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Life Stories
  >>Located in Store(s): Media Center

This department contains many different stories by or about people with various types of disabilities. It includes both fiction and non-fiction works and includes autobiographies, biographies, and other literary works. Visitors to this store are encouraged to nominate their favorite books or other works to share with others through this store. As long as the work is still in print and you really liked it or found it helpful it is eligible for nomination. Original work is also welcome in this department. If you have a story to share we would like to hear it.

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Managed by: Nancy Weiss (nweiss@udel.edu) of National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities, Univ. of Delaware
Co-managed by Sherri Larson

Product Categories
Books, Publications & Reports (printed and/or online) (175 Products)
Electronic Media (150 Products)
Organizations, Programs, and Projects (4 Products)
Online Forums (1 Products)


Books, Publications & Reports (printed and/or online)
A Child called It: One child's courage to survive
This is the first in a three-part series about a man who was the victim of very severe child abuse. His mental health needs were ignored for a very long time.
A Client Called Noah
This book tells about Noah's transition from living with his family to living in a variety of institutional and group home settings during his teenage and young adult years. It shows how difficult it is for families to get support.
A Different Kind of Boy: A Father's Memoir About Raising a Gifted Child With Autism
This book tells a true story about raising a gifted child with autism.
A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny
A mom wrote this book about the first two years of her daughter's life. Her daughter was born with Down syndrome.
A History and Sociology of the Willowbrook State School
This book is about the history of people who lived in the Willowbrook institution.
A Life Beyond Reason
An article written by the father of a boy with severe cognitive and physical disabilities. The father talks about how his son has impacted his family's life.
A man named Dave: A story of triumph and forgiveness
This sequel to "A child called it" and "The lost boy" tells about the late adolescence and young adulthood of a man terribly abused by his mother. The story describes the continuing effect of a lifetime "in the system."
A Mind Apart: Travels in a Neurodiverse World
This book explains autism and other neurological differences in a positive, normal way.
A Personal Matter
This semi-autobiographical novel describes a man's struggle to come to terms with the coming birth of his son, who will have a disability. While Oe is Japanese, his story's discussion of internal struggle in the face of life changing events is universal.
A Thorn in My Pocket: Temple Grandin's Mother Tells the Family Story
This book explains the experience of raising a child who had autism in the 1950's.
A World Without Words: The Social Construction of Children Born Deaf and Blind
This book tells the story of two children who were deaf-blind and had intellectual disabilities. It is written by a researcher who studied them.
Against tall odds: Being a David in a Goliath World
This true story is about a man born with diastrophic dwarfism. It tells about his courtship and marriage to woman he met at the Little People of American convention, and their children as well as his careers in movies and computers.
Against the Current
This book is the autobiography of Bob Segalman. He was born with Cerebral Palsy and developed the speech-to-speech relay system.
Alex the Boy: Episodes from a family's life with autism
A book written by the father of a boy who was born premature and has autism. He talks about how their family handles issues such as eating, sleeping, school, and public behavior.
Alex: The Fathering of a Preemie
This book tells the story of a 21-ounce special-needs preemie's first five years of life. It is written by the father.
Alone Together: Making an Asperger Marriage Work
This book is about what it's like to be married to a person who has Asperger's Syndrome.
An Asperger Marriage
This book is about a married couple in which one person has Asperger's syndrome.
An Expendable Man: The near-execution of Earl Washington Jr.
Earl Washington Jr. is a man with an intellectual disability who was 9 days from being executed for a murder he did not commit. This book tells his story.
Annie's Coming Out
The true story of Annie, a girl with Cerebral Palsy who lived in an Australian institution. She learns to communicate using symbols.
Appreciating Asperger Syndrome
This book explains the traits of people who have Asperger's syndrome. It tells the story of a mother and her son, as well as stories from others who have Asperger's.
Are Your Eyes Listening?
The author of this book is a person with autism. In it, she shares the sights, sounds, and feelings of one person who has autism.
As Up We Grew with Barbara
This is a common sense book written by a mother whose daughter has developmental disabilities. She talks about Barbara's growth and their adult relationship.
Asperger Syndrome and Alcohol Drinking to Cope?
This book is about people with ASD using alcohol to cope with problems. The lead author is a man with Asperger's who tells his story.
Aspergers from the Inside Out: A Supportive and Practical Guide for Anyone with Asperger's Syndrome
This book is written by a man with Asperger Syndrome who wasn't diagnosed until he was thirty six years old. His diagnosis came when his son was also found to be affected by the disorder.
Autism All-Stars How We Use Our Autism and Asperger Traits to Shine in Life
This book has personal stories from successful people who have Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone
This book challenges some common views about people with Autism. Most chapters tell the stories of people who have autism.
Autism is Not A Life Sentence: How One Family Took on Autism and Won!
This book is about a mother-daughter team who worked together to build a life of fulfillment and success. They did this not by beating autism, but by working with it.
Autism's First Child
This article is about the life of the first man to have been diagnosed with Autism.
Autistics' Guide to Dating: A Book By Autistics, For Autistics and Those Who Love Them or Who Are in Love with Them [Paperback]
This book is co-written by a husband and wife who both have autism. In the book they reflect on their personal experiences and give advice on relationships.
Barbara and Fred, Grownups Now Living Fully With Developmental Disabilities
This book tells the life stories of two people who fall in love.
Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers
The book is about the author's life with autism. He also offers advice to others who have autism or who know someone who does.
Beyond The Silence: My life, the World and Autism
This book is an autobiographical narration of a young poet who has autism and it includes a collection of his selected poems with a foreword by Lorna Wing
Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome, 2ndEd.
A book written by a man with Asperger Syndrome about his life. This book is for professionals as well as people who have Asperger Syndrome to help them better understand the syndrome.
Body, Remember
In this memoir, Kenny Fries explores his life and experiences with his physical disability.
Born on a Blue Day
This is the first of two books written by Daniel, a 27-year-old man with Asperger's syndrome. He writes about his life and his disability.
