Family Stories


This topical guide will introduce you to important books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse and other sources.

Contact us via online form or by phone (1-877-275-3227) to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian). Note that some videos may be viewed online, and journal titles will take you to the publisher’s homepage.

parents holding newborn

Books for Parents

Autism in heels : the untold story of a female life on the spectrum
Jennifer Cook
Skyhorse Publishing, 2018
The author of the Asperkids series offers an intimate memoir about her life and her diagnosis with Asperger’s syndrome, sharing her struggles and her journey of self-discovery, and dispelling myths about life on the autism spectrum.
Call #: WM 203.5 .Ot6 2018

Beyond the diagnosis : the path to thriving as a special needs parent
Amy Mattson, 2019
A special needs diagnosis can mean the loss of dreams for some families. Author Amy Mattson knows that heartache and wants you to discover true joy along your uncertain journey as a parent of a child with special needs.
Call #: HV 888.5 .M436 2019 

Bloom: a memoir
Kelle Hampton
William Morrow, 2012
This book interweaves lyrical prose and stunning four-color photography as she recounts the story of the first year of her daughter Nella–who has Down syndrome–and celebrates the beauty found in the unexpected, the strength of a mother’s love, and, ultimately, the amazing power of perspective.
Call#: HQ 773.7 .H25 2012

The journal of best practices : a memoir of marriage and Asperger syndrome, and one man’s quest to be a better husband
David Finch
Scribner, 2012
Five years after David Finch married Kristen, the love of his life, they learn that he has Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis explains David’s ever-growing list of quirks and compulsions, but it doesn’t make him any easier to live with. Determined to change, David sets out to understand Asperger syndrome and learn to be a better husband with an endearing yet hilarious zeal.
Call #: WM 203.5 .F4911 2012

The perfect child for us
Linda Sprague Pappas
Gracednotes Ministries, 2019
A normal pregnancy followed by a normal birth unexpectedly led to a questionable survival prognosis. Extensive testing revealed a rare genetic muscular disorder, congenital fiber type disproportion. In this inspirational memoir, Caden’s grandmother describes the days, weeks, and months that follow this devasting diagnosis.
Call#: WS 350.6 .P1988 2019

The Warner boys : our family’s story of autism and hope
Ana and Curt Warner
Little A, 2018
An emotional, revealing memoir of one family’s life in seclusion–and the love, strength, and faith it took to save it.
Call#: HQ 773.8 .W37 2018

An uncomplicated life : a father’s memoir of his exceptional daughter
Daugherty, Paul
William Morrow, 2015
In a love letter to his daughter, who was born with Down syndrome, a sports columnist for the “Cincinnati Enquirer” chronicles her childhood and her journey to find happiness and purpose in her adult life, showing how she inspires those around her to live better and more fully.
Call#: HQ 759.913 .D11 2015

Books for Children

Can bears ski?
Raymond Antrobus
Candlewick Press, 2020
Little Bear feels the world around him. All around him he hears the familiar refrain: “Can bears ski?” Then Dad Bear takes him to see an audiologist and they learn that Little Bear has been experiencing deafness. With new hearing aids, he discovers that “Can bears ski?” is actually “Can you hear me?” His new world is loud and will take some getting used to, but with the love and support of Dad Bear, Little Bear will find his way.
Call #: PZ 7.1 .A636 2020

Meeting Mimi: a story about different abilities
Francie Dolan
Rourke Educational Media, 2020
There is lots to learn about the new girl at school. She does not like beans. She does not like to tell jokes. And, she has a physical disability. Join Mimi’s classmates as they ask questions about different abilities and make a new friend.
Call #: PZ 7.1 .D659 2020

Rescue & Jessica : a life-changing friendship
Jessica Kensky
Candlewick Press, 2018
Rescue thought he’d grow up to be a Seeing Eye dog. When he gets the news that he’s better suited to being a service dog, he’s worried that he’s not up to the task. Then he meets Jessica, a girl whose life is turning out differently than the way she’d imagined it and needs Rescue by her side to help her accomplish everyday tasks. It turns out that Rescue can help Jessica see after all: a way forward, together, one step at a time.
Call #: PZ 7.1 .K508 2018

We’re all wonders
R.J. Palacio
Alfred A. Knopf, 2017
Auggie enjoys the company of his dog, Daisy, and using his imagination, but painfully endures the taunts of his peers because of his facial deformity.
Call #: PZ 7 .P17256we 2017

Web Resources

Family Stories
The Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse has collected stories from families who have participated in early intervention services. Hear from several of them in their own words.