Recommended Reading for Autism

RECOMMENDED READING


Here are some books on autism that I have found very helpful and insightful. Not listed in any particular order of preference.

I.                   Fiction

·         Mockingbird, by Kathryn Erskine
Kathryn Erskine is able to crawl inside the mind of a girl with autism who is trying to make friends and understand others, while dealing with the trauma of loss. A fantastic read!

·         The London Eye Mystery, by Siobhan Dowd
A fun read for middle-grade readers about a boy named Salim who mysteriously vanishes on the London eye. His cousin Ted, a boy with Asperger’s syndrome, and Ted’s sister Kat both set about, trying to discover the truth behind Salim’s disappearance. The author, Siobhan Dowd, does a great job of describing some of Asperger’s distinctive behaviors and thought patterns.


·         M is for Autism, by Vicky Martin
An unusual title for an unusual book. Written by the students of Limpsfield Grange School for girls, this book describes the tipsy-turvy life of a teenage girl with autism. An interesting perspective and worth the read.

  • Because of Mr. Terupt, by Rob Buyea

While this book is not directly about autism, Mr. Terupt's 5th grade class is assigned to help in the special education classroom. The students make friends with these special kids, especially one boy who has autism. He turns out to be quite clever and becomes one of their best friends. 



  • Summer of the Swans, by Betsy Byars

Fourteen-year-old Sara Godfrey is not having a very good summer. But all of her problems become trivial when Charlie, her mentally challenged brother, goes missing. While Charlie does not have autism, many of his habits and behaviors are very similar to some individuals on the autism spectrum. This book shows the important bond between brother and sister and the dynamics between the two. Newbery Medal winner, 1971.
  • Paul and his Beast, by Sarah Stup                                                                     
Paul Stephens wishes he could blend in with the rest of his sixth-grade class. But his sensory issues and unique behaviors cause him to stand out. Through his struggles, Paul befriends another boy with autism and discovers the importance of speaking up for himself and all individuals on the spectrum in order to help bridge the gap between those with autism and those without.
A unique and powerful story, written by an author with autism. In this book, Sarah offers the reader a rare glimpse into the extraordinary world of autism. An exceptional book!


FOR YOUNG READERS

·         All my stripes, by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer
A story for young readers about autism. When Zane the zebra notices he’s a bit different from his classmates, Zane’s mother shows him how his traits make him unique and special. Helpful for children with and without autism, to help them understand that everyone is unique and longs to be accepted.

  • That's What's Different about Me! Story and Coloring Book, illustrations by Kathryn Robbins.
Learning some of the ways children with autism might act differently but can still be your friend.

  • We are not so different after all, by Susan Keene.

While this book was not written specifically for individuals with autism, it does address the issue of being unique yet also alike in many ways. 


·         Norton, A Service Dog’s Tale, by Cally Simpson-Jones
Norton is the runt of his litter and doesn’t feel like he’s anything special. But when a little boy with autism adopts him, Norton is able to help the boy speak and relate to his classmates. Norton is a lovely story about the impact of autism service dogs on individuals within the spectrum.



II.                Non-Fiction
1.      Testimonials/biographies

·         Dancing With Max, by Emily Colson
This biography, written by the daughter of Charles Colson (Special Council to president Nixon and founder of Prison Fellowship and Breakpoint) offers well-written insight into her relationship with her son, Max, who is on the autism spectrum. She shares her highs and lows, the challenges and blessings of raising a special-needs child and explains how her son perceives life. A gem of a book. I enjoyed every page.

·         Saving Danny by Cathy Glass
The true story of a boy with autism who is taken into foster care. Danny’s giant pet rabbit is the boy’s only real friend. Until he comes to live with Cathy.

·         The Reason I Jump, by Naoki Higashida
Anyone who struggles to understand the mind of an individual with autism ought to read this book. Naoki Higashida, a thirteen-year old boy with autism, explains certain behaviors in individuals with autism and the reasons behind them. A true eye-opener!


·         A Friend Like Henry, by Nuala Gardner.
This true story, written by Henry’s mother, relates the incredible gift that dogs can give to individuals on the spectrum. When Henry comes into the Gardner home, he transforms Henry’s world. A great book.

·         All Because of Henry, by Nuala Gardner
The sequel to “A friend like Henry,” this book tells the story of two autistic children and the dogs that unlocked their worlds. Another impactful book.

