Posted in advice, Helpful information, Monday Mania

Monday Mania #18: Books About Developmental Disorders

Developmental Disorders are common diagnoses in today’s world but are not really understood by most people. In this post Developmental Disorders are defined as neurologically based conditions that can interfere with the acquisition, retention or application of specific skills or sets of information (ex: Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome).  These disorders are not considered mental illnesses, although some symptoms do overlap, because the brain is affected differently (see Monday Mania #17: Books about Mental Illness).  Every developmental disorder is a uniquely confusing time for the  individual diagnosed and their family.

Developmental disorders are not preventable or curable at this time, but they are treatable.  Below I have compiled a short list of books for the whole family.  This list is far from complete but will help give you a start.

The books are separated into 3 categories: general resources, family/self-help, and memoirs.  The books were placed in a category based on the subject and how the information is presented.

* If you are aware of other books that can help please put the book’s title and author in the comment section at the end of the post.*

General Resources

  1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-IV) (2013) by American Psychological Association
  2. The Essential Guide to Psychiatric Drugs (2007) by J.M. Gorman
  3. Understanding Developmental Disorders: A Casual Modelling Approach (2005) by John Morton
  4. Living with Tourette’s Syndrome (1995) by Elaine Fantle Shimberg
  5. Social Skills for Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Developmental Disorders (2012) by Laurence R. Sargent
  6. Dual Diagnosis: An Introduction to Mental Health Needs of Persons With Developmental Disorders (2002) by Dorothy M. Griffins, Jane Summers and Chrissoula Stavrkaki

Family/Self Help

  1. The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome (2006) by Tony Attwood
  2. Understanding Autistic Behaviors (2018) by Theresa M Regan
  3. The Caregivers Companion (2015) by Carolyn A. Brent
  4. The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum (2013) by Temple Grandin
  5. Anxiety Relief for Kids (2017) by Bridget Flynn Walker
  6. Being The Other One:  Growing Up With a Brother or sister Who Has Special Needs (2005) by Kate Strohm
  7. Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults (2006) by Thomas E. Brown
  8. Planning For the Future:  Providing a Meaningful Life for a Child With a Disability (2005) by M.L. Russell


  1. Thinking in Pictures: My Life With Autism (2006) by Temple Grandin
  2. Passing For Normal (2000) by Amy Wilensky
  3. Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words (1997) by Marty Jezer
  4. The Ride Together: A Brother and Sisters Memoir of Autism in the Family (2003) by J. and P. Karasik

Remember, this list is FAR from complete and I encourage you to look for ones that are ment for the specific diagnose(s) you or your family member received, including children’s books to help younger kids understand what is happening to themselves or their sibling.

Please know that there are a variety of different psychology professionals, groups and organizations out there at the local, national and international level.  There are multiple national organizations with websites that allow you to search for resources “near” you.  I am not personally acquainted with organizations/groups covering all developmental disorders, but your health care professional probably knows who they are.  (I am familiar with a few organizations for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, contact me for these)

If you are aware of other books/resources that can help please put the information in the comment section at the end of the post.

** Do not use my list as a substitute for care from a mental health professional(s). I created this list to be used in combination with help from mental health professionals, I want to pass on these resources because I have a family member who was diagnosed with a nuerodevelopmental disorder. ** 



I was a bibliophile before I learned the alphabet. From an early age I have used books to relieve the pressures of reality. I was I teenager before I appreciated the learning power of books. Now, as an adult, I read books for both learning and relaxation.

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