Special People, Special Ways

“Some see with a touch or shape fingers to talk. Others sit silent and many can’t walk” Arlene Maguire, 2000.

I am thrilled to review this book, Special People, Special Ways for today’s review. During a recent staff training that I was conducting at a public school, a fellow speech language pathologist suggested this book to me to help introduce a communication system into the classroom. I immediately ordered the book so I can read it, review and share it!

As a speech language pathologist that specializes in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), part of my job is introducing communication systems into the classroom and training staff how to incorporate these systems. A common question that is asked often by educators is, “How do I explain to the other children why this child has an iPad and they don’t?” I usually explain that we need to talk about how every child has different tools that they use such as glasses, a grip for their pencil or maybe a hearing aid. For a child that has trouble communicating, they may need a communication system and this can be considered another tool.

I have been searching for a book like Special People, Special Ways for years and have now finally found the perfect book to read in a early elementary classroom when introducing an AAC system. The author, Arlene Maguire used rhyme and engaging illustrations to take the reader on a wonderful journey about understanding other children’s differences with example of different tools. Tools can range from a hearing aide, a wheelchair or glasses. The way that the author describes these tools is easy for a child to understand. The book even addresses those children with more significant medical needs and using service dogs for assistance.

This picture book, Special People, Special Ways is an excellent and necessary addition to any early elementary classroom or preschool and home library. This book was published in 2000, but it is timeless with regards to the message that it presents. If we can start teaching our children theses values at home, it will be even easy to accept these differences at school and in our community.

Special People Special Ways


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