60 Books About Disabilities and Differences for Kids

60 Books About Disabilities & Differences for Kids

Published on mrsdscorner.com

As a teacher, or parent, who works in education… we meet a lot of students with different abilities and specialties. And sure, we have Autism Awareness month and disability awareness… but it’s so much more than just being aware.

Below you’ll find a curated list of books on special needs, acceptance, and tolerance. There are also books that describe children who have other differences that may make life a little challenging, like walking, hearing, seeing, understanding social cues, and more. These are books that you can use to introduce the topics presented to other children, teachers, and adults.


How to Protect Yourself as an Empath

3 Ways to Protect Yourself as an Anxious Empath

by Dr. Liz Matheis, published on www.themighty.com

Anxiety is an incredibly pervasive feeling that impacts every part of our functioning. It impacts our decisions, our thoughts, our feelings, our assessments and, most importantly, our perception of ourselves. Anxious people are some of the most caring and thoughtful people who just want to do right by others. Anxious thoughts are mean. They lie. They tell us things about ourselves that just aren’t true, even when we make decisions that are based on the well-being of others before ourselves.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety has peaked and has become overwhelmingly debilitating for people of all ages — small children, pre-teens, teens, young adults, adults and parents. Because most people who are anxious are also empaths — people who feel more empathy than the average person. In fact, empaths are aware of the feelings that are held by the people around you, whether they are friends, family or even strangers.

How to Reduce Stress When Moving with Kids

How To Reduce Stress When Moving with Kids

by Molly Henderson – published on www.movingcompanyreviews.com

On average, each person in the United States can expect to move about 12 times in their lifetime. Ask anyone who has moved even once, and they’ll tell you that moving can be one of the hardest things to do.

Even though they may not be involved when their parents decide that a whole family will move, moving also takes its toll on children. This is why it’s crucial to do as much as you can to ensure that a move causes as little stress as possible to the kids.

Cutting and Self-Harm

Cutting and Self-Harm

Published by damorementalhealth.com

Are you concerned that a friend or family member may be cutting or engaging in self-harm? Or have you done so? Understanding the signs and causes of self-harm can help you step in and take action.

When you’re able to make an informed assessment, you can find the right treatment. It’s critical to stop self-harm before it escalates to a severe level. Keep reading to learn about the signs, causes, and treatments associated with self-harm.

Why We May Feel Burnout Instead of Relief Post-COVID-19

Why We May Feel Burnout Instead of Relief Post-COVID-19

by Dr. Liz Matheis, published in themighty.com

Here we are, post-COVID-19, and although many of us think that our anxiety should begin to subside, what if it isn’t? What if you’re not as relieved as you thought you would be? What if you are not doing the metaphorical happy dance as we begin to gain hope of returning to “normal,” whatever that really means?

It’s been a long 15 months. We have been trying to protect ourselves, our children, our parents and our grandparents from a virus that has an effect that ranges from a cold to not being able to breathe. It’s a frightening virus that has created a level of panic that has permeated and impacted our daily life and mental health immensely. And just like that, we are supposed to let go of all of these safety precautions? I’m not ready. It’s OK. Acknowledge what parts you are not comfortable with and understand that you don’t need to make sudden changes to your routines if you are not ready.

4 Tips to Embracing Your Naked Face

4 Tips to Embracing Your Naked Face

by Michelle Molle-Krowiak Ed.S, LCSW

Re-entering the world without our mask has been a dream since March 2020.  I missed my “naked” face!  Despite that, the process has been slow and anxiety-filled.  I imagined ripping it off and running into the sunset; yet,  the reality is a feeling of uncertainty and pressure.  So another layer of this pandemic has been realized, “un-masking anxiety”.  I know I am not the only one so I wanted to share my tips.

  • Start outside: Breathe the fresh air and maintain social distancing allowing you time to embrace your naked face.
  • Start small:  I went for quick trips during off-peak hours.  As I walked into the mall, I slowly lowered the mask, easing my discomfort little by little.  
  • Conquer your inner critic voice: For me, I need a positive affirmation to help ease my discomfort. My discomfort does not come from the possible virus ( I feel pretty confident being vaccinated and still taking reasonable precautions).  My discomfort and anxiety came from feeling unsafe from an unnecessary confrontation.  Feeling eyes of judgement or even fear of me the unmasked individual impacts me.  I do not want anyone to feel uncomfortable because of me.  However, I realized my fears were just my own worries that I needed to challenge myself with a positive affirmation.
  • Smile: Spread the joy. The power of a simple smile will lift your own spirits and others.  It is time to shine.

In the end, this is a personal decision of when and where… I wish you peace and joy as you un-mask.  I, for one, am loving saying good-by to my un-masking anxiety and saying hello to all those smiling naked faces.

Anxiety in a Post-Covid World

Anxiety in a Post-Covid World

by Dr. Liz Matheis, published in https://differentdream.com/

Anxiety in a post-Covid world is the latest new reality in over a year of new realities. Clinical psychologist Liz Mathies is here today with 3 strategies to tame your anxiety as you and your family begins the process of re-entry.

Hooray, hooray! The end of the pandemic is coming!

Wait. Is it a hooray?

In one breath, you may feel relieved that life is returning to normal. But in the same breath you wonder what is normal 14 months after a pandemic that suddenly and drastically changed our lives.

Fourteen months ago, anxiety about a virus that we had never seen before entered our lives. Before we knew it, it was deemed a global pandemic.  I remember where I was exactly and who I was with when I first heard that news. It was mind blowing and overwhelming.

