Raising a child with autism makes for a challenging, unpredictable and very busy life. If you’re like me, you’re constantly looking for resources and information to help make your parenting journey easier for you and your family.
Knowledge is power and educating yourself about autism is key to understanding the disorder. Many wonderful and informative books about autism have been published and there is an endless array of topics on the subject to choose from. They range from auto-biographies to children’s books, to books that offer various strategies.
I generally tend to steer clear of books that claim to cure autism (ahem…Jenny McCarthy) and navigate to those that offer evidence based, peer-reviewed strategies which provide factual information that will be of help to me and my family.
I’ve read many great books over the years and I have compiled a list of my favourites that offer valuable and useful information about Autism Spectrum Disorder.
1. NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the future of Neurodiversity
Written by Steve Silberman, Avery
Steve Silberman, a writer and contributing editor for Wired magazine, has written a groundbreaking book, ’NeuroTribes’ which examines the history and myths of the autism spectrum.
Currently on the New York Times bestseller list, this book is a must-read for all parents who have children on the autism spectrum. I can’t recommend it enough.
2. The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism
Written by Naoki Higashida, Random House of Canada
Written in first-person, Naoki Higashida gives the world an inside look of what it’s like to be a 13-year-old boy with severe autism.
He discusses heavy topics such as self-harm, perceptions of time and beauty, and the challenges of communication
3. The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum
Written by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Temple Grandin is synonymous with autism. This book offers an eye-opening look at the spectrum through her own experiences.
My husband and I recently watched the Temple Grandin made-for-tv movie