Nothing stimulates the brain like reading, especially when children can see themselves in the main characters.
Here’s a short list of great reads that help children with ADHD and learning differences feel connected and less alone from ADDitude Magazine:
Hank Zipzer series, by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
Henry Winkler (of “Happy Days” fame) brings his childhood to life in the Hank Zipzer. Like Henry, Hank is a young boy growing up with ADHD and dyslexia who constantly finds himself in outrageous situations — like the time his report card ended up in a salami! The books are full of humour for adults and children alike, and any child who learns differently will really identify with Hank.
Taking Dyslexia to School, by Lauren Moynihan
This book, a cousin to ‘Taking A.D.H.D. to School’ explains what’s going on inside a child with dyslexia. The main character, Matt, is a great role model for kids. Throughout the story, he explains his difficulties with reading and maths, and describes the steps he took to learn about the nature of his learning challenges and to get help at school.
Ellie Bean the Drama Queen, by Jennie Harding
Ellie Bean is the latest children’s book about sensory processing disorder (SPD), a condition that affects at least 40 percent of kids with ADHD and/or autism. Ellie Bean seems to be scared of nothing, but can’t handle simple tasks because of her SPD. Her mother takes her to an occupational therapist, who helps her put her feelings into words and feel better. This book is a good introduction to SPD for young children.
This Morning Sam Went to Mars by Nancy Carlson
Though ADHD is never mentioned 8-year-old Sam often struggles to pay attention or follow instructions. The book focuses on lifestyle changes that should be considered before a formal diagnosis or a decision to medicate is made. It’s a fun, engaging story that young children will love, and a note at the end has strategies parents can use to help kids improve their attention.
Cory Stories: A Kid’s Book About Living with ADHD, by Jeanne Kraus
Cory has ADHD. In short stories and poems, he describes how it affects his day-to-day life, his relationships, and his schoolwork and offers age-appropriate introductions to ADHD treatments like medication, counselling, and behaviour modifications. If your child has difficulty coming to terms with their ADHD or their treatment plan, this is a great book to help them understand they aren’t alone.
Pay Attention, Emily Brown, by Linda Burton
Author Linda Burton approaches the subject of inattention with grace, humour, and love. The narrator’s over-the-top (and rhyming!) efforts to get her daughter’s attention will have any family smiling and laughing and the story ends on a reassuring note, setting the perfect tone for a non-threatening discussion about paying attention.
Get Ready for Jetty! My Journal About ADHD and Me, by Jeanne Kraus
This is an engaging, visually appealing approach to ADHD, told through the eyes of a 9-year-old girl — perfect for girls aged 9 to 13. This is a non-threatening, true-to-life introduction to living, learning, and succeeding with ADHD.