This virus was far more than just a flu. Our anxiety became intense and constant as it created fierce symptoms and many didn’t survive.

For many of us, that anxiety has actually not yet settled. We carry a residual level of worry. We’ve adopted functional rituals such as disinfecting surfaces, washing doorknobs, washing our hands and wearing masks.  We ask questions such as: “Does that restaurant have outdoor seating? Are those tables too close? Did that person just touch the door handle? Are my kids safe to go to school? What if I’m carrying the virus and pass it on to my parents/elderly relatives?” The list goes on and on.

Self-Care and Setting Boundaries

Self-Care and Setting Boundaries: Dr. Liz Matheis on the Impact of the Pandemic on Working Mothers

by Dr. Liz Matheis, published in https://jobs.mom/

Our roles as women have changed and morphed and we are handling more than ever –  juggling, balancing the needs of everyone else during a time when we, as families, are together more than we are apart. Here we are over one year later, and we are exhausted and drained. We have been overseen and forgotten. As mothers during this pandemic, life went from being full to being overwhelming and demanding to say the very least. Our roles have changed, our bodies and minds can feel it, and our mental health is deteriorating.

Understanding Teens’ Invisible Struggles During COVID-19

Understanding Teens’ Invisible Struggles During COVID-19

written by Dr. Liz Matheis, published in www.psychologytoday.com

Our teens are suffering.

Children are not used to a routine that is repetitive with so little change from day to day. Nowadays, their school days consist of sitting in front of a screen with little variation, little social interaction, little true academic instruction, little focus, and a whole lot of missing of their school routine as they remember it to be prior to March 2020.

Their extracurricular activities are limited and interactions are not the same. Spontaneous social interactions are being missed. Our teens miss sitting next to each other, sharing lunch together, riding the school bus together, and all of the conversations and interactions that took place on a daily basis. One student shared with me that the biggest highlight of his day has been what he is going to eat. How incredibly boring and disappointing. Many teens (and adults) took for granted the variety of their days and the freedom that they had—until it was gone.


"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Julie C.
"Dr. Matheis has a remarkable ability to understand the unique needs of her patients and address them constructively. She builds strong, meaningful relationships with patients and their families, encouraging trust and collaboration. When working with my son who struggles with autism-related anxiety, she created an environment in which he was able to calm down and open up to her in ways I had not seen before. She was able to reach him and helped him work through his crisis/problem. Most importantly, she empowered him to move forward."
- N.L.
"Dr. Matheis is amazing. She has tremendous resources and loads of energy. She is not willing to accept anything less than the most effective results for her clients. She made me feel as if my son was her top priority throughout the entire process. I would, without reservation, give her my highest recommendations.  Thank you, Dr. Matheis!"
- Anonymous
"Dr. Matheis has an amazing ability to read kids and connect with them. She has been an invaluable resource for our family over the past several years and has helped us with everything from educational consulting, to uncovering diagnoses as well as family therapy. Working with Dr. Matheis never feels clinical and most importantly, our children love and trust her. We can not thank you enough Dr. Liz!"
- Anonymous
"My teenage son had been seeing Dr. Matheis through his senior year of high school, as he was only diagnosed with ADHD at 16 years old.  Dr. Matheis came highly recommended from our pediatrician and she has done wonders for our son as well as our family, navigating new ways for him to deal with his diagnosis without the use of medication.  She taught him ways to organize himself and even when something did not work for him, she patiently continued teaching him new ways to keep himself on track.  She has also helped us as parents to understand how his mind works so that we did not continue to blame his lack of focus on him, rather on his unique way of thinking.  Thank you Dr. Matheis!!!!"
- LG
"Dr. Liz is the best! Our family was directed to her by our Pediatrician to assist with figuring out severe mood changes, severe anxiety, strange new fears and food aversion that had come onto one of our children literally overnight. After just a couple of visits, she suggested that the issues may actually be rooted in a physical issue and suggested we immediately take our child to be swabbed for strep, because Dr. Liz suspected PANDAS (a pediatric autoimmune disorder brought on by strep). The same Pediatrician that suggested Dr. Liz would not do the swab (they do not believe in PANDAS and we no longer go there) but I took my child to my doctor who did the swab and it was positive for strep. When our child went on antibiotics, within 24 hours all symptoms went away and our child was back :-) Dr. Liz then recommended a PANDAS specialist who helped us and our child is in complete remission and is happy and healthy. We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Liz for her knowledge of all things, even the most remote and unusual and for helping us so much! Thank you!"
- Anonymous
"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Anonymous
"Thank you, Dr. Liz. Although we have told you countless times, it will never feel enough. You have listened when J could barely speak and continued to listen when he was sad, angry and confused. You've challenged him and directed us in our roles as parents. You've helped J face his fears while the list evolved and changed, and yet you've stayed committed to 'the course.' We pray that your children realize that time away from them is spent helping children learn and that vulnerability is a sign of strength and bravery."
- June I
"My son was admitted to an Ivy League school when only 2 years ago, you assessed him and saw his struggles, his Dyslexia. We are grateful that he no longer has to carry that deep feeling of inadequacy or shame that must have kept him so self conscious and from reaching his potential. He has the PERFECT program for him. He has A's in high math and economics. He became a Merit Scholar, a Boys State legislature, the HEAD captain of the football team and help a job ALL while studying and managing his classes and disability. I am PROUD of you, a young doctor, who knows and sees the vulnerability of children and helps them recognize "it's NO big deal" God bless."
- Anonymous

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