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Books for World Autism Awareness Day

Learn about the lives of people with autism, as well as self-help and treatment advice, and the science behind autism.

March 24, 2022

Also known as Autism Acceptance Day (or Month), this day invites you to celebrate differences, empower, and support everyone in the Autism community. To learn more, check out the United Nations observance page, the Autism Society’s Acceptance Month page, or National Today’s guide to World Autism Awareness Day.

If you’d like to learn more about autism, check out the Autism Society, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Autism Resource Center, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) page.

 

Memoirs and Biographies

Autism in heels

Autism in Heels
The Untold Story of a Female Life on the Spectrum

Jennifer Cook O’Toole

The author of the Asperkids series offers an intimate memoir about her life and her diagnosis with Asperger’s syndrome, sharing her struggles and her journey self-discovery and dispelling myths about life on the autism spectrum.

Carly's voice

Carly’s Voice
Breaking Through Autism

Arthur Fleischmann

The father of a child who was diagnosed as autistic at the age of two describes the intensive therapies that were pursued before Carly had a breakthrough at the age of ten, when she began using her computer to communicate.

Chicken soup for the soul raising kids on the spectrum

Chicken Soup for the Soul Raising Kids on the Spectrum
101 Inspirational Stories for Parents of Children With Autism and Asperger’s

Rebecca Landa

Gathers inspirational stories about parents raising children on the autism spectrum.

Drawing autism

Drawing Autism

Jill Mullin

Collects drawings, paintings, and collages created by over fifty contributors diagnosed with autism, depicting the unique perspective with which these individuals see the world, and their place in it.

Funny, you don't look autistic

Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic
A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum

Michael McCreary

Stand-up comic and activist Michael McCreary describes how he was diagnosed with ASD in early childhood and found healing and empowerment through journaling, as a comedian and in dispelling misconceptions about autism.

How to be human

How to Be Human
An Autistic Man’s Guide to Life

Jory Fleming

A remarkable and unforgettable memoir from the first man with autism to attend Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship, revealing what life is really like inside a world constructed for neurotypical minds while celebrating the many gifts of being different.

I am in here

I Am in Here
The Journey of a Child With Autism Who Cannot Speak but Finds Her Voice

Elizabeth M. Bonker, Virginia G. Breen

A thirteen-year-old autistic girl and her mother describe through poetry and prose her struggles with autism and her attempts to live life to the fullest despite her diagnosis.

I am intelligent

I Am Intelligent
From Heartbreak to Healing—a Mother and Daughter’s Journey Through Autism

Peyton, Dianne Goddard

This story provides a look into the lives of a mother obsessed with curing her child of autism and a daughter who retains full awareness of her situation.

In a different key

In a Different Key
The Story of Autism

John Donvan, Caren Zucker

The story of the discovery of autism and the first child diagnosed with the disorder draws on extensive research to trace how understandings about the condition have evolved through eight decades and how it has affected families in different historical periods.

The journal of best practices

The Journal of Best Practices
A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband

David Finch

A full-length account based on a popular New York Times article traces the author’s battle with Asperger Syndrome, describing his adult diagnosis and the painstaking and often whimsical exercises he uses to preserve his family and build social skills.

Life, animated

Life, Animated
A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism

Ron Suskind

The author describes how his autistic son, Owen, learned to cope with his handicap from a young age by memorizing the dialogue of Disney movies and having his family play the roles of the animated characters.

Make a wish for me

Make a Wish for Me
A Family’s Recovery From Autism

LeeAndra M. Chergey

Tender and candid, Make A Wish For Me is a story of accepting and tackling a disability stigmatized and misunderstood by society. A life-changing diagnosis teaches a family that where there is love there is hope.

Now I see the moon

Now I See the Moon
A Mother, a Son, a Miracle

Elaine Hall

Hall discusses her experience raising a severely autistic two-year old she adopted from Russia and her subsequent creation and helming of “The Miracle Project,” a musical performed by children on the autism spectrum.

