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Special Education

Subject guide for the discipline and field of special education.

Biographies and Personal Narratives

Titles listed here were selected because they reveal what it is like to live with a disability.  The majority are autobiographies or personal narratives.  They are not scholarly in nature. However, they are primary sources.

Biographies are not located in one location in the library.  Most have a call number associated with the disability that is being discussed.   

Search Tips for Finding Biographies

  1. Search by the disability in the Library Catalog

  2. On the left side filters, expand Genre by clicking it

  3. Check the Biography filter and click the Apply Filters button

Books related to Autism/Asperger Syndrome

Aquamarine Blue 5: Personal Stories of College Students with Autism / edited by Dawn Prince-Hughes.
LC4717.5 .A7 2002

Autism in History: The Case of Hugh Blair of Borgue / Rab Houston & Uta Frith (scholarly, historical account using case studies)
RC553.A88 H68 2000

Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Mind of an Autistic Savant
RC553.A88 T36 2007

A Child Called Noah; A Family Journey / by Josh Greenfield (autism)
PS3513.R4815 C45

Diagnosing Jefferson: Evidence of a Condition that Guided his Beliefs, Behavior, and Personal Associations / by Norm Ledgin ; comments by Temple Grandin
E332.2 .L38 2000

The Dragons of Autism: Autism as a Source of Wisdom / Olga Holland
RJ506 .A9H645 2003

Emergence Labeled Autistic / Temple Grandin and Margaret M. Scariano
RC553.A88 G731986

Everyday Heaven: Journeys Beyond the Stereotypes of Autism / Donna Williams
RC553.A88 W5453 2004

Exiting Nirvana: A Daughter's Life with Autism / Clara Claiborne Park ; foreword by Oliver Sacks
RC553.A88 P374 2001

Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence / Luke Jackson (written by an teenage boy who has Asperger Syndrome)
RJ506.A9 J326 2002

Gentle Giant: The Inspiring Story of an Autistic Child / Wendy Robinson
RC6553 .A88R63 1999

Hitchhiking Through Asperger Syndrome / Lise Pyles 
RJ506.A9 P95 2002

Life Behind Glass: A Personal Account of Autism Spectrum Disorder / Wendy Lawson
RC553 .A88L39 2000

Louder than Words / Jenny McCarthy (autism)
RJ506.A9 M4253 2007

Mixed Blessings / William & Barbara Christopher
RJ506 .A9C46 1989

Multicoloured Mayhem: Parenting the Many Shades of Adolescents and Children with Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and AD/HD / Jacqui Jackson
RJ506.A9 J325 2004

Nobody Nowhere: The Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic / Donna Williams.
RC553.A88 W551992

Pretending to Be Normal: Living with Asperger’s Syndrome / Liane Holliday Willey
RC553.A88 W564 1999

Send in the Idiots: Stories from the Other Side of Autism / Kamran Nazeer
RC553 .A88N39 2006

Sibling Stories: Reflections on Life with a Brother or Sister on the Autism Spectrum / Lynne Stern Feiges & Mary Jane Weiss
RJ506 .A9F45 2004

Somebody Somewhere: Breaking Free From the World of Autism / Donna Williams
RC553.A88 W555 1994

Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism / Dawn Prince-Hughes
RC553.A88 P756 2004

Soon Will Come the Light: A View from Inside the Autism Puzzle / by Thomas A. McKean
RC553.A88 M54 2001

There's a Boy in Here: Emerging from the Bonds of Autism / Judy Barron & Sean Barron
RC .A88B37 1992

Thinking In Pictures: And Other Reports From My Life With Autism / by Temple Grandin ; with a foreword by Oliver Sacks.
RC553.A88 G74 1996

A Will of His Own: Reflections on Parenting a Child with Autism / Kelly Harland
RJ509 .A9H268 2002

Without Reason: A Family Copes with Two Generations of Autism / Charles Hart
RC553 .A88H37 1989

Child Abuse Victims

A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive / Dave Pelzer. (abused child of an alcoholic mother)
HV883.C2 P45 1995c

Somebody’s Someone: A Memoir / Regina Louise
HV883.T4 R44 2003

Strong at the Broken Places: Overcoming the Trauma of Childhood Abuse / Linda T. Sanford
RC569.5.C55 S361990 (Storage Basement) 

Deaf and Blind

The Education of Laura Bridgman: First Deaf and Blind Person to Learn Language / Ernest Freeberg.
HV1624.B7 F74 2001

Helen Keller, Public Speaker: Sightless But Seen, Deaf But Heard / Lois J. Einhorn.
HV1624.K4 E56 1998

The Imprisoned Guest: Samuel Howe and Laura Bridgman, the Original Deaf-Blind Girl / Elisabeth Gitter.
HV1624.B7 G57 2001

A Loss for Words / Lou Ann Walker
HV2395 .W34 1986

My Life in the Deaf and Hearing Worlds / John B. Christiansen
HV2534 .C47 A3 2010

Orchid of the Bayou: A Deaf Woman Faces Blindness / Cathryn Carroll and Catherine Hoffpauir Fischer.
RF292.8 .C37 2001