Born on the Wrong Planet
This book is the life story of a woman who has autism.
Bright Splinters of the Mind: A Personal Story of Research with Autistic Savants
This is the story of several people with autism who have amazing skills in math, music, art, languages, or poetry. The author did research to find out how they developed their skills.
Bringing up a challenging child at home: When love is not enough
This book tells a mother's story of raising a daughter with an intellectual disability who uses challenging behavior.
Bus Girl:
This book is a collection of poems written by a woman who has Down syndrome. The poems are thought-provoking and often humorous.
Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism
This book is about a young woman with autism. It was written by her dad with her help.
Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey
This is the story of a family who decides to give birth to a child who was pre-natally diagnosed with Down Syndrome, despite the challenges that they knew the conditions of the baby will pose.
Count Us In: Growing Up with Down Syndrome
This book is written by two young men who have Down Syndrome. They share what it was it was like growing up, and their dreams for the future.
Different...Not Less: Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment
This book has success stories written by people who lie on the autism spectrum.
Disabled and Challenged: Reach for Your Dreams!
Terry Scott is a young adult with muscular dystrophy. He writes about living a full life. He gives ideas about practical topics, such as relationships, jobs, and planning for the future.
Do You Understand Me?
This book is written by an eleven-year-old girl who has autism. She explains the hard parts of her life and what helps.
Does She Know She's There?
This book is written by a mom who had a daughter with cerebral palsy in 1961.
Don't Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back
This autobiography is written by a woman with cerebral palsy. She explains her experiences with her disability.
Ed Roberts: Father of Disability Rights
This book is about Ed Roberts’ life. It covers his life experiences of living with a disability and his fight for equality for people with disabilities.
Ed Roberts: Wheelchair Genius
This book is about Ed Roberts, an important civil rights leader for people with disabilities. It is written for young readers.
Embracing the Wide Sky
The author of this book could be considered an "autistic savant" because he is very good with memory, math, and language. In this book he explains how his brain works.
Emergence labeled autistic
This is the true story of Temple Grandin, a woman with autism, told in her words.
Exile & Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation
This is an essay on the politics and poetics of queer disability.
Exiting Nirvana: A Daughter's Life with Autism
This book offers a mother's description of her amazing daughter who has autism and is also a very successful artist.
Expecting Adam, A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic
An autobiographical tale of a Harvard couple who conceive a baby with Down's syndrome and decide to carry him to term.
Family Experiences of Bipolar Disorder: The Ups, The Downs and the Bits In Between
This book tells the stories of people with the diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Father's Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son
In this book, the author tells a story about a road trip he took with his son who has an intellectual disability. It was written by the author of Friday Night Lights which was a successful book, movie and T.V series.
Finally, Dreams Coming True
This book describes the life, challenges, and accomplishments of Jacqueline Speciner. Jacqueline was a woman with cerebral palsy, and a strong advocate for people with disabilties in Maryland.
Flourish: People with Disabilities Living Life with Passion
This book has many stories of people with disabilities who have followed their dreams. It also tells the stories of the people who provided support.
From Institutions to Individuals: On becoming person-centred
This book has stories written by, for, and about people who have intellectual disabilities.
From Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones: Help and hope for special needs kids
Shari tells her story about growing up with disabilities. She also offers great advice for people with disabilities and families. Shari is a certified teacher and has a child with a disability.
Front of the Class
A book and film that tell the true story of a man with Tourette syndrome who landed his dream job of being a teacher.You can watch the entire film on YouTube for free!
Ghost Girl
This book tells the story of a young girl who begins school unwilling to speak. The girl had been sexually and emotionally abused. Told by her teacher, the book tells how this girl was able to get the help she needed.
Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives
This book is a collection of stories written by mothers who have children with Down Syndrome.
Gravity Pulls You In: Perspectives on Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum
This book shares the experience of parenting children with autism. It does this by sharing 33 real life stories
Hear My Voice: Stories Told By Albertans With Developmental Disabilities Who Were Once Institutionalized
This book has stories told by people with developmental disabilities who lived in institutions for many years. All survived to live meaningful lives in the community.
Hope Will Find You: My Search for the Wisdom to Stop Waiting and Start Living
A book written by a Jewish Rabbi. She tells of her journey as a parent of a child with a disability.
I Am Intelligent: From Heartbreak to Healing - A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Autism
This book tells the story of a woman with autism who found her voice using facilitated communication.
I Am Just Me: My Life With Dyslexia and Dysgraphia
This book tells a true story written by a 12-year-old girl with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia. She is striving to overcome her learning disabilities by advocating for herself.
I don't want to be inside anymore: Messages from an Autistic Mind
This book tells the story of a boy from Germany.
I Had No Means to Shout
This book tells the story of a man with autism who began using facilitated communication as an adult.
I, Win: My Journey as a Disabled Woman Living a Non-Disabled Life
This is an autobiography of a young woman from Aspen, Colorado, who was born with cerebral palsy.
IQ of 63 - So What!: Going Beyond Everybody Else's Expectations
Ben is a man with cerebral palsy. His story shows how important it is for people with disabilities to move beyond labels.
Jenny Fox’s Search for Semi-Independent Living in Hennepin County
This letter is from the parents of a young adult with a developmental disability. It tells their daughter's life story and voices concerns they have with county services, especially for housing.
Jill’s Journey, A Victory Over the “R” Word
The true story of a woman with an intellectual disability who helped change federal law, eliminating the use of the "R" word.
Just Because I Can't Talk, Doesn't Mean I Don't Have Anything to Say
This is a book written by woman using facilitated communication. Her goal was to teach about love.
Just this side of normal
This is a powerful story of a parent's search for understanding in a world that sometimes makes no sense. It was one of the first books written by a parent about what it is like to raise a child with autism.
Letting Ruth Go
This news expose is written by a mom about losing her daughter who had multiple disabilities. It was published in the Boston Globe and you can read the full text online.
