apart, you'll discover more about the foster care system. You'll learn about the history behind the system, from the Orphan Trains in the United States to the British Home Children who were originally sent to Canada--and you'll discover some of the challenges young people in the foster care system face today.
When young people commit crimes, they often do not know what to expect next. Will they go to prison like an adult? What programs are there to help them? What people will teach them to make better choices next time? How will they be treated in the juvenile court system? As you read the story of Jeremy, a boy who is caught vandalizing his school, you too will learn the answers to these questions. You will discover what laws govern how young people are treated, and find out about the juvenile court system's processes. You'll find out what happens when young people commit crimes--and how they can get back on track.
Millions of people with special needs experience problems like prejudice, limited opportunities, and difficulties accessing the facilities that should be freely available. Luckily, there are laws in place today to protect their rights. Maria, a beautiful young girl with dreams of becoming a model, isn't allowed to participate in a local modeling workshop. Why? Because she uses a wheelchair. Another student with a disability is threatened by the loss of medical funding from the government, just because he's turning twenty-one; if he loses the government's help, he'll have to stop going to school and start living in a nursing home. What can he do to fight the situation? Meanwhile, nineteen-year-old Manuel is rejected from a job because of his history of seizures, even though he takes medication and hasn't had a seizure in more than five years. Is there something Manuel can do to get the job? As you read these young adults' stories, you'll learn about the laws that protect their rights. You'll discover the history behind these laws, and you'll find out exactly which rights are protected.
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