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on October 21, 2007
I love this book. First I'd like to point out that this is a children's book - for children. Don't Call Me Special is intended for the typical child audience. The title itself is refreshing and pulls away from the idea that "Special Needs" children are different. We donate this book to our childrens' school libraries and have asked and been granted that our county libraries carry this book. This book is not a book about specific disabilities or about rights for your child. This information can be found in other books, at your local support group, through state agencies and your local schools. What this book DOES do is open dialog for elementary school typical children. We read this book in many of our childrens' elementary school classrooms. The first thing that the book points out to children is that we are all different and that each of us has things we are good at and things we need help with (and to not assume things just because a person has a disability). The secondary lesson is to explain why children who have disabilities get help and what some of that help is. I feel this information helps demystify where children with disabilities go if and when they leave the classroom and why they get additional help in school. To me, reading this book in the classrooms with typical students helps those students realize that having a disability is no big deal. This book is not intended to help those with disabilities. The book is intended to help typical children address concerns they have for students they share a classroom with that may have learning or physical disabilities. Get this book and use it as a tool to open up a great discussion!
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on August 23, 2010
I'm sure you've all heard the expression "Don't judge a book by it's cover". Well that's just what I did this time and it was a mistake. It was the title that fooled me. I am a person with disabilities and I hated being called special as a kid. Now I'm a childcare professional for children with and without disabilities and I thought this book might come in handy. Unfourtunately I found it very disapointing. The information is way too general and there's no real story. There's no central character or plotline for the intended audience (preschool/early elementary) to relate to. When I was asked to read this book to an inclusive kindergarten class, I completely lost their attention after 3 pages. I honestly found the book to be a little patronizing for them and for me. (especially the "how to use this book" page in the back)There are much better children's books out there about disabilities. Don't waste your money on this one.
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on February 13, 2013
Book review:
Don't call me special is delightful picture book that introduces disabilities meaning to children in preschool through early elementary. The title itself rejects the idea of calling people with disabilities "special" .This book is useful to use with normal kids because it answers all their concerns and questions about why some people look different to them. In addition, it recommends children to not assume things that may not be true about people with disabilities. This book explains for kids that not all people are similar in everything, and all people have strengths and weaknesses; also, it explains that all people may need help if they found difficulties to do things. In this book, a little reader will explore different kind of disabilities and the type of helpful equipment they use. Don't call me special discusses the situation of students with disabilities and where they go to study in past and current time, and how is different between today and in years ago. In a lovely manner, the book asks children to help and accept their peers who have disabilities because they feel angry and sad when they are teased. Furthermore, it tries to make children to realize that having disability is not big matter because in the end people with disabilities could be better than normal people in doing or learning things. Finally, the benefit of this book that it advises children to work and play together because that will help children with disabilities to grow and do what they want without the feeling that they are different from the others.

The good thing about this book, it provides questions to the children to react with the story. Don't call me special has been characterized by attractive illustrations that picture normal children's concerns and questions about people with disabilities. This book is not only directed to teachers in schools but also to parents and adults who work with able-bodied children and children with disabilities. As a teacher for first grade class, I would use this book and read it as story to my students to make them aware about disabilities. Especially, once I expect teaching students with disabilities beside my normal students in the class. This book is not about specific disabilities or their rights, but it provides information to children about disabilities and makes open and comfortable environment for all children.
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on September 14, 2012
Book Review:
Don't Call Me Special: A First Look at Disability is a picture book for younger children that explores what a disability is and teaches children how different people deal with various types of disabilities in real life situations using real life examples. There is a variety of disabilities discussed and explained throughout this book. In fact, there are great examples of children with blindness, deafness, being in a wheelchair or overweight. The lesson that is taught the entire way through this book is that all children, no matter the deficit, are all the same and can play, live, learn and laugh together in a society that embraces diversity.
I really liked how the book addresses different types of disabilities with examples and pictures. In addition, I liked how disabilities were explained. The book explains that children with disabilities may sometimes look different on the outside, but on the inside, they are just like you. And, the author uses emotions as a way of connecting with the readers. However, the book did not have a main character in the story that I think it could cause younger children to become uninterested in the book or unable to follow along. Also, I really enjoyed the colorful, detailed pictures. I believe the children would be very interested in these pictures, and they may be able to relate some of their peers from seeing the images.
As an educator, I would definitely use this book in my classroom to help expose the students to people with disabilities and how their circumstances are a little different from theirs while keeping in mind that they are all people. I believe children are genuinely interested in learning about the differences in the world; as a result, I would use this book in my classroom for younger children to see diversity at its best.
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on February 6, 2015
Could we PLEASE get it about the word SPECIAL?? Read this book! Special means segregated classrooms with unqualified teachers, closets used as scream rooms, restraint, compliance oriented training, segregated sheltered workshops, sub-minimum wage. Horror and isolation and abuse. People have names. And we hate the word special.
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With our new state regulations this will be perfect! The book was even better than I though it was going to be. Thanks so much
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on October 1, 2012
We have a six year old boy with Down syndrome and we read thiss book to his class to help explain what disabilities are and why it might look like our son gets more attention. Our son is fully included in a general ed class. He is the first child at the school with a marked disability. With the help of the book, we talked about the roll of the paraeducator and how kids are more alike than different. It is a great introductory book for kids.
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on June 7, 2015
This book is a great introduction to disabilities for elementary children. It talks about what a disability is and gives examples of seen and unseen disabilities. The message of the book is that all kids can be good friends to each other, regardless of ability or disability. Colorful realistic illustrations. We used this book during our school's disability awareness week for kindergarten through second grade.
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on May 31, 2013
We should all take a hint from the title and stop using the term "special needs". The needs of children with different medical diagnoses (which is what a disability is)are not special, they have the same needs we all have but they may need to be met in a different way. That is the message that needs to get out there.
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on February 9, 2013
Don't Call Me Special A First Look at Disability written by Pat Thomas begins by asking the reader if they can tell what children would have difficulty not wanting to join in sports and games. It has a picture of several children - some of which include a child in a wheelchair. It explains what assuming means and if we do that we will hurt other children's feelings. There is a section that asks the reader questions if they know anyone with a disability at school or in their family. If they do, are they particularly good at something and is there something they have trouble with? It also asks the reader the same questions about themselves. This allows the child to think about if they know anyone with a disability and what their strengths and weaknesses are. It explains that children with disabilities sometimes need special equipment so that they can complete tasks or to get around. There is another thought section for the child that asks them what the different disabilities they know about are. The author explains the different types of disabilities and explains it in a way that young children can understand. It explains that their used to be "special" schools for children with disabilities, but many of those children dislike being called special. However, today children with disabilities are able to attend regular schools. Children with disabilities are not much different than children without a disability because they each feel the same emotions and want to be accepted by everyone. It explains that children with disabilities sometimes need extra teachers or helpers for assistance, but a helper should not do the work for the child. The book ends with the author explaining that all children should help and play with each other. When we are able to help children with disabilities, we can help them to do things that they want to just like everyone else. The book has helpful tips at the end on how to use the book with children. A teacher can have a group discussion with their classroom or have a lesson about negative terms that are associated with children with disabilities and how they should not be used because they can hurt the child's feelings. It also has recommended reading if you wanted to extend your lesson with another book. Overall, this book is ideal for teaching preschoolers about disabilities and explains throughout the book that we are all the same regardless if we have a disability.
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