Life as We Know It: A Father, Family, and an Exceptional Child
The author of this book tells how he came to know this astonishing new person, born with Down Syndrome, as his son, an individual like his other son. Yet, he also explains that to the world, his son is not an individual but the syndrome itself.
Life at the Edge and Beyond Living with ADHD and Asperger Syndrome
This book is about a mother's experiences with having a son who has Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD.
Life Landscapes: Parents talk about raising children with disabilities
This book has many stories written by parents across a range of ages, cultures, geographic locations in the province of Saskatchewan. There are also photographs of the families.
Life Landscapes: Siblings share their experiences of living with brothers and sisters with disabilities
This book has stories and photos from the siblings of people with disabilities.
Like Color to the Blind
This book tells the true story of two people with autism who fall in love and got married. There are a few twists in this story.
Living the Good Life with Autism
This book is written by a man who has Asperger's syndrome about his life experiences.
Look me in the eye...My life with Asperger's
This is the true story of the sound engineer for the band KISS who learned at age 40 he had Asperger's. The title refers to how he was most often scolded as a child.
Lost in a Desert World: The Autobiography of Roland Johnson
This is the true story of Roland Johnson. He was put in an institution as a child where he was abused. As an adult, Roland became the president of "Speaking for Ourselves," a large and well known self-advocacy organization in Pennsylvania.
Loving Mr. Spock: Understanding a Lover with Asperger's Syndrome
This book is written by a woman who fell in love with a man who has Asperger's Syndrome.
Loving the Tasmanian Devil - Reflections on Marriage and Asperger Syndrome
The author of this book is married to a person with Asperger's syndrome, and also has three "aspie" sons.
Lucy's Story: Autism and Other Adventures
In her autobiography, Lucy Blackman provides an insider's view of autism both before and after she learned to communicate through typing.
Makin' It
This autobiography was written by a man with the multiple labels of FASD, ADHD and Tourettes.
Making a Difference: Profiles in Abilities
This book has inspirational stories about Canadians with disabilities who have gone the distance. It is written by a person with a disability.
Man with cerebral palsy helps teach special-ed course
A news story about a man with cerebral palsy who helps new teachers learn about inclusion.
Maternity Rolls Pregnancy, Childbirth and Disability
A life story written by a woman who uses a wheelchair and has two children.
Meditations from A Movable Chair: Essays
This book is a series of essays about the people who have meant the most to the author, a man with physical disabilities.
Melanie, Bird with a Broken Wing
This book is written by a mother of a child with cerebral palsy who died before she was six years old.
More Than Little Professors-Children with Asperger Syndrome: In Their Own Words
This book explains what it is like to have Asperger's syndrome using the words of children and youth.
Movie Stars and Sensuous Scars: Essays on the Journey from Disability Shame to Disability Pride
This book is a set of essays is about living with a disability. They are written by a person whose disability is physical.
Moving Violations: War Zone, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence
The story of ABC correspondent Hockenberry, who became a paraplegic after a car accident. He writes of his many adventures living life from a wheelchair.
My Body of Knowledge: Stories of Chronic Illness, Disability, Healing and Life
This book is a collection of writing by people with chronic illnesses, such as cancer, depression, Crohn's disease, CFIDS, Lyme disease, muscular dystrophy, RSI, multiple sclerosis, paralysis, AIDS, etc.
My Body Politic
This book is "an irreverent memoir of one woman's personal and political journey from 1960s counterculture to disability activism" (taken from publisher).
My Brother Charlie
This is a children's book telling the true story of an African-American boy who has autism. It is written by his twin sister and their mother.
My Life in Institutions and My Way Out
This is the life story of a man who has become an important leader in the national self-advocacy movement.
My Son Fred - Living with Autism: How Could You Manage? I Couldn't. I Did It Anyway
This book is a mother's story about living with her son Fred. Fred has an intellectual disability and autism.
News from the Border: A mother's memoir of her autistic son
This book tells the true story of a boy with autism who went to college.
Nobody nowhere
This true story is told by a woman with autism who grew up in England.
Now I See The Moon: A Mother, a Son, a Miracle
This book is about the experience of adopting a child and then finding he has autism.
One of Us: A Family's Life with Autism
This book tells a true story about the struggles and triumphs of a family whose child has severe autism. It is written by the father who is a college professor.
Paper Words: Discovering and Living with My Autism
This book is written by a person with autism about her life experiences.
Piece of Mind: A novel
This is a fictional story about a young woman who has a traumatic brain injury. She leaves her family home to live with her younger brother in New York City.
Pieces: My Sister, Her Autism and Me
This book offers a look at Jaqueline’s own journey as Jessica’s sister. It covers her childhood, teenage years, and adulthood. The book shows how her feelings ultimately shaped her passion and purpose in life.
Pretending to be Normal
The story of a woman with Asperger's Syndrome who learned to embrace her disability with thanksgiving and joy.
Raising Martians - from Crash-landing to Leaving Home: How to Help a Child with Asperger Syndrome or High-functioning Autism
This book is written by a man who has Asperger's Syndrome about his experiences growing up.
Raising Roby
This is a self-published book written by the mom of an adult who has Down Syndrome. It shows both the challenges and wonders of raising a child with disabilities.
Reflections of Erin
This book is the memoir and life story of a mother raising a daughter with a disability.
Retarded Isn't Stupid, Mom!
This book tells the true story of a young woman with intellectual disabilities who grew up to be very independent. It was written by her mother who had her doubts at first.
Riding The Bus With My Sister: A True Life Journey
A true story about a woman with a developmental disability, her professor sister, and the city bus trip that brings them back to each other.
Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son's First Two Years With Down Syndrome
A book about a mother's experience raising a child with Down syndrome.
Roger Ebert: The Essential Man
This is an article about Roger Ebert, a former movie critic and host of a national TV show. Mr. Ebert lived with cancer for the last seven years of his life and lost his ability to eat and speak.
Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter
This book is written by a father about his experiences with his daughter Schuyler and her disability.
