Navigating the Storms

Thriving in the Midst of Invisible Disabilities

Resources in printed form

Books have been read for centuries; they have info on most any subject. So, it's not surprising to find that we list books about disabilities. You will also find here books dealing with understanding hurt-ers. You will discover books with ideas for helping people. We include books dealing with varying types of grief and disabilities. If you know of a really special book, please recommend it for review by submitting the form at Learning More.

If I list a book I know is out-of-print, I will let you know that. If I know of a source where it can be bought, I will note that. Some of these books are in Kindle editions. Local libraries can be a treasure trove of books about disabilities - all aspects. You might check there first, then buy later if you really want it for your own library.

Living in Storms

But You LOOK Good!

By Sherri Connell, available from IDA

The premier book for observers who want to understand what dwellers face. “It is a convenient, informative way to educate loved ones about what people living with ongoing illness and pain struggle with, fight for and need from their friends and family. It is easy to read, gives practical ideas on how loved ones can be supportive and is not too long for readers to lose interest!” I highly recommend this book; it would be a great addition to a church library.

A Grace Disguised

Jerry Sittser. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004. Available at Amazon, other book sellers and libraries.

This man lost his mother, wife, and preschool daughter in an accident caused by a drunk driver. He chronicles how he survived and overcame. He includes stories of others, also. I know this isn’t about invisible disabilities, but many of the principles apply to us. This book powerfully impacted my attitudes.

Being Sick Well

Jeffrey H. Boyd. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005. This book may be hard to find, but it is still available at Amazon. You can Google it and find it a few other places.

An interesting book, especially the section on humor used by the chronically ill. It can seem macabre to the well person, but it relieves pressure. The cover sums it up: “approach illness with dignity; adopt a new attitude; find hope through it all.” Worth a read.

Personal Stories

Joni An Unforgettable Story

Joni Eareckson Tada. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001. (Available in a 25th anniversary edition). Available from Amazon, and libraries.

Preeminent book on disabilities. It is Joni’s story: her accident; her slow rehabilitation; her eventual acceptance; her discovery of creating art. It deals honestly with spiritual questions. It ends with the publicity resulting from her drawings. She went on to form Joni and Friends.

Ghost Boy

Martin Pistorius. Nashville, TN: Nelson Books, 2013. (Previously published by Simon & Schuster, 2012.) Available at Amazon, other booksellers, and libraries.

A fascinating story of a perfectly normal boy who in the space of a few weeks became totally, profoundly disabled and unable to communicate. He recounts his journey of becoming aware of the world around him, still unable to communicate in any way. Eventually, he triumphed – with the help of others – and became a functioning, communicating, though still profoundly disabled, man. Another one certainly worth the time to read.

Helping Others

Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend

Lisa Cohen. Available at Rest Ministries and Amazon.

I haven’t read the book, but I like what the website says: “We all want to help people but we don't know where to start. We hear others who want to reach out to us, or other chronically ill friends, but they make simple offers that we never feel comfortable accepting. This book is a wonderful way to give people ideas to be creative, approachable, and a great friend. It also teaches a person how to allow an ill friend to be independent and respected, yet still give her/him hope that may be needed.”

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