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Books to help those with developmental disabilities grieve

  • Most of the links from the book titles below will lead you to¬†, where you can learn more about the book, read reviews about it, and order it if you'd like. Most of these books can be purchased through other book sellers, as well, or found at your local library.

    Guidebook on Helping Persons with Mental Retardation Mourn (Death, Value, and Meaning)
    by Jeffrey Kauffman
    Baywood Publishing Company, Inc; Reprint edition (July 1, 2008)
    The grief language of persons with mental retardation discloses intellectual capacities that are no less powerful, complex, subtle, disturbing, deep, and spiritual than those revealed in the more discursive and dialectical grief language of persons without mental retardation. This book will assist readers in recognizing and understanding the behavioral language of grief among persons with mental retardation and in developing intervention plans to support them through their grief, in both the short and long term.

    Helping Adults with Mental Retardation Grieve a Death Loss
    by Luchterband, C. and Murphy, N.
    1998, New York and London. Brunner-Routledge
    The book first covers background information on the universal grief process, then addresses grief issues specific to the mentally retarded adult population. Next, it provides practical guidelines for interacting and providing support. Also, a unique feature of the book is the original artwork of adults with mental retardation working through the grief process.

    Helping People with Developmental Disabilities Mourn: Practical Rituals For Caregivers
    by Wolfelt, A. and Markell, M.
    2004, Companion Press
    Frequently, people with developmental disabilities are excluded from bereavement ceremonies when a loved one or friend dies, therefore not receiving the special care needed for comprehending their own feelings of loss. Focusing on creating mourning rituals for special needs people, this guide offers specific rituals and techniques for caregivers to use while helping explain death and dying.

    Lessons in Grief & Death: Supporting People with Developmental Disabilities in the Healing Process
    by Van Dyke, L., Anderson, O.H., and Wagner, G.
    2003, High Tide Press
    Grieving is not a process to be avoided, rushed or silenced. Lessons in Grief and Death tells poignant stories from the lives of real people. And, it offers valuable lessons about the cycle of life and the power of people with developmental disabilities to master this deep emotional challenge.

    Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities (Society and Aging Series)
    By Lavin, C. and Doka, K.
    1999, Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.
    This book provides an overview of the elderly population who have developmental disabilities. It attempts to assess their needs and their lives as they age.