There are all kinds of stories written for children to help parents gently introduce the realities of life to our kids: books like 'The Runaway Bunny' (Margaret Wise Brown) and the 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' (Eric Carle.)
However, stories about DSDs are pretty hard to come by. We have listed a few here that are great because they celebrate the differences, talk about adoption, or refer directly to different types of DSD. If you have a young child, perhaps you may like to have a few of these in your collection. You may find that by knowing these stories, your child will be able to understand and make links to his or her own story, as you tell it sometime down the road.
Reading these books can also help you choose the time to discuss sensitive issues. A lot of parents talk about how when they were driving the kids to school and one of them piped up with, 'where do babies come from?' or 'why do boys have pee-pees and not girls?' If you want a controlled environment for talking with your kids, you can start building on what you are reading to them. And if they do ask relevant questions at awkward times, at least you can fall back on the 'remember the book about being different?' and continue the conversation from there...
Children’s science books about how the body works have often nothing to do with DSD, but are a nice way to talk about bodies, how amazing they are, how they change. It is also a nice way for you to become used to talking about these things and to appreciate the level of understanding of your child.
Finally, books for young teens about puberty are really useful for parents to refresh their knowledge and understanding of ‘typical’ puberty; it helps us find the right vocabulary and can help to ‘pitch’ discussion at the right level of understanding.
Some recommended books you could use are:
- 'My Mum' or 'My Dad' (Anthony Browne)
- 'Guess how much I love you' (Sam McBratney)
- 'I forgot to say I love you' (Miriam Moss)
- Elmer the elephant (David McKee) :has a hero who simply looks different.
- 'Look at me I'm different' (Allia Zobel-Nolan and Michael Terry) :1-3 years
- 'I don't have your eyes' (Carrie A Kitzer) :about adoption
- 'Tell me again about the night I was born' (Jamie Lee Curtis) :about adoption
- 'Frog is frog' (Max Velthuijs)
- 'Giraffe's can't dance' (Giles Andreae)
- 'It's ok to be different' (Todd Parr): 2-7 years- also some other good titles by the author.
- 'Katy no-pocket' (Emmy Payne and H. A Rey)
- 'Hair in funny places' (Babette Cole) : very accessible puberty explanation
- 'The worry website'(Jacqueline Wilson) : many of her books give parents a good opportunity to discuss ALL KINDS OF difference in other children and other families. Her books help our kids put their own challenges into perspective.
- Pipo and Pepo, two tiny explorers. We are delighted to present you the English translation of this beautiful story written by a young woman with CAIS from the Spanish AIS support group GRASPIA. This is an aid to communication for parents and their child with a dsd condition.