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Don't Call Me Special: A First Look at Disability
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Don't Call Me Special: A First Look at Disability

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  84 reviews
This unique picture book explores questions and concerns about physical disabilities in a simple and reassuring way. Younger children can find out about individual disabilities, special equipment that is available to help the disabled, and how people of all ages can deal with disabilities and live happy and full lives. Titles in this series for younger children explore emo ...more
Paperback, 29 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by B.E.S. Publishing (first published December 1st 2001)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  210 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Kathryn Dooley
This book takes a look at all different types of disabilities. It discusses the way that people often view people with disabilities, and offers ways for people to ignore these assumptions and views. It tells about special equipment that is used by people with disabilities. It also talks about how these children may look different on the outside, but on the inside they are the same.

This book is a great introduction to understanding disabilities for children. It tells them about what children wit
Michelle Glenn
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: exceptionalities
This book was a kind and gentle read when reading to my students a few years ago. Our class had just had a friend join us that had a mild form of Autism. For 3 and 4 year old's, they didn't understand why our new friend would scream when frustrated or cover his ears when things were too noisy. This book allowed me to explain to my students that not all friends are the same, some have things we call disabilities that may not allow them to act or react like others. It shared about someone who may ...more
Arieon Beasley
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: exceptionalities
Thinking on how we give certain groups of people labels and separate them from others, this book allows the reader to get a glimpse into the world of people with disabilities. I like how the book incorporates the concept of people's first language. It allows a reader to be exposed to different children with disabilities and to those who may appear to be slightly different. It can teach young children to be more open to except everyone and try to be inclusive and to not judge a book by its cover. ...more
Ndengo Bwanga
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is very interesting. It’s a perfect book for parents and teachers to support the disabled children, and give them a better understanding. Through this book, children can find out about special equipment that is available to help them. Also, children can learn how people of all ages can deal with disabilities, and live a happy lifestyle. Because, everyone deserves to be happy and enjoy his/her life.
Kierra Davis
This book is about learning some of the different disabilities children have. It expresses that just because a child or a person has a disability, doesn’t mean they don’t want to join in on a certain sport activities. We shouldn’t judge people who look different than us and never make fun of anybody. Everyone in the world is unique and have different things about us that makes us different.
Ms. Arca
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great start at conversations about DisAbility. Lots to complicate -- but a solid start !!
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
This is a picture book which explores the topic of disabilities, how children with disabilities cope with their differences and how everybody is different and unique but should be treated equally.
This is a great book and I think anyone with a particular interest in SEN would really like it. This is the first book I have come across that discusses the issue of disabilities at a child’s level, although I’m sure there are lots more out there. The book is written in a very simplistic way and it is
Sep 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Don’t call me special is a vibrant picture book that explores the topic of disability in an intriguing way. This book addresses misconceptions that may children have of disabled children, that they are slow, they can not fit in, and they can not be played with. Its use of probing questions is highly effective in challenging stereotypes. Its direct, bold approach is straight to the point and gives children a clear picture that although disabled children learn in a different way and at a different ...more
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids
This would be a good book for families to read at home, perhaps when their child may have a classmate with a disability for the first time. The back of the book contains a page guiding adults on how to start a first conversation about disabilities, and lists other resources and suggested readings. The questions in the text would also be a great opportunity during one-on-one reading time to let a child talk in-depth and express any concerns they had about disabilities.

At times the text can be a b
Mar 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Nice, age appropriate book introducing the concept of disability. Covers misconceptions and questions that children at a young age might have about those who have disabilities. shows how people with disabilities live full lives and enjoy the same things that they do.

A fantastic book for early years and early KS1

I particularly like the open questions written in the book, this could be worked through in a circle time and help make the book interactive as well as for independent readers or LSA gro
Mar 19, 2014 rated it liked it
This book allows children the opportunity to explore different disabilities and the help available to people with disabilities. It allows children to look at the equipment some individuals may need and that people with a disability are able to live a happy and full life.
This book would be great to use with younger children in introducing the concept of disability and differences. It would also be good to use within a classroom that involved children with disabilities to ensure children's underst
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents, Teachers, Therapists
A great starting point for children. It will help introduce them to others in their community with various abilities. It was easy and enjoyable to read with my 5 year old. And it provided great discussion points. In addition to the diversely-abled children pictured, I also appreciated the racially diverse characters featured as well.

The reason I am giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is due to two reasons:

1. The book presents that others may have disabilities and teaches from that angle, rather than
Richard Avalos
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book’s aim is to bring children’s awareness to various disabilities and the struggles and equipment that may be required with when living with certain disabilities. This book does a good job in exploring these complex topics in a simple manner so that its readers would be able to understand these physical disabilities. This book does a good job in introducing certain disabilities by describing what the disability is, what concerns there are, and what kind of equipment may be needed in order ...more
Lindsey Wingfield
Review: I gave it 5 stars because it puts a bigger perspective on how not just people that can't walk or talk have disabilities, it includes things that young children wouldn't think about. I think it's good to recognize these factors to help them learn that everyone is different but we all want to be treated the same. The artistic elements are detailed and show challenged students interacting with students that don't have a disability making it more of a real world picture.

Summary: First it as
Stephie Healy
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Don’t Call Me Special is a very good children’s book. This story talks about how there are lots of different types of disabilities, but that having one of them does not make you any less good than the other kids. The book shows kids that everybody is different in a way and that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. The book explains that there are different types of disabilities and mentions that each one can be treated differently. It also explains that sometimes kids with disabiliti ...more
Savannah-Alicia Lloyd
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. As an aspiring SEN teacher, I think this book portrays the wonderful message that everyone is different and that everyone has their own strength. It also informs children that not all disabilities are visible. Not all children with disabilities are in a wheelchair or use a crutch to walk. Some children with disabilities look 'ordinary' and struggle with tasks like reading.

