SEL & Stories

Books about Neurodiversity, Mental Health, and more!

Note: This site is currently under construction! More updates to come!

A colorful brain.


This site is dedicated to books (and other stories) that discuss neurodiversity and mental health. These stories can help us teach Social-Emotional Learning skills, such as developing empathy and managing emotions.

Here, you can find:

  • information about SEL, neurodiversity, mental health, and grief & loss

  • lists of books about characters who are neurodivergent, have mental health conditions, or are dealing with grief and loss

  • links to other forms of media that can be used in conjunction with SEL (including video games, movies, and TV shows)

Why should we talk about Mental Health?

Reducing Stigma

Stigma, or the negative perceptions that people have about mental health, can be a huge barrier to diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. One of the best ways to combat stigma is to talk openly and honestly about mental health. (This includes sharing stories about characters who have mental health conditions!)

According to Children's Health, "1 in 5 children experience a mental health disorder and half don't receive the treatment they need." By reducing stigma, we can help kids get the support they need!

"5 ways to end mental health stigma" - Children's Health

What is Neurodiversity?

Judy Singer's Neurodiversity Umbrella.

An "Umbrella" Term

Autistic sociologist Judy Singer developed the term "neurodiversity" to refer to the natural variation in human brains - similar to the idea of biodiversity. The umbrella of neurodiversity includes many related conditions, including autism, ADHD, dyslexia (and "cousin" conditions like dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, etc.), learning disabilities, speech impairments, tic disorders such as Tourette's, and potentially many more!

What is Social-Emotional Learning?

Essential Life Skills

CASEL describes SEL as follows: "Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions."

The CASEL 5.