Odd girl out

Odd Girl Out
My Extraordinary Autistic Life

Laura James

The author, a journalist who is married and a mother, describes her discovery as an adult that she is autistic, how it explains her lifelong feeling that she does not fit in, her struggles to cope, and her approach to her work and her home life.

The reason I jump

The Reason I Jump
The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy With Autism

Naoki Higashida

A journey into the mind of a remarkable 13-year-old Japanese boy with severe autism shares firsthand insights into a variety of experiences associated with the disorder, from behavioral traits and misconceptions to perceptions about the world and social awareness.

Same but different

Same but Different
Teen Life on the Autism Express

Holly Robinson Peete, Ryan Elizabeth Peete, RJ Peete

Through the alternating stories of twins Callie and Charlie, their fictional counterparts, teenagers Ryan Elizabeth Peete and RJ Peete discuss what it is like for RJ as a teenager with autism and Ryan as a teenager with an autistic sibling.

Siblings

Siblings
The Autism Spectrum Through Our Eyes

Jane Johnson, Anne Van Rensselaer

Accessible, informative, and supportive, this book is an essential guide for parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder.

The Warner boys

The Warner Boys
Our Family’s Story of Autism and Hope

Ana Warner, Curt Warner

The Warner Boys is the true story of a family who fought for their children and how they grew stronger against all odds.

 

Self-Help and Treatment Strategies

101 games and activities for children with autism, Asperger's, and sensory processing disorders

101 Games and Activities for Children With Autism, Asperger’s, and Sensory Processing Disorders

Tara Delaney

Appropriate for children of any age or placement on the autism spectrum, a guide for families shares a range of indoor and outdoor activities as well as numerous therapeutic group and one-on-one suggestions designed to improve motor functions, social skills, and cognitive development.

Autism and the family

Autism and the Family
Understanding and Supporting Parents and Siblings : Ready-To-Implement Resources and Approaches for Professionals in School and Clinical Settings

Kate E. Fiske

The author helps all professionals in clinical and school settings understand and support parents and siblings of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. She explains how to understand the experience of diagnosis, recognize patterns of parent stress, appreciate the effects of autism on parents and their relationships, provide support for siblings, integrate extended family in care and treatment, understand a family’s culture, identify coping strategies, build a strong rapport with parents, and guide them in treatment.

Autism breakthrough

Autism Breakthrough
The Groundbreaking Method That Has Helped Families All Over the World

Raun K. Kaufman

The Director of Global Education for the Autism Treatment Center of America, who was diagnosed as severely autistic as a child, outlines his parents’ controversial program that enabled his recovery, subsequent education, and successful career.

The autism mom's survival guide (for dads, too!)

The Autism Mom’s Survival Guide (For Dads, Too!)
Creating a Balanced and Happy Life While Raising a Child With Autism

Susan Senator

Aims to give parents of autistic children permission to take care of themselves as well by offering strategies for handling feelings of despair and hopelessness, caring for their marriage, finding a balance between accepting one’s child and seeking new treatments, understanding the challenges of autistic adolescence and much more.

Autism solutions

Autism Solutions
How to Create a Healthy and Meaningful Life for Your Child

Ricki G. Robinson

Provides proven solutions for parents to help maximize their autistic child’s health and well-being, and covers such issues as developing creative solutions and communication.

Autism spectrum disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder
What Every Parent Needs to Know

Alan I. Rosenblatt, Paul S. Carbone

This accessible and authoritative guide helps parents understand how autism spectrum disorder is defined and diagnosed and offers an overview of the most current behavioral and developmental therapies for children with ASD.

Caring for autism

Caring for Autism
Practical Advice From a Parent and Physician

Michael A. Ellis

As the father of a daughter with ASD and as a trained psychiatrist who specializes in ASD, Dr. Michael A. Ellis provides a holistic view of what comes after diagnosis. In user-friendly tones, he answers the most commonly asked questions about what it’s actually like to live with ASD, what medications and therapies are available, and the global impact it has on the child’s environment.