Deafness and Hearing Impairment

Alandra's Lilacs / Tressa Bowers. (told from a mother's perspective as she fought for her daughter)
HQ759.913 .B68 1999

Changing the Rules / Frank Bowe
HV2534 .B66A3 1986

A Child Sacrificed: To the Deaf Culture / Tom Bertling. (father's perspective and attitude toward deaf education)
HV2534.B47 A31994

The Cry of the Gull / Emmanuelle Laborit
PN2638.L22 A313 1998

A Deaf Adult Speaks Out / Leo M. Jacobs
HV2380 .J321980

Deaf Like Me / Thomas S. Spradley, James P. Spradley.
HV2380 .S67

The Deaf Mute Howls / Albert Ballin
HV1624.B35 A3 1998

Deaf Peddler: Confessions of an Inside Man / Dennis S. Buck
HF5459.U6 B83 2000

God Knows His Name: The True Story of John Doe No. 24 / Dave Bakke ; with a foreword by Mary Chapin Carpenter.
HV2534.D63 B35 2000

I Was Number 87: A Deaf Woman's Ordeal of Misdiagnosis, Institutionalization, and Abuse / Anne M. Bolander and Adair N. Renning.
HV2534.B63 A3 2000

In Silence: Growing Up Hearing in a Deaf World / Ruth Sidransky.
HQ759.912 .S531990

In This Sign / Joanne Greenberg
PS3557 .R378 I5

Inner Lives of Deaf Children / Martha Sheridan (includes interviews with seven deaf children and an analysis)
HV2391 .S58 2001

Journey Into the Deaf-World / Harlan Lane, Robert Hoffmeister, Ben Bahan
HV2380 .L27 1996

Lessons in Laughter: The Autobiography of a Deaf Actor / Bernard Bragg as signed to Eugene Bergman.
PN2287.B6827 A31989

A Loss for Words: The Story of Deafness in a Family / Lou Ann Walker.
HV2395 .W341986

A Man Without Words / Susan Schaller; with a foreword by Oliver Sacks.
HV2534.I43 S331991

Mother Father Deaf: Living Between Sound and Silence / Paul Preston.
HV2380 .P731994

My Sense of Silence: Memoirs of a Childhood with Deafness / Lennard J. Davis.
HQ759.912 .D38 2000

Seeing Language in Sign: The Work of William C. Stokoe / by Jane Maher ; foreword by Oliver Sacks.
HV2534.S76 M35 1996

Sounds Like Home: Growing Up Black and Deaf in the South / Mary Herring Wright.
HV2534.W75 A3 1999

Speak to Me / Marcia Calhoun Forecki (single parent discovers that her 1-year-old son is deaf)
RF305 .B52 1998

Train Go Sorry: Inside a Deaf World / Leah Hager Cohen

Wired for Sound: A Journey into Hearing / Beverly Biderman
RF305 .B52 1998

Words for a Deaf Daughter / Paul West
PS3573.E8247 Z468 1993

Learning/Cognitive Disabilities

Mental Disorders

Angelhead: My Brother's Descent into Madness / Greg Bottoms.
RC514.B593 B673 2000

Anne Sexton: A Biography / Diane Wood Middlebrook. (mental illness and suicide)
PS3537.E915 Z7751991

The Beast: A Reckoning with Depression / Tracy Thompson.
RC537 .T481995

A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics / Sylvia Nasar. (schizophrenia)
QA29.N25 N37 1998

Conquering Schizophrenia: A Father, His Son, and a Medical Breakthrough / by Peter Wyden.
RC514 .W93 1998

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness / William Styron (depression)
RC537 .S881990

Dwight Mackintosh: The Boy Who Time Forgot / by John MacGregor; forward by Irene Ward (art and mental illness)
N6537.M314 M31992

Elegy for Iris / John Bayley. (Alzheimers)
PR6063.U7 Z583 1999

Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania / Andy Behrman. (depression)
RC516 .B395 2002

The Four of Us: A Family Memoir / Elizabeth Swados. (schizophrenia)
RJ506.S3 S831991

Girl, Interrupted / Susanna Kaysen. (mental disorders)
RC464.K36 A31993

Imagining Robert: My Brother, Madness, and Survival: A Memoir / Jay Neugeboren. (mental illness)
RC464.N48 N481997

Iris and Her Friends: A Memoir of Memory and Desire / John Bayley. (Alzheimers)
PR6063.U7 Z584 2000

Is There No Place on Earth for Me? / Susan Sheehan ; foreword by Robert M. Coles (schizophrenia)
RC514 .S49

The Loony-Bin Trip / Kate Millett. (depression)
RC464.M53 A31990

A Mad People's History of Madness / Dale Peterson, editor.
RC464.A1 M321982

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: Manic Depression and the Life of Virginia Woolf / Peter Dally.
PR6045.O72 Z582 1999b

The Moon Is Broken: A Mother's True Story / Eleanor Craig. (mother's story of her daugher's mental illness)
RC464.C69 C731992

Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art, and Madness / by Robin Hemley. (schizophrenia)
RC514 .H3435 1998

The Outsider: A Journey Into My Father's Struggle With Madness / Nathaniel Lachenmeyer. (schizophrenia)
RC514 .L23 2000

Sleepless Days: One Woman's Journey Through Postpartum Depression / Susan Kushner Resnick.
RG852 .R475 2000

Solitaire: A Narrative/ by Aimee Liu. (anorexia).
RC552.A5 L581979

The Three Faces of Eve / by Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley. (schizophrenia)
RC569.5.M8 T54 1992

Too Deep for Tears / Lucy Freeman, with Jenny and Rosette Lopez. (mental illness)
RC464.S65 F73

An Unquiet Mind / Kay Redfield Jamison. (manic-depression)
RC516 .J363 1995

What Happened to My Mother / Henry Edwards.(mental illness)
RC464.K34 E381981

Mobility and Physical Disabilities

The Acorn People / Ron Jones (Summer camp experiences of five handicapped children are told in diary form by their camp counselor.)
GV197.H3 J66
TMC 362.4 J789A

Black Bird Fly Away: Disabled in an Able-Bodied World / Hugh Gregory Gallagher ; foreword by Geoffrey C. Ward. (polio)
RC181.U5 G34 1998

The Body Silent / Robert F. Murphy. (Quadriplegic)
RC280.S7 M871990

Born of the Fourth of July / Ron Kovic (experiences of a soldier in Vietnam who was wounded)
DS559.5 .K68

Frida, a Biography of Frida Kahlo / by Hayden Herrera. ( In an accident when she was eighteen, Frida's spine was fractured, her pelvis crushed, and one foot broken. After that, she lived with physical impairments which caused her considerable pain, constant threat of illness, and inability to have children.)
ND259.K33 H471983

How It Feels to Live with a Physical Disability / Jill Krementz.
TMC 362.4 K92H

In Love With Daylight: A Memoir of Recovery / Wilfrid Sheed. (polio, depression)
PR6069.H396 Z4691995

A Leg to Stand On / Oliver Sacks. (This book is the story of Dr. Sacks himself, after he suffered a severe knee injury. He was chased off a cliff, by a bull. He tells how his immobilized leg became an alien thing that did not seem to belong to him. He suffered tremendous difficulties regaining the use of his leg. The doctors and nurses were largely unsympathetic. )
RC339.52.S23 A351984B

Life Scraps / A Patchwork Quilt: Vignettes from the Lives of Brenda and Jim / by Brenda Kay Page. (cerebral palsy)
LC4596 .P34 1995

Lucky Man: A Memoir / Michael J. Fox. (Parkinsons)
PN2308.F69 A3 2002

Missing Pieces: A Chronicle of Living With a Disability / Irving Kenneth Zola. (an anthology, writings about disease and disability)
HV1559.N4 Z641982

Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Ceclarations of Independence / John Hockenberry. (paraplegics)
RC406.P3 H571995

My Left Foot / Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan. (screenplay of the film)
PR6053.O465 M91989

Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio / Peg Kehret.
TMC 921 K266K

Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science/ Michael White and John Gribbin.
QC16.H33 W45 2002

Still Me / Christopher Reeve.
PN2287.R292 A3 1998b

Taking charge : teenagers talk about life & physical disabilities Kay H. Kriegsman, Elinor L., Zaslow, Jennifer, D'Zmura-Rechsteiner. (Discusses such topics as independence, self-esteem, relationships, and sexuality from the perspective of teenagers with various physical disabilities.)
TMC 362.4 K923T

Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story / Cindy Thomson & Scott Brown.
GV865 .B756T46 2006

Under the Eye of the Clock: The Life Story of Christopher Nolan (paralyzed and mute)
PR6064.O39 U51987

"What Happened To You?": Writing by Disabled Women / edited by Lois Keith.
PS508.P56 W431996

Visual Impairment and Blindness

All for Love / Ved Mehta.
PR9499.3.M425 Z464 2001

Breaking Through / by Harry C. Cordellos.(sports)
HV1792.C57 A37 (1981)

The Difference That Disability Makes / Rod Michalko.
HV1568 .M53 2002

Images From the Dark: The Story of Carolyn James / Andrew Whitehouse.
HV1947.J36 W551990

No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer / Rachael Scdoris and Rick Steber
SF440.15 .S33 2006

The Mystery of the Eye and the Shadow of Blindness / Rod Michalko.
HV1593 .M53 1998

Seeing with Music: The Lives of Three Blind African Musicians / Simon Ottenberg
ML399 .O88 1996

Teachers Who are Blind or Visually Impaired / Deborah Kendrick.
HV1623 .K45 1998

Touch the Top of the World / Erik Weihenmayer. (blind athlete)
GV199.92.W39 A3 2001

Twilight: Losing Sight, Gaining Insight / Henry Grunwald.
PN4874.G79 A3 1999

The Two-in-One: Walking with Smokie, Walking with Blindness / Rod Michalko.
HV1780 .M53 1999