I feel children can explore disability and have their questions answered when reading this book. T
Luda Gogolushko
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
The idea behind this is great, but the execution was too adult-driven. Definitely not a story; more like an educated blog post in a book--example text: “When you assume, you are just making a guess. Assuming things about people can hurt their feelings and make them feel very left out.” I really don't see a kid wanting to pick this book up. It's great the book talks about being different and unique in your own way & explaining how to think/understand things. “Years ago, children with disabilities ...more
Alison Leach
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Pat Thomas used good illustrations throughout this book to help students understand the true meaning behind students with disabilities. She doesn't use characters but more instead teaches us about students with disabilities. The author makes sure to include all of the disabilities and the different ways we can see them in our everyday lives, she also explains that students with disabilities are no different, and with a little extra help can achieve the same goals. This book brings a lot of good ...more
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it
There are things I like and don't like about this book. It talks directly to kids about assumptions they might make, and I am always on the fence about that: it's helpful if your child has already made that assumption, but if they haven't, why seed it? OTOH the didactic tone worked well for me and my 3yo when explaining what assumptions are and why they can hurt. I appreciated the mention of "helpers" (and how sometimes they try to do too much) since my child sees another child at school with a ...more
Parker Thornton
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Don't Call Me Special: A First Look at Disability is by Pat Thomas, the story talks about many different disabilities, and how people make misconceptions about people with disabilities. The book goes on to tell you about the different equipment that is used by people with disabilities. One more thing that the book talks about is how important it is to stay positive when dealing with situations. The key take away from this is book is that everyone is the same on the inside no matter how they look ...more
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: exceptionalities
This book introduced about children who are physical disability. It helps children understand their friends who have various physical disabilities and what they need in daily life. Understanding that is important for children who have friends with physical discomfort in classroom. They become easier to be marginalized or teased by children because children are more likely to recognize their disability. In addition, The questions introduced in the middle of the book can be used as a useful discus ...more
Natasha Casey
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: exceptionalities
This is a great book to explain the concerns of children with disabilities at a child's level of understanding. It encourages children not to assume things about children with disabilities and that everyone is a little different in their own way. It talks about the different types of disabilities and how some are from birth and some are caused from illnesses. This book explains that sometimes calling children with disabilities "special" may make them feel to different from everyone else. I reall ...more
Rayona Hart-Wilson
In this book, we take a look at a bunch of different types of disabilities. It discusses ways people often view others with disabilities, and ways to ignore said assumptions and views. Another aspect of this book is that it talks about special equipment that is used by people with disabilities, and how people with disabilities may look different on the outside, but they are the same on the inside.

This book is wonderful for understanding disabilities for children. It lets them know the struggles
Josefina Bustos
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book gently points out that we sometimes have biases about children who are physically disabled but there are many others that we don't see. Calling someone special may not always like the word because it draws too much attention as is pointed. It has the potential for a lesson plan that teaches children to always offer to let everyone join in activities no matter what disability they may have. It exposes children and adults alike to how children with disabilities could be feeling when they ...more
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book looks at disability mainly from the perspective of disabled children, their families and teachers. Its also useful to able-bodied children, giving them a platform to better understand and learn to support the disabled children around them. The overall tone is positive and some pages discuss how it can be very frustrating to be disabled in a world built for the able-bodied. This gives a full range of complex emotions a disabled child could feel about the people around them. I truly love ...more
Diana Tran
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: disability
This book introduces many different types of disabilities. I listened to this book read by a child and I think it is an easy read for children and it discusses a lot of different views of people with disabilities.
I love this book because it talks about ignorance and assumptions people make about disabilities, but it also talks about how to ignore these assumptions and how they can be wrong. I love the message of how children may not all look the same, but they still love the same things and hav
Helena Mazzarella
This book explores the challenges and stereotypes that are created for children with disabilities. The book helps children explore the idea that everyone is special in their own way. The book also explains how people with exceptionalities overcome their differences.
This book incorporates a didactic writing structure.
I rate this book four out of five stars. I think the book is very useful and informative. However, I do not think it is very entertaining for kids. I think they might lose interest
Kayley Pate
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I believe that this book would fall underneath informational genre because it really does inform us that using the word "special" to describe a child who has to have accommodations or modifications hurts their feelings and is not correct. I love this book because as a future teacher I think this a great book because it ask questions throughout, tells you how to use to book, word with definitions tot he words someone in kindergarten might not understand and it all around well rounded to use for s ...more
Sephora Saint Georges
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: exceptionalities
This book has lots of pictures! Also this book was an amazing kid friendly way to explain the concept of people's first language. This whole book explains how people who are different do not want to be defined as different or called special. This book also does a great job at explaining to children how different disabilities come about and the different adjustments and the different ways that other children with disabilities get the help that they will need. Overall this was a great book and dev ...more
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ecce2201
I like this book because it talks about different types of disability and how to accept each children that are different. I also like how they went from a special class to putting them with normal classes and have different people help them out like the teacher and the classmates. I agree that it is not right to call them special or try to assume if someone is special or have a disability. I think this book is worth reading and have in a school for teachers to read to children or have students r ...more
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There is more than one Pat Thomas in the Goodreads catalog. This entry focuses on Pat^Thomas, children's author.

Pat is a trained psychotherapist, naturopath and journalist. After working as a journalist and broadcaster in the USA, she now works in the field of child development and writes for various publications including 'Practical Parenting'.

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