Secret Girl
A former Baltimore lawyer writes of her life-altering decision to meet her sister for the first time. Her sister has an intellectual disability.
Siblings and Autism Stories Spanning Generations and Cultures
This is a collection of stories written by the brothers and sisters of people who have autism.
Skallagrigg
This fictional story describes the lives of several children with disabilities who met in an institution in England. It began as a book and was later made into a movie.
Somebody somewhere: Breaking free from the world of autism
This book tells the true story of Donna Williams life with autism. It is also available as an audio book.
Son Rise
This book and movie tells the true story of the first 30 months of life of Raun who has autism.
Son Rise: The Miracle Continues
This book tells the story of a boy with autism and how his family supported him.
Songs of the Gorilla Nation - My Journey Through Autism
In this memoir, Prince-Hughes explores how working with gorillas helped her escape the feelings of isolation she encountered as someone with Asperger's syndrome.
Speakeasy-People with mental handicaps talk about their lives in institutions and in the community
For this book, the author interviewed people with intellectual disabilities who have lived in institutions and in the community. She tells their stories using their own words.
Speaking Out: Gifts of Ministering Undeterred by Disabilities
This book is about people with disabilities who are ministers in the Methodist church.
Special Siblings: Growing Up with Someone with a Disability
In this honest book, Mary McHugh reveals what it is like to be the sister of a man with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability. She shares what others have learned about being and having a “special sibling.”
Sticks and Stones: Disabled People’s Stories of Abuse, Defiance and Resilience
This book is a collection of over fifty stories about people with disabilities facing abuse and violence.
Still Me
This true story tells about Christopher Reeve (Superman) after he broke his neck in a horse back riding accident.
Stuck in Neutral
This novel weaves a story about a 14-year-old with cerebral palsy and his relationship with his father, who might want to end his son's life through euthanasia. It is written to teens.
The Able Life of Cody Jane
This is the life story of a woman who has spina bifada. It is written through the eyes of her mother.
The Aspie Teen's Survival Guide: Candid Advice for Teens, Tweens, and Parents
This book is about being a teen with Asperger's syndrome. The author is an adult who has Asperger's.
The Boy in the Moon: A Father's Journey to Understand His Extraordinary Son
This book was written by the father of a boy with intellectual and physical disabilities.
The Broken Cord
This book tells the true story of Adam who grew up with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. it is written by his adoptive father.
The Child Who Never Grew
The true story of Pearl Buck's daughter who was born with intellectual disabilities in the 1920's.
The Common Thread
A collection of stories about friendship and community building. You can read it online.
The Company of Others: Stories of Belonging
This book shows how caring relationships can reduce loneliness and isolation. It does so by sharing five life stories.
The Distance Between Us
This book uses many photographs and some words to tell the story of twin brothers, one of whom has cerebral palsy.
The Goode Life: Memoirs of Disability Rights Activist Barb Goode
This is the autobiography of Barb Goode, a self-advocate and leader in the disability rights movement of Canada for more than 35 years.
The Horse Boy: A Father's Quest to Heal His Son
This story was written by a father whose son has autism. His family travels to Mongolia to find a way to enter into their son's world. This story is available as a book, and as a documentary film.
The Long Ride Home: The Continuing Story of a Father's Quest to Heal his Son Rowan
This is the true story of a father and his son who has autism. They travel the world to find out how horses can help. It is a sequel to the book and movie named "The Horse Boy."
The Lost boy: A foster child's search for the love of a family
This is the second book in a three-part series about a man who was the victim of very severe child abuse. His mental health needs were ignored for a very long time.
The Love Within a Smile: A Sister's Memoir of a Brother's Disability
This is a story of a family’s journey through the world of disability as seen through a sibling’s eyes.
The Me in the Mirror
This book is the autobiography of Connie Panzarino. She was born with a rare muscular disease, and tells her life story of her personal and political growth.
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
This novel tells a story of a baby born with Down syndrome who was given by her father. It shows how they always remained linked to each other.
The Power of the Powerless
This book tells the true story of a person with significant brain damage. It is written by his brother who is a Christian author.
The Real Rain Man
This is the story of Kim Peek, who has autism. His life was the example for Dustin Hoffman in the Movie "Rain Main". His father wrote the book.
The Ride Together
This is a book about growing up with a brother who has Autism. It was written by a brother & sister who each tells the story in a different way. The sister uses words while the brother uses cartoons.
The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal
A book about a man on a journey to meet people who have been labeled abnormal. He learns that word "disability" should never define a person.
The Social Meaning of Mental Retardation: Two Life Stories
This book explores what it means to have the label "mental retardation". It is based on the life stories of two self-advocates.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
A book about a clash between a Hmong family and the American medical community over a child with seizures. The story deals with some fundamental issues surrounding Western medicine and cultural traditions and beliefs.
The Story of Beautiful Girl
This fictional story begins with two people with disabilities who fall in love and have a baby. Though they become separated, the book imagines these three characters through the rest of their lives.
The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism-2nd edition
The authors of this book use stories from their lives to talk about social relationships and autism.
The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's, 3rd Edition
This book explains what it is like to live with Autism.
The Year of Our Lord: Faith, Hope and Harmony in the Mississippi Delta
This book tells the story of Lucas, a man with cerebral palsy who is an important and valued member of his church. It has both photographs and text.
There's A Boy In Here: Emerging from the Bonds of Autism
This is an autobiography written by a young man and his mother.
They Created Us
This book is about the Mercado family and what happens when they find their son has a condition called Hflu Meningitis. The book shows how the social service system, and the school system presented barriers that the family needed to overcome.
Thicker than Water: Essays by Adult Siblings of People with Disabilities
This book shares the stories of many adults who have a brother or sister with a disability.
Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism (Expanded Edition)
In this book, Temple Grandin writes about her "country of autism," and how she has been able to venture outside of it.
Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life
This is the autobiography of a strong and radical disability activist.
Under the Eye of the Clock
This is the autobiography of Christopher Nolan, who was born with cerebral palsy, and was unable to speak for the first part of his life.
