Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Best Books About Autism

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Even before my son was diagnosed with autism, I did a lot of reading about the diagnosis, either in the form of research or personal blog posts. But I absolutely prefer reading a physical book about the topic. In fact, I usually have a stack of four or five books about autism on my nightstand, just waiting for me to read. However, I end up reading one and then adding at least two more to the pile. So I don't see my tower of autism books decreasing any time soon.

There's just always so much to read and learn about when it comes to autism.

Thankfully, I can help narrow down your reading list by providing you with the absolute best books about autism. These books are my favorites and I hope they will become some of your favorites too.

Some are short and insightful. Some are long and detailed. Some will give you practical solutions to help your child with autism grow and thrive.

But all of these autism books are worth reading.

Sometimes more than once.

These books are meant to inspire you, help you learn more about autism, give you insight into autism from an autistic person's perspective, and to help your children learn about their own autism.

Please note that this list will be added to as I discover, read, and approve of new books about autism. I have only shared those that I have personally read and that I have found helpful, interesting, and informative. I have also decided to leave books about sensory issues off of this list. You can see the list of sensory processing books here. Otherwise, the list of books would get pretty lengthy!

A list of the best books about autism, including social skills books and picture books for children with autism from And Next Comes L

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Best Books About Autism

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen Year Old Boy with Autism

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida

This book is an absolute favorite of mine when it comes to understanding autism. The insight that this book provides is fabulous and it definitely changed how I view and understand autism. Highly recommend it! Plus, it's a quick read and you can definitely read it from front to back in just a couple of hours.

The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing, Genius, and Autism

The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing, Genius, and Autism by Kristine Barnett

I remember reading this book shortly before pushing for a referral to get my son assessed for autism. There were so many pages in this book that seemed to be word-for-word accounts of things my son used to do. I cried some many times while reading this book, but it's absolutely a must read for any parent, autism or not.

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

I have never preordered a book until this book came along. I was so excited to read NeuroTribes not only from a neuropsychology perspective (I wanted to be a neuropsychologist pre-children), but from an autism parent's perspective. This book is massive, but it is worth reading every single page. The research and history is extremely interesting, albeit a bit difficult to read emotionally sometimes, to read and the book itself almost reads like a thriller.

Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism

Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant

This book is just wonderful! It will definitely make you rethink how you see autism. A must read for everyone, whether or not you know or work with someone who has autism.

In a Different Key: The Story of Autism

In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan & Caren Zucker

This book is such a fascinating read about the history of autism. It will make you angry at times and probably make you feel relieved to live in the time period that we do. It's a lengthy read, but definitely a must read for anyone interested in the history, rights, and advocacy of autism.

Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism

Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism by Arthur & Carly Fleishmann

This book is a great read, especially if you have a nonverbal child. The insight that Carly gives into her autism and her challenges is invaluable and well worth the read.

The Anti-Romantic Child: A Memoir of Unexpected Joy

The Anti-Romantic Child: A Memoir of Unexpected Joy by Priscilla Gilman

This book is a must read if you are interested in learning more about hyperlexia. It's a beautiful account of a mother's journey with her son who has autism and hyperlexia. Naturally, I could relate to so much of this book as my son has the same diagnoses. Highly recommend this book!

Somewhere Over the Sea: A Father's Letter to his Autistic Son

Somewhere Over the Sea: A Father's Letter to his Autistic Son by Halfdan W. Freihow

Beautifully written, this book really captures a father's love for his son.

The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed by Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin is invaluable to helping us understand the autistic mind. Early in 2015, I had an opportunity to see her speak and then she signed my copy of this book. Anyway, this book is a great read, although a little science heavy (so definitely not for everyone!).

The Obsessive Joy of Autism

The Obsessive Joy of Autism by Julia Bascom

This book is more of an illustrated poem or picture book more than anything, but it's beautiful. It explores the beauty of autistic obsessions, which I found interesting and insightful. It takes only a few minutes to read, so it might be a book you pick up from the library instead of purchasing. Regardless, it is definitely worth the read.

Kids Beyond Limits: The Anat Baniel Method for Awakening the Brain and Transforming the Life of Your Child With Special Needs by Anat Baniel

I just recently learned of the Anat Baniel Method as a therapy/treatment option for autism, so I bought her book to find out more. I was instantly fascinated by her approach, regardless of whether or not we try this type of therapy, because it gave me great, practical tips to try. The method itself is about awakening your child's brain, as opposed to trying to fix it, which is something I really appreciate. I also appreciate the idea behind brain plasticity since I wanted to be a neuropsychologist before I had children. Anyway, it's a fascinating read!