Disconnected kids

Disconnected Kids
The Groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for Children With Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Neurological Disorders

Robert Melillo

Offering a bold new understanding of the causes of such disorders as autism, ADHD, Asperger’s, dyslexia, and OCD, an effective drug-free program addresses both the symptoms and causes of conditions involving a disconnection between the left and right sides of the developing brain, with customizable exercises, behavior modification advice, nutritional guidelines, and more.

An early start for your child with Autism

An Early Start for Your Child With Autism
Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn

Sally J. Rogers, Geraldine Dawson, Laurie A. Vismara

Presents strategies for helping children with autism interact with others and achieve their potential, covering such areas as back-and-forth interactions, nonverbal communication, and imitation.

Everyday activities to help your young child with autism live life to the full

Everyday Activities to Help Your Young Child With Autism Live Life to the Full
Simple Exercises to Boost Functional Skills, Sensory Processing, Coordination and Self-Care

Debra S. Jacobs, Dion E. Betts

Addresses the challenges that young children with autism face and provides simple ideas, activities, and exercises that will help improve a child’s sense of body awareness, coordination, motor skills, and various social challenges.

Everyday games for Sensory Processing Disorder

Everyday Games for Sensory Processing Disorder
100 Playful Activities to Empower Children With Sensory Differences

Barbara Sher

Shares one hundred games parents can play with children suffering from sensory processing disorder that support the development of their child’s sensory system.

Gut and psychology syndrome

Gut and Psychology Syndrome
Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia

Natasha Campbell-McBride

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride set up The Cambridge Nutrition Clinic in 1998. As a parent of a child diagnosed with learning disabilities, she is acutely aware of the difficulties facing other parents like her, and she has devoted much of her time to helping these families. She realized that nutrition played a critical role in helping children and adults to overcome their disabilities, and has pioneered the use of probiotics in this field.

A parents' ABC of the autism spectrum

A Parents’ ABC of the Autism Spectrum

Stephen Heydt

Covering everything from Anxiety to Fragile-X Syndrome, author Stephen Heydt, an experienced clinical psychologist, provides an alphabetical categorization of the possible issues a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may encounter.

The parent's guide to in-home ABA programs

The Parent’s Guide to In-Home ABA Programs
Frequently Asked Questions About Applied Behavior Analysis for Your Child With Autism

Elle Olivia Johnson

What is Applied Behavior Analysis? What will happen when an ABA therapist comes into my home? Most importantly, how can ABA help my child? This quick guide answers all of the common questions that parents have when beginning an in-home ABA program.

Right from the start

Right From the Start
A Practical Guide for Helping Young Children With Autism

Karin Donahue, Kate Crassons

This book is a comprehensive yet accessible resource explaining the best practices for teaching young children with autism, especially in its milder forms. It offers practical, easy-to-use strategies for building social and emotional skills-strategies that enrich the learning environment for neurotypical children as well.

Safeguarding your child with autism

Safeguarding Your Child With Autism
Strategies and Tools to Reduce Risks

Jack Scott, Bairbre Flood

Proactive guidance to increase supervision and manage the environment in order to keep children with autism safe from unintentional injuries such as poisonings, drownings, falls, burns, and more.

Sincerely, your autistic child

Sincerely, Your Autistic Child
What People on the Autism Spectrum Wish Their Parents Knew About Growing Up, Acceptance, and Identity

Emily Paige Ballou, Sharon daVanport,, Morénike Giwa Onaiwu

An anthology of autistic contributors who tackle the everyday challenges of growing up while honestly addressing the emotional needs, sensitivity and vibrancy of autistic girls and nonbinary people, helping parents to avoid common mistakes and overcome challenges while raising their child.

The survival guide for kids with autism spectrum disorders (and their parents)

The Survival Guide for Kids With Autism Spectrum Disorders (And Their Parents)

Elizabeth Verdick, Elizabeth Reeve

Offers children and parents a resource for understanding autism and provides strategies for coping with the challenges they face.