Unlocked, A Family Emerging from the Shadows of Autism
This book is about a mother and her son, who has autism. It shows how autism can affect parents and families.
Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson
This is the true story of Junius Wilson's life, a deaf Black man put into an institution at a young age after being accused of rape.
Views from Our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs
A book of stories written by children who have a brother or sister with disabilities. The book also contains easy to understand descriptions of many disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, and spina bifida.
Voices From the Spectrum: Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, People With Autism, And Professionals Share Their Wisdom
This book shares sixty personal accounts from people on the autism spectrum and those who care for them—parents, family members, and professionals.
Waddie Welcome and the Beloved Community
This is the story of a remarkable man and the people who surrounded him to make their whole community stronger. It is a life lesson in community building from people who became masterful by doing it.
Waist-high in the World: A life among the Disabled
In this book, Nancy Mairs takes on the subject woven through all her writing: disability and its effect on life, work, and spirit. Nancy has multiple sclerosis.
Walking Isn’t Everything
This book was written by a woman who contracted polio in the early 1950s. It describes polio treatment and what it was like to be a woman with a disability in that era.
We Are All Welcome Here
This novel is about a woman who has polio and her 13-year-old daughter. They work miracles from their home in Tupelo, Mississippi during the summer of 1964.
We Dance Together: A Painted Essay about My Education with Katie
This book was done by the mom of a woman with Down syndrome. It uses watercolor paintings and a few words to tell their story.
What Happened to You?: Writing by Disabled Women
This book has prose, poetry, fiction, and personal memoirs written by 36 British women with disabilities.
Where is the Mango Princess?
This is a story about the author's husband's brain injury and the subsequent fallout. Crimmins tackles the life-wrenching drama of witnessing her husband's near death and ensuing rebirth as a very different person.
X Stories: The Personal Side of fragile X syndrome
This book has writings from the families and caregivers of people with fragile X syndrome.
Yes! She Knows She's There
This book celebrates Catherine's 35th birthday and the 10th anniversary of her move into her own home.
Electronic Media (Videos, CDs, T.V., Radio, Websites, etc.)
"And That’s How I got Free of My Isolation" - Conversations on Isolation
A short documentary in which self-advocate leaders are interviewed about how they became more independent in their lives.
24/7
This film is about the challenges that families face when they provide care in the home for their loved ones who have developmental disabilities.
46/47
This is a short film about Daniel, who is different because he only has 46 chromosomes. The film is in German with English subtitles.
A Bit Missing Blog
This is a blog written by a mother whose adult son has an intellectual disability.
A Friend Indeed - The Bill Sackter Story
This documentary tells the story of a man named Bill Sackter. Bill moved out of an institution to live in the community.
A Passion for Justice
This video is about the work of Robert Perske. He advocated with people who have developmental disabilities and have been convicted of serious crimes they did not commit.
A Possible Dream
This film is about a woman named Andrea who has Down syndrome.
Align Your Dreams with Your Power: How to Succeed With a Disability DVD
This DVD has inspirational stories about people with disabilities.
Alone in a Crowded Room
This film tells the stories of four adults with autism.
Anything is possible
A short video of a boy whose little sister has Angelman Syndrome. Angelman Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder. Through a poem he wrote, we see the strong bond that exists between these siblings.
Autism and Me
This is an award-winning short film by Rory Hoy, an 18-year-old filmmaker with autism. You can watch an online sample for free, then buy a copy if you want.
Autism is a World
This documentary speaks from the perspective of a woman who lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It provides a glimpse of this often-misunderstood disorder through the eyes of a real person.
Autism Times Two
This DVD is about a family with two sons who have autism. They have developed an enviable system of supports for school, home and community for their family.
Autism: The Musical
This documentary film follows children with autism and their families as the children collaborate to create a musical. You can purchase it as a DVD.
Autism: Warming To Its Cold Embrace
This DVD was made by a father whose son has autism.
Bearing Witness: Luke Melchior
This DVD tells the story of Luke, a man with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Beautiful Son
This documentary is about one family's struggle to heal their son from autism.
Becoming Independent
This film is about 3 young adults with disabilities, and shows them at work and home. It explains their transition into adult life.
Best Boy
This video tells the true story of Philly, a man with an intellectual disability. The story shows his parents failing health, and Philly's entry into the adult services system. There were two follow-up videos made about Philly and his sister.
Best Man
This movie follows Philly 20 years after he moves into a group home. Told by his cousin, Ira Wohl, this movie describes how Philly becomes more independent. It also shares Philly's integration into the Jewish community and religious life at age 70.
Between Optical Area and Amygdala
This is a short film about a young man with Asperger's Syndrome(a form of autism) who was born in Germany. In this film he describes what his life has been like, and you can watch it online for free.
Beyond Borders
This film tells the stories of three people who have disabilities. Each has a different type of disability, comes from a different culture, and is at a different stage in life. All now live in Belgium.
Big City Dick: Richard Peterson's first movie
This film tells the true story of a man with significant disabilities who is an excellent trumpet player. His talents have made him famous throughout Seattle, yet he lives a difficult life in poverty.
Bill: On his own
This movie tells the true story of Bill Sackter. He was a man with intellectual disabilities who became an important member of his community.
Billy the Kid
This movie is about a 15 year-old who seemed by the filmmaker to be left out of things. After this film was made it was learned he had Asperger's syndrome.
Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy
This is a documentary film about the friendship of two self-advocates. Their advocacy efforts have helped other people with disabilities to lead more independent lives.
Brain Injury Dialogues
This film is about the impact that brain injury can have on a person's life. You can watch it online for free.
Brain Man
This documentary film is about the life of Daniel Tammet, a British man with autism who is a savant. You can watch it online for free, and there is also a link to a 60 Minutes story about Daniel.
Brooklyn Love Tales
This short movie is about three married couples. All of the people have intellectual and developmental disabilities. You can watch it online for free.
