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Monday, February 28, 2011

Christian Fiction with Special Needs Characters

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

October 2011 is Sensory Awareness Month and I'm going to be featuring parents as guest posts on my blog who are raising children with special needs. I have four parents lined up and need four more. I'm looking for parents with children of all ages and with varying special needs such as Autism, Sensory Integration Disorder, X Syndrome, Blind, Deaf, Speech Impediments, Seizure Disorder, Physical Disabilities, etc. Any parent who would be interested in submitting a guest post, may send me an email at

As a parent with a special needs child, there were so many times I didn't know where to turn or what to do for my child. My daughter was born with a seizure disorder, which she is now healed from, but has delayed development, Sensory Integration Disorder, and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Now that she's 13, I'm seeing her overcome so many things. I want to encourage other parents with younger children, and I want to be encouraged by other parents who have high school children, college kids, and grown children. My goal is for us to share our stories, raise awareness and understanding, and to encourage each other.

Also, I'll be writing an article in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine featuring Christian fiction novels with characters who have special needs. I cannot interview and feature every book and author as I'd like, but I can at least try to compile a list. 

Will you help me? If you have read a Christian fiction novel like this, would you please leave a comment with the title of the book and the author name? Please consider forwarding this request to your friends who read Christian fiction. I would be most appreciative as I don't want to leave out any books.

I would be remiss, if I didn't mention that my upcoming novel, Highland Sanctuary, which will release in October 2011. Serena Boyd, the heroine, is born with a seizure disorder much like my daughter, but she must face the consequences of living in 1477 Scotland--a time when the word "seizure" wasn't well-known and understanding and mercy were scarce.

Thank you for your help!

Here's what I have so far:
1) A Touch of Grace by Lauraine Snelling (Deafness)
2) Grace in Thine Eyes by Liz Curtis Higgs (Deafness)
3) On Sparrow Hill by Maureen Lang (historical orphanage with several children with many different types of special needs)
4) Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury (Autism)
5) When the Snow Flies by Laurie Alice Eakes (Blindness)
6) The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund (Blindness)
7) Double Vision by Randy Ingermanson (Asperger)
8) Another Dawn, Kathryn Cushman (Autism)
9) Sadie's Hero by Margaret Daly (Down Syndrome)
10) Second Chance Family by Margaret Daly (Autism)
11) The Power of Love by Margaret Daly (Down Syndrome)
12) So Dark the Night by Margaret Daly (Blindness)
13) Light in the Storm by Margaret Daly (Learning Disability)
14) Tidings of Joy by Margaret Daly (Physical Disability in wheelchair)
15) What the Heart Knows by Margaret Daly (Schizophrenia)
16) Tidings of Joy by Margaret Daly (Bipolar)
17) A Daughter for Christmas by Margaret Daly (ADD)
18) The Curse of Captain LaFoote by Eddie Jones (Epilepsy)
19) Courting the Doctor's Daughter by Janet Dean (Learning Disability)
20) Love Finds you in Bridal Veil, Oregon by Miralee Ferrell (Learning Disability)
21) John's Quest by Cecelia Dowdy (Blindness)
22) Rain Song, by Alice J. Wisler (Autism)   
23) How Sweet It Is by Alice J. Wisler (Mentally Disadvantaged)
24) Redeeming the Rogue by Cynthia Chase (Down Syndrome)
25) Beyond the Night by Marlo Shalesky (Blindness)
26) Shades of Morning by Marlo Shalesky (Down Syndrome)
27) Finding Alice by Melody Carson (Schizophrenia)
28) White Doves by Shannon Vannetter (Paraplegic)
29) The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson (Cerebral Palsy)
30) A Month of Summer by Lisa Wingate (Mentally Challenged)
31) The Summer Kitchen by Lisa Wingate (Mentally Challenged)
32) Highland Blessings by Jennifer Hudson Taylor (Deafness)
33) Highland Sanctuary by Jennifer Hudson Taylor (A Village of people who are outcasts because of their various special needs.)


I am so pleased to see a post to raise awareness of special needs, especially among the Christian literary community. I personally hate it when disability is used as a cheap plot device, and applaud writers who handle the real heartaches and challenges of life with special needs with finesse and sensitivity. Our culture has a long way to go in learning how to be accessible and inclusive to kids like my son, who has autism. Thanks Jennifer for pioneering! Blessings to you and your daughter.

Rain Song, by Alice J. Wisler

Monet is three and doctors are wanting to label her as autistic.

How Sweet It Is, by Alice J. Wisler

Jonas is mentally disadvantaged, and has a heart of forgiveness.

Jennifer, at my blog, you can read Characters in Grief----a window to why I choose to let certain characters enter my stories (the diagnosis and death of my own child has taught me a lot).
Here is the link:

Thanks for your post on this, Jennifer! I've written a couple books that may fit:
--Beyond the Night has a main character who is going blind from Stargardt's disease. The story covers her journey from discovering she's going blind through losing her sight (and finding love!). This one won the Christy award a couple years ago.
--Shades of Morning has a main character who is a 15-year-old boy with Down syndrome. The female lead character becomes the boy's guardian and must learn how to deal with the various aspects of raising a boy with Downs, while also learning how to forgive herself and love again. This one is my latest novel.

Both books are published by Multnomah, and you can see more about them at my website

Blessings to you as you write your article!!

:-) Marlo Schalesky

I've added more books to the list and will continue to add any new ones I receive. Thank you everyone for your help!

Kathleen, Thank you! For so long we felt like we were on this roller coaster ride alone. Now that she is maturing and outgrowing some of her issues, I'm feeling led to provide encouragement to others--if I can. Also, I could use some encouragement from those who have older children. I think HOPE is my special word for 2011.

Alice, I've added your books and visited your blogs. I wept and was deeply moved by your writing. God is working at making you whole with each word you write and using your words and experience to help others in their journey. Thank you for sharing.


I've included your books as well. Thank you for telling us about them!

Thanks for sharing this is very needed. I have two friends that have children that suffer from the same problem. I will share the information with them. Annie Dennis Eskridge, author of Sin Abides.

Thank you, Annie! I'll post reminders on FB and Twitter when before I run all the blog stories. I hope some of them will be helpful to her.