Understanding autism

Understanding Autism
The Essential Guide for Parents

Katrina Williams, Jacqueline Roberts

This is the essential reference for parents and carers of children with autism. Written by two leading experts in the field, it covers everything from the causes of autism to how it manifests at the various ages and stages of a child’s life, as well as diet and nutrition, the importance of self-care for parents, how to cope with common problematic behaviors, conditions that can often appear in conjunction with autism (such as anxiety and depression), and how best to manage the child’s transition to adulthood.

Uniquely human

Uniquely Human
A Different Way of Seeing Autism

Barry Prizant

One of the world’s leading authorities on autism suggests a major shift in understanding autism and offers inspiring stories and practical advice drawn from his more than four-decade career.

 

Science

The autistic brain

The Autistic Brain
Thinking Across the Spectrum

Temple Grandin, Richard Panek

Offers the latest research and science on autism, including new neuroimaging and genetic research that provides new theories on what causes autism spectrum disorders as well as new ways to treat and diagnose them.

The panic virus

The Panic Virus
A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear

Seth Mnookin

Investigates allegations about the link between vaccines and autism, arguing that online misinformation has radicalized partisan groups to promote history’s largest health-scare hoax, resulting in life-threatening declines in vaccination rates.

What science tells us about autism spectrum disorder

What Science Tells Us About Autism Spectrum Disorder
Making the Right Choices for Your Child

Raphael A. Bernier, Geraldine Dawson, Joel T. Nigg

From leading autism researchers, this accessible guide helps you put the latest advances to work for your unique child. Separating fact from fiction about causes, treatments, and prevention, the book guides you to make lifestyle choices that support thedeveloping brain. From the impact of sleep, exercise, diet, and technology, to which type of professional help might be the right fit, the authors cover it all with expertise and compassion. Learn about the choices you face—and the steps you can take—to build a happier, healthier life for your child and family.

 

Diet and Health

ASD, the complete autism spectrum disorder health & diet guide

ASD, the Complete Autism Spectrum Disorder Health & Diet Guide
Includes 175 Gluten-Free and Casein-Free Recipes

R. Garth Smith, Susan Hannah, Elke Sengmueller

175 recipes and gluten-free/cassein-free meal plans help to build a nutritious, varied and tasty diet that may improve gastrointestinal and ASD symptoms for some children.

The autism & ADHD diet

The Autism & ADHD Diet
A Step-By-Step Guide to Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) and Other Interventions

Barrie Silberberg

The Autism & ADHD Diet is your complete guide to the GFCF Diet. Barrie Silberberg, a mother who honed her skills using the GFCF Diet with her son, who was diagnosed with ASD, gives you everything you need to know to put the diet into action with your child.

The autism cookbook

The Autism Cookbook
101 Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free Recipes : Free From Gluten, Egg, Milk, Rice, Soy, Peanut, Tree Nuts, Fish, and Shellfish

Susan K. Delaine

Join the countless other families who have discovered enormous improvement in their autistic children through diet-now featuring new recipes, new photographs, new alternative ingredients, and the same beautiful design and delicious food that made the original edition so popular.

The disconnected kids nutrition plan

The Disconnected Kids Nutrition Plan
Proven Strategies to Enhance Learning and Focus for Children With Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Neurological Disorders

Robert Melillo

A scientifically developed program for feeding kids with special needs—based on the popular Brain Balance Program Dr. Robert Melillo’s Brain Balance program has helped thousands of families across the country, offering a drug-free, scientifically basedmethod for addressing a wide range of conditions, including autism spectrum disorders and ADHD.

Helping your child with extreme picky eating

Helping Your Child With Extreme Picky Eating
A Step-By-Step Guide for Overcoming Selective Eating, Food Aversion, and Feeding Disorders

Katja Rowell, Jenny McGlothlin

Provides a guide for parents to help navigate picky eating, eating disorders, and food aversions in their children, offering advice on oral motor delays, low appetite, and anxiety.

The kid-friendly ADHD & autism cookbook

The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook
The Ultimate Guide to the Most Effective Diets

Pamela J. Compart, Dana Laake

Featuring an up-to-date review of common specialty diets for ADHD and autism treatment, this third edition of the comprehensive cookbook is filled with helpful information and research, and includes more than 150 kid-friendly recipes.