Brotherhood, Pictures And Life With Cerebral Palsy
This short film and article is about twin brothers, one of whom has cerebral palsy. Both are available online for free.
Burt
In this video, a man named Burt gives a chronological history of his life and times, beginning in 1936 when he was 15 years old and living in a large institution. You can watch it online for free.
Bye
A short film about Jayden, a two and half year old diagnosed with autism. The film follows Jayden through his first months of school in the Bronx.
Can We Get Married?
This is a BBC documentary about Emma and Ben, who each have Down syndrome. They have been living together for six years and are thinking about getting married.
Carl Bentson: Mr. Positive
This is a 28-minute film following Carl Bentson, a man with a disability who makes a positive impact on the community in which he lives.
Cassilly: How I Got To College
This 20 minute documentary film is about a young woman who overcame barriers to attend college.
Celebrating Diversity: A Universal Message from the Real Rain Man
This video tells the life story of Kim Peek. He was the inspiration for the Academy Award winning motion picture "Rain Man." He talks about social inclusion.
Christopher Reeve: Hope in Motion
This film follows the famous actor over many months of rehabilitation after he broke his neck.
Clay Marzo: Just Add Water
This movie is about a professional surfer who learned he had Asperger's syndrome when he was a teenager. The film is known both for great surfing shots, and a positive look at living with Asperger's syndrome.
Cocktails with Ben
This movie tells the story of an amazing young man with Williams Syndrome named Ben Monkaba. It is narrated by his mother.
Crossing Tahoe
This film is about a woman with Down syndrome who has the goal of being the first woman to cross Lake Tahoe in late September.
Dad's In Heaven With Nixon
This film is about a boy’s journey from the darkness of brain damage, to a diagnosis of autism, to his life today as an acclaimed artist. It is also about his father's mental illness, the damage it caused, and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.
Darius Goes West
This is a documentary film about a young man name Darius who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Darius had never been out of the state of Georgia, and his friends took him on a road trip for his first look at the West.
DISaBUZZ
A website that has short videos about what it means to live with a disability.
Drona & me
This film tells the story of Drona, a 9 year old boy who has Autism. The story is told by his brother, Arjun. Drona and Arjun live in the Netherlands.
Ed Roberts Tribute webpage
This webpage is dedicated to the life and work of Ed Roberts. Ed was an early leader in the disability rights movement.
Educating Peter
This classic documentary film is about a third-grader with Down Syndrome who was fully included in his class. It aired on HBO and won an academy award for best short documentary.
Emma's Gifts
This film is about Emma who was born with Down Syndrome, which makes her different from her twin sister, Abigale. Emma's story is told through the eyes of her parents. You can purchase a DVD copy.
Far from the Sun
This film is about a family from Argentina who immigrates to the United States in hopes for a better life. The story is told through the eyes of a son who has Down syndrome.
Fathers' Voices
This film profiles four men who are raising children with developmental disabilities.
Flying Anne
A short documentary film about an 11-year-old girl who has Tourette syndrome.
Forrest Gump
This movie is a fictional story about a man with an intellectual disability.
Fragile X Family
This documentary film is about a woman with Fragile X Syndrome who is struggling to raise three children with the same syndrome. You can watch the entire 11 minute film online.
Fred's Roman Holiday
A sequel to Fred's Story, this is the story of his dream trip to Italy. With his traveling companions, the trip becomes an exploration of what sustains a person's strength through years of hardship, loss of identity and institutional control.
Fred's Story
In this video, Fred Calabrese tells about what it was like to live in an institution for more than 40 years. Fred got out and also talks about having his own apartment.
Front of the Class
A book and film that tell the true story of a man with Tourette syndrome who landed his dream job of being a teacher.You can watch the entire film on YouTube for free!
Graduating Peter
This film tells the story of a young man with Down Syndrome from sixth grade through high school graduation.
Her Name is Sabine
This documentary film is aimed directly at the French government. It tells the story of two sisters - Sandrine, one of France's most successful actresses, and that of her sister Sabine who has autism and spent time in institutions.
How Come You Walk Funny?
This documentary film is about a kindergarten program in Canada. Though it is designed for kids with disabilities, some parents are enrolling their kids without disabilities.
How I Am
A documentary film of a young man with autism who shares the difficulties of his life through the words he types into his computer.
I Am Ziggy
This film is about a woman named Maria who changes it to Ziggy. She is 17 and has Asperger’s syndrome.
I'm Tyler...don't be surprised
"I'm Tyler...don't be surprised" is a video created by a high school student named Tyler who has cerebral palsy. In this video, Tyler highlights what he calls "ability awareness"--focusing on what a person can do rather than what they can't.
In My Hands: A Story of Marfan Syndrome
A documentary film about a little-known disorder called Marfan Syndrome. It uses interviews with doctors and people who have Marfan Syndrome to help viewers better understand Marfan Syndrome and how it impacts the lives of people.
It's a Different World
A documentary film about two brothers and a sister who all have autism. Each child was given a video camera to help explore their thoughts and feelings about autism.
It's Our Story
This program is creating an online database that gives people with disabilities a voice. The project will make thousands of videos, written testimonies and photographs from disability activists available online for free.
Jacob's Turn
A short documentary about a boy with Down syndrome and his love of baseball.
James Castle: Portrait of an Artist
This is a film about the life of James Castle, a man who was born deaf, but refused to read, write, sign or finger-spell. Instead he communicated through art and has gained world recognition as an artist
Johnny the Bagger
A true story of how a young man who worked at a grocery store went beyond his expected job description and had a large impact on the store. The story can read and heard through two different YouTube videos.
Judith Snow Blogs
Two blogs by Judith Snow. In her blogs she shares real life experiences of people with disabilities, including some from her own life.
Judy Heumann: 2010 Medtronics Courage Award Recipient
This 10-minute video is about Judy Heumann, a community organizer who influenced disability policy in the US for the past several decades.
King Gimp
This documentary spans 13 years in the life of Dan Keplinger, an artist with cerebral palsy. It won an Academy Award.
