Summer Reading For The SLP

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Reading suggestion for the SLP

School’s out and I’m catching up on some great summer reading to refresh my SLP brain! Now, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a good beach read, but I thought I’d share some of my favorite books for a little Professional Development!
Book suggestions for SLPs: *make sure to download the list below! Don't let some of these suggesions turn you away. I like reading books that are outside my current caseload. I've often learned the most reaching outside my scope of practice. So even though I currently don't work with adults, I still can gain a lot of perspective from how the brain works...or isn't. You can see them all on my Amazon list for Professional Development. Affiliate links included in this post.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. A MUST-READ. I’m actually reading it aloud to my boys. It looks at virtues that foster grit and explores how we as educators can nurture grit from the outside in. I recently saw my school principal recommending it online also.

Reading In The Brain: The New Science Of How We Read by Stanislas Dehaene. So this one is a bit technical, but will fascinate anyone who is interested in the neurology behind reading.

Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz. This is a best-seller for a reason. If you aren't confident in your knowledge of what exactly the difference between a struggling reader and true dyslexia is, get this book! I recently diagnosed a 5th grader who was new to our school. She has struggled for YEARS in school and gone through multiple tutors until I was able to show them the true cause of her deficits. 

Look Me In The Eye: My LifeWith Asperger’s by John Elder Robinson. A truly insightful and humorous book with insights from his first hand experience with Asperger’s.

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. Truly one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. From the perspective of a young teenage boy. It will give your more insight into the real world of a child with autism. 

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. My uncle had a TBI many years ago and ever since, I have been fascinated with brain rehab. The author, a Harvard-trained brain scientist, experienced a massive stroke on the left hemisphere of her brain. Her testimony is inspiring.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks. Anything by this author is worth reading. This particular book has tales of real people who suffer from a variety of inescapable neurological disorders. He has a wonderful way with words.

Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan. Wow...this one. A riveting medical mystery that was powerful! It is a perfect blend of suspense novel meets case study of neurological diagnosis.

The Diving Bell And The Butterfly: A Memoir of Life In Death by Jean-Dominique Bauby. This man literally wrote this novel by blinking his left eye. Think about that. He had a rare stroke that basically locked him inside his body. One of the most remarkable books ever.

Ok...enough with the heavy.
I think Reading Magic by Mem Fox and The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease should be given to every parent. Every. Single. Parent. They both give a compelling reason on how and why reading can literally change the course of a person’s life. As a speech therapist, there is little I cannot teach using a book.

1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline For Teachers by Thomas Phelan. I was introduced to this “discipline method” by a classroom teacher (way back) when I was in grad school. I have used it ever since. It is a simple, yet magical tool. If you read one book on managing student behavior, let it be this one.

Word Nerds by Brenda Overturf. Very creative and flexible ways to implement vocabulary instruction through multisensory activities. Great practical book that will get you excited to teach vocabulary!

Hearing Is Believing: How WordsCan Make or Break Our Kids by Elisa Medhus. I LOVE this author. She has a wonderful writing style that will have you laughing cover to cover. I picked this up as a parent, but it has many practical applications that we can use as therapists. It really makes you think about the impact of the words we use.

Thirty Million Words: Building A Child's Brain by Dana Suskind. This is a fascinating read- especially if you work with preK or have influence with parents of young children...suggest THIS book! Very eye opening! Based off fascinating researched about children who hear thirty million words by the time they are four years old vs. those who are not exposed to rich vocabulary.
The books every SLP should read - great for professional development
Have you read any of these? Do you have a favorite book that you think SLPs should read?! I’d love to hear about it!

If you want to purchase any of these, they are all listed together on my Amazon list for Professional Development.

If you would like a print out of these books, download my SLP book recommendations.


  1. I have been in a reading slump and am looking to get back into it once school is done. I really liked Look Me in the Eye and just recently watched the Ted Talk, My Stroke of Insight...didn't realize there was a book. Thanks for the suggestions. Happy reading!

  2. I have been in a reading slump and am looking to get back into it once school is done. I really liked Look Me in the Eye and just recently watched the Ted Talk, My Stroke of Insight...didn't realize there was a book. Thanks for the suggestions. Happy reading!

  3. Oh! Thanks for the list! I now have some new books to look up!

  4. I'll definitely check these out. Thank-you!!

  5. I work with children with significant behavioral difficulties, and am eager to read 1-2-3 Magic for Teachers. I agree with your recommendation of My Stroke of Insight, it was such an insightful read!

  6. Loved My Stroke of Insight! Great post Ashley.

  7. I thought Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper was really good. Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius was pretty good too. I have added many of your suggestions to my summer reading list!

  8. I have complied a list of books from different places:

    Traumatic Brain Injury

    • Lost in My Mind (Kelly Bouldin Darmofal, 2014)
    • Over My Head (Claudia Osborn, 2014)
    • Head Cases (Michael Paul Mason, 2009)


    • On Pluto (Greg O’Brien, 2014)
    • Slow Dancing with a Stranger (Meryl Comer, 2014)
    • While I Still Can (Rick Phelps, 2012)

    Right Hemisphere Disorder

    • Don’t Leave Me This Way (Julia Fox Garrison, 2007)
    • Left Neglected (Lisa Genova, 2001)

    Still Alice
    Look Up For yes
    Deadly Communications
    Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity
    Uniquely Human
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    Speaking in Tungs
    The Spark
    Communicating Trauma
    All the Light We Cannot See
    Girl on the Train
    Luckiest Girl Alive
    Born on a Blue Day
    Why the Caged Bird Sings
    Brain on Fire
    The man who mistook his wife for a hat (Oliver Sacks)
    The Whole Damn Shoes book
    The Spirit Catches you as you fall down
    Inside the O’Briens (Lisa Genova)
    Where is the Mango Princess (TBI)
    Who’s Crazy Now?! (TBI Susan Ruebb)
    My Stroke of Insight (Jill Bolte Taylor)
    Big Stone Gap (Adriana Trigiani)
    A Brain that Changes itself
    Madness (Marya Hornbach)
    The Man who Forgot how to Read
    January First: A child’s decent into madness
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
    Carly’s Voice (Autism—Arthur Fleischmann)
    Let’s Face It (stroke—Kirk Douglas)
    Let me Hear Your Voice
    Winder (Craniofacial anomalies)
    Look me in the eye: My Life with Aspergers
    The Rosie Project
    Engaging Autism (Stanley Greenspan)
    Schuyler’s Monster
    Diary of an Imaginary Friend
    Ghost Boy
    Definitely Still Alive
    You are the Placebo
    The Center Cannot Hold
    The Spirit Catches you and You Fall Down
    Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice
    Shouting Won’t Help (Katherine Boulton)
    Train Go Sorry (Leah Hager Cohen)
    Karen (Marie Killilea)
    Rebuilt: My Journey Back to the Hearing World
    36 Hour day
    Expressions of Joy

    Sorry that I don't have the author's names! I have a complied SLP shelf on Goodreads as well, and they allow you to search by tag :)


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