  • Lessons from Lorena; Living with Autism, by Kimberly J. Stults.

A very touching testimony of a mother, raising a daughter diagnosed with autism. This book shares the pains and joys that come with being the mother of a child on the spectrum. Brought me tears and laughter. So glad I read it!
  • Broken Vessels; God's Power through Autism, by Deborah Dennis.


A mother's insights into autism and her struggle to find answers for her son. A personal testimony of what she learns from her time spent in God's Word.
  • Josiah's Fire, by Tahni Cullen with Cheryl Ricker.
When their son loses his ability to speak, Tahni and Joe Cullen search for answers. Devastated by his autism diagnosis, Josiah's parents try to find ways to communicate with their son. The boy's IPad gives him a voice and reveals Josiah's visions about God and heaven. A gripping book that begs the reader to think about autism and eternity.
  • Seeing Ezra, by Kerri Cohen.
A mother describes her struggles in raising a child on the autism spectrum. Insightful thoughts into the impact of autism on the family unit.


  • Chicken Soup for the Soul, Raising Kids on the Spectrum.
Inspirational stories by mothers raising children with autism and Asperger's. 

  • The Way I See It, by Temple Grandin, Ph.D.
No one explains autism better than Temple Grandin, who has autism herself. She offers wonderful insights into sensory issues, how individuals with autism think differently and why they tend towards certain behaviors. Very insightful and extremely helpful!


  • Different, not less, by Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

A compilation of success stories from individuals with autism who share what they learned early on in life that made them the independent adults they are today. A wonderfully encouraging book.
  • Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships, by Temple Grandin, Ph.D and Sean Barron.

Both Temple Grandin and Sean Barron were born with autism but grew up very differently. An insightful look into autism and the unique paths each individual will take in their journey with autism.
  • Thinking in Pictures, by Temple Grandin, Ph.D.


A look into Temple Grandin's life, growing up with autism. 


  • Love that Boy, by Ron Fournier

Ron Fournier, a political columnist, is also the father of a son with Asperger's Syndrome. His candid approach to fatherhood and the lessons he learned are a refreshing approach to parenting. I gleaned a lot from this book. 

  • Look Me in the Eye, by John Elder Robison
Author John Robison shares his struggles growing up with Asperger's yet not knowing he was on the autism spectrum until he was well into adulthood. His autobiography is all at once, moving, funny, sad, sentimental and honest. Well worth the read.

  • Finding Kansas, by Aaron Likens
Author Aaron Likens offers a candid look at life with Asperger's syndrome. His collection of thoughts provides some insights into the thoughts and struggles of an individual on the spectrum. Interesting, yet sometimes difficult to read especially when he describes his dark moments.


2. Devotionals
  • Finding God in Autism, by Kathy Medina.


A devotional, written by the mother of a boy with autism. Scripture passages that offer hope and help in understanding God's perspective.


3.      Tools

·         Apps for Autism, by Lois Jean Brady, M.A., CCC-SLP
A very helpful tool, to help parents and teachers provide their child/student with exciting and fun ways to learn and acquire skills.


·         1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s, by Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk

Quick ideas and solutions for helping children on the spectrum. Great for parents, caregivers and teachers alike.


  • The New Social Story Book, 15 Anniversary Edition, by Carol Gray

 

This book offers a variety of social stories for children and adults with autism or Asperger's Syndrome. Includes a CD of printable, editable Social Stories so you can create your own.

  • Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments, by Brenda Smith Myles and Jack Southwick.
This book contains practical solutions for parents dealing with issues such as meltdowns and the rage cycle, and offers strategies for calming a child and coping with their sensory issues.


  • Marriage and Lasting Relationships with Asperger's Syndrome, by Eva A. Mendes.
Eva A, Mendes is an ASD specialist, psychotherapist and couples counselor. In this book, she offers extremely helpful strategies and practical advice to couples in which one of the partners is on the spectrum. Well written and simply explained, this book is an excellent choice for newlyweds and/or struggling couples who wish to make their marriage succeed despite the challenges of autism.

4. Periodicals and magazines

  • Misouri Autism Report
Monthly publication, Articles, Guide to local services and providers. For free online subscription go to www.MoAutismReport.com.


You can also visit www.autismbookstore.com for a good selection of books for and about autism.books about autism