King of Camp
This video tells the story of Viru, a self-proclaimed music buff, and how he survived his first day at summer camp. The acting and musical performances feature people with developmental disabilities.
Lest We Forget: Silent Voices
This video is a collection of stories as told by people with disabilities who lived in state institutions. There are also stories from the families they left behind.
Life. Support. Music.
This film is about a guitarist named Jason. He suffered a brain hemorrhage during a concert in Manhattan.
Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown
A film telling the true story about the married life between two people who both have developmental disabilities.
Living a Good Life: Personal Support Networks
These 6 videos show what happens when people with a disability exercise control over their lives. They also show how personal networks help.
Living Proof: The Right to Live in the Community
This 20-minute film shows people with disabilities who live in Zagreb, Croatia. They have moved out of institutions and now lead lives in the community. Subtitles in English.
Look, I'm In College!
This short film shows what happens when four young men with autism are chosen to pilot a college inclusion program in New York City.
Love Rolls On: Disability and Marriage
This is the web site of Megan and Barton Cutter. Married since 2004, Barton has a disability and Megan does not.
Mayor of the West Side
This documentary film tells the coming-of-age story of Mark Puddington, a teenager with multiple disabilities who is a local celebrity in his NYC neighborhood.
Monica & David
A film about the marriage of two adults with Down syndrome and their families. It originally aired on HBO.
Movin' On: Stories from the Recovery Road
This video tells the stories of three people who are recovering/healing from mental illness.
Mr. Blue Sky
A love story about a woman with Down syndrome and a man without a disability.
Multiple
A film about actor and director Alison Peebles. She has been keeping a secret for six years: she has mutiple sclerosis.
Muslimah Next Door (Blog)
A blog by an American Muslim who has a son with autism. Her blog posts are about faith, family and autism.
My Brother
This is a film about two boys from inner city New York, one of whom has a developmental disability. It shows the bond of love they have for each other.
My Classic Life as an Artist
This documentary film is about the life of an artist who has autism.
My Favorite Child
This short film profiles the life of Dwight Core, Jr. who has Down syndrome and spent many years of his life in an institution. The film shows the love his family has for him, and the difficulty his parents had in placing him in an institution.
My Flesh and Blood
This film documents a year in the life of the Tom family--single mother Susan Tom, her two biological children, and her eleven adopted children with disabilities.
My Invisible Life
This website share the stories of people who have disabilities that are not easily seen. It has many people who maintain interesting blogs about their life experiences.
My Left Foot
This is the autobiography of a man with cerebral palsy who uses his left foot to accomplish most daily activities, and also draw beautiful art. It was first published as a book in 1954 and later made into an academy award winning movie in 1989.
My White Shirt
This film is about a man named Rob who has Down Syndrome. He is an actor who sometimes deals with grief.
Not Forgotten
A documentary film that tells true stories of shame and rejection of children with autism in the Ukraine. It highlights the lack of services and struggles for the families.
Not on the Sidelines: Living and Playing with a Disability
This video is about four ordinary people whose lives were suddenly changed by accident, injury or illness when they were teens or young adults.
Nowhere You Are
A documentary film that follows an adult woman with high functioning autism.
Now't As Queer As Folk
This short film shows the life of a person with Aspeger's Syndrome.
Okay, Let's Talk About Me
This film is about Eddie and the things that happen as he turns 18 and prepares to leave school. Eddie has Down syndrome.
On A Roll
This documentary is about Greg Smith, host of the radio program "On A Roll." It originally aired on PBS.
Open the Door, Get 'Em A Locker. Educating Nursing Students with Disabilities
This short film is about Victoria, a registered nurse who is also a wheelchair-user. The film tells about her experiences as a nursing student.
Our House
This flim tells the story of three people who have disabilities. They are living outside an institution for the first time in years.
Outsider: The Life and Art of Judith Scott
A film about a woman who is a world famous artist. She also has Down Syndrome, is deaf and doesn't speak.
Plain Jane the Shockumentary
This film tells the true story of Jane Hash, a woman with a brittle bone condition known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta. In this film Jane teaches viewers about the acceptance of self and others.
Plan F
Film about an occupational therapist who lost his eyesight at the age of twenty to a degenerative disease.
Praying with Lior
This documentary film is about a Jewish boy who has Down syndrome. It shows his bar mitzvah, and the influence his deep faith has on others in his congregation.
Profiles in Achievement: Amazing People with Learning Differences
This DVD and accompanying materials have stories meant to inspire and encourage those with Learning Differences.
Rachel is
A documentary film that follows a young woman with developmental disabilities as she seeks to live more independently. The filmmaker was her sister.
Rain Man
Academy award winning movie about a man with autism and his brother.
Rainman Goes to RocKwiz
This film follows a man from Australia as he prepares to be on a live TV quiz show. Though he is nearly blind and has Asperger's Syndrome, he is very talented.
Raising Renee
This film is about Renee, who has an intellectual disability, and her sister Beverly who decides to help Renee after their mother dies.
Refrigerator Mothers
This video shares stories of women who raised children with autism in the 1950s and 60s. Back then, mothers were blamed if their sons or daughters had autism.
Remembering A 'Giant': Max Starkloff
This short podcast and news story tells a story about a man with disabilities who was a great dad.
Rodney
A short film about Rodney, a man with disabilities who forces his family to understand how he sees things. He shows his independence by working towards his driver's license.
Roll On
This DVD has stories about children who have physical disabilities. They are told by parents and the kids themselves.
Rolling Around in My Head
The personal blog of David Hingsburger, an author and leader in the field of disability for over 30 years. David lives in Toronto, Canada
Sheri & Paul
A short film about a couple who share their thoughts on love and marriage. Both people have disabilities.
Sidecars
This 29-minute film is about a friendship between a young man and a young woman. Justin has autism and Lyndsy who is Justin's art student has a condition called Polymyositis. You can watch the entire film online for free.
Skallagrigg
This fictional story describes the lives of several children with disabilities who met in an institution in England. It began as a book and was later made into a movie.