Social Skills & Communication Books

The Social Skills Picture Book

The Social Skills Picture Book: Teaching Play, Emotion, and Communication to Children with Autism by Jed Baker

My son loves reading this book. In fact, he told his first successful joke because of this book! Each social skill is accompanied by text instructions and pictures that demonstrate the skill, so it's perfect for kids who are visual and literal learners. There's even a social skills book for high school and beyond.

It's Raining Cats & Dogs

It's Raining Cats and Dogs: An Autism Spectrum Guide to the Confusing World of Idioms, Metaphors and Everyday Expressions by Michael Barton

Speaking of thinking literally, this book is a perfect guide to understanding everyday expressions like "It's raining cats and dogs" and "You took the words right out of my mouth." My son loves the adorable illustrations in this book and it is a great way for him to learn the hidden meanings of these types of expressions.

Motivate to Communicate: 300 Games & Activities for Your Child with Autism

Motivate to Communicate: 300 Games & Activities for Your Child with Autism by Simone Griffin & Dianne Sandler

This book has lots of great, practical tips that you can start applying right away. The tips are designed to help you encourage and motivate your child with autism to communicate. Still, to this day, my favorite tip is to do something silly like getting into a bathtub with socks on. My son always giggled and told me that, "We don't wear socks when having a bath!" whenever I would do that. It definitely got him talking!

Picture Books for Children with Autism

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism by Shania Rudolph & Danielle Royer

A cute story for kids who have autism with adorable illustrations that shows how Zane the Zebra does things differently (example painting with a paintbrush versus painting with his hooves). My son loves reading this book!

Other Book Suggestions to Check Out

Autism, Sensory, & Hyperlexia eBooks

Best Books About Sensory Processing

The Hyperlexia Handbook {Free eBook}

A list of the best books about autism, including social skills books and picture books for children with autism from And Next Comes L
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  1. If interested, under the fiction category please also consider "Fortune on the Spectrum" for a an adventure with a rare main character on the spectrum. Thank you!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I will have to check that one out as well. Thank you for the suggestion!

    2. You're welcome! I also enjoyed Emergence: Labeled Autistic by Temple Grandin, Bringing Up John by Ellen Walker, and Rules by Cynthia Lord.

    3. Adding those to my reading list, thanks! I'm currently reading In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by Donvan & Zucker. It's really good. Have you read it?

    4. No, I haven't. I'll have to check it out!

    5. My daughter loved Lucy's Amazing Friend! Thank you for writing it!

  3. Great list, thank you! One of my all-time favourites is Dasha's Journal, by T.O. Daria. The book is written from a cat's perspective who lives in a family with an autistic child. It's very informative, easy to read and the perfect book for those who are getting accustomed to what autism is. I can't recommend it enough!

    1. Sounds interesting! I will have to check it out. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. I'd like to add BEYOND RAIN MAN to the list because it supports ASD parents and informs and educates professionals. It's endorsed by Temple Grandin, Tony Attwood, Simon Baron-Cohen, Graeme Simsion, and more! https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Rain-Man-Psychologist-Spectrum/dp/0997040009/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459124694&sr=8-1&keywords=beyond+rain+man

    1. I will have to check that one out. Thanks for the suggestion!!

  5. Can I recommend my book about raising my daughter with autism; "Pushy Mom Syndrome" I'd be happy to send you a copy!

    1. Send me an email at dyan@andnextcomesl.com

  6. Great list! I would love for you to consider my book, Why Won't He Look At Me? A Book for Young Children Struggling to Understand Autism. Please, let me know if you'd like further information. I'm a mom to three autistic children on a quest to make the world a more accepting and inclusive place for people with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities.

    1. I'd love to chat with you about it. Send me an email at dyan@andnextcomesL.com

  7. Hi,

    I'd very much like to recommend 'Pop Fantastic' a story written for children with Autism to promote acceptance and also for children without Autism to develop understanding on the condition. You can find pop at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pop-Fantastic-Adventures-David-Fox/dp/1527214974/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532339532&sr=8-1&keywords=pop+fantastic and https://www.pop-fantastic.com/

    1. I will look into that one. Thanks for the suggestion, Stephanie!