Son Rise
This book and movie tells the true story of the first 30 months of life of Raun who has autism.
Stairway to Heaven
This documentary film is about Temple Grandin, a researcher with autism who developed more humane ways to slaughter animals. You can watch it on YouTube in three parts.
Strong Love
A film about the life of two people who decide to get married. Both were born with Down syndrome and one of them is a World-class weight lifter
Succeeding through Autism DVD: A Video Presentation by Sean Barron
Sean Barron is a man who has autism and works as a journalist. In this DVD, he tells his story.
Temple Grandin - DVD
This HBO movie tells the true story of a woman with autism who became a renowned animal scientist.
Temple Grandin Website
A website of Dr. Temple Grandin. She is an animal scientist and autism self-advocate who is known all over the world.
The Collector of Bedford Street
This is a documentary about a man with developmental disabilities who is very generous and caring. It tells how his generosity made him well-known in his neighborhood and how it sometimes got him in trouble.
The Gillian Film
This is a film about a young woman who has a developmental disability. She works at a local veterinary clinic, rides horses, and takes dance classes. When Gillian decides to move out, her mother must come to terms with letting go.
The Horse Boy: A Father's Quest to Heal His Son
This story was written by a father whose son has autism. His family travels to Mongolia to find a way to enter into their son's world. This story is available as a book, and as a documentary film.
The House
This is a short film about the everyday lives of three women who have developmental disabilities. The women lived together in a group home in Great Britain. The film uses animation to show the women’s inner thoughts and feelings.
The Key of G
This is an award-winning documentary about disability, caregiving and interdependence. It tells the story of a man with intellectual and physical disabilities.
The Mighty
This website shares short videos that tell people's stories. There are stories about people with disabilities, as well as people with illnesses or other challenges.
The Other Sister
This Hollywood movie is about a woman with a developmental disability who moves out on her own and meets a boyfriend. It has ideas about self-determination and families.
The Teachings of Jon
A film about a 40-year old man with Down Syndrome who doesn't speak, and how a family allowed themselves to change, grow and succeed because of him. You can see some previews on YouTube.
The Ties that Bind
This is a film about the struggles of a young man and his family as he transitions to a more independent life.
Through the Same Door: Inclusion Includes College
A 25-minute film about Micah Fialka-Feldman, a college student at Michigan's Oakland University, who has a cognitive disability. This film highlights inclusion in college settings.
Today's Man
This documentary film is about a 21-year-old man with Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. He is finding his independent place in the world.
Unlikely Travellers
This film is about six people with disabilities who go on a two week trip to Egypt. It is controversial because some think it makes fun of people with disabilities.
Up Syndrome
A film about one year in the life of Rene Moreno, a twenty-three year old man with Down Syndrome. You can watch the entire two hour film online for free.
Ups of Downs
A short film about a young and independent man from the UK who has Down syndrome. You can watch it online for free, or purchase a DVD copy.
Vectors of Autism: A Documentary about Laura Nagle
This 50-minute documentary film is about a 57-year old woman with autism.
Voices Beyond the Mirror
These ten short videos share the lives people with disabilities. There is also a Centerpiece video that brings all of the voices together. They are great for building awareness.
Waiting for Ronald
This short film tells the story of Ronald who leaves an institution and builds a new life in the community. You can watch it online for free.
We Thought You'd Never Ask: Voices of People with Autism
In this 30 minute film, six adults talk about issues related to living with autism.
We Watch the City: Stories in the Shadow of 9/11
This documentary video (DVD) shares the experiences of New Yorkers with developmental disabilities and those who supported them in the aftermath of 9/11.
We Will Not Be Hidden
This film is about the lives of Muslim Americans who have a disability. You can watch it for free on YouTube.
We're Normally Different
This is a film about the lives of four Dutch actors, all of whom have intellectual/developmental disabilities.
What Does Normal Mean?
A compelling documentary film about the “inclusion” of children with disabilities in public schools. The film follows seven children— elementary to high-schoolers— with a broad range of disabilities, over an academic year.
What’s Disability to Me?
This short, web-based film is about the everyday life of Bernard. He is a man with a disability who is a leader in his community.
When Billy Broke his Head
This breakthrough film blends humor with politics, and individual experience with a chorus of voices, to explore what it is really like to live with a disability in America...
When Parents Can't Fix It: Living With a Child's Disability
This film looks at the lives of five families who have children with disabilities. It shows the problems they face, and the rewards and stresses of adapting to their child's condition.
Where's Molly?
This film chronicles the reunion of Jeff Daly and his sister Molly. Molly was sent to live in an institution at age 3, so they had not seen each other for 47 years. Their story explores the conditions of the institution Molly lived in.
Without Apology
This is a documentary film about a boy sent to an institution and the resulting impact on the family.
Without Pity: A film about abilities
This HBO documentary, narrated by Christopher Reeve, celebrates the innovation of people with disabilities to live full, productive lives.
Organizations, Programs, and Projects
Bridging the Gap…One Story at a Time
This is a storytelling project for people who have the dual diagnoses of intellectual and mental health disability. Anyone can view the stories online.
Healthcare Stories
This initiative is working to make health care better for people with disabilities. The method is to share powerful stories.
It's Our Story
This program is creating an online database that gives people with disabilities a voice. The project will make thousands of videos, written testimonies and photographs from disability activists available online for free.
Sibling Support Project
This network provides support to the brothers and sisters of people with disabilities. It is known for starting the "Sibshops" program, and also has places where siblings can share stories online.
Online Forums
Caring for Lauren: A mother's journey as caregiver for a young woman with developmental disabilities.
This blog was written by the mother of Lauren-a young person with multiple disabilities. It shared the struggles and joys of caring for Lauren, and also self-direction from the caregiver viewpoint. The blog was discontinued in 2011, but is still powerful.


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This web site is maintained by the Research and Training Center on Community Living with support from the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, the Human Services Research Institute and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. E-mail weste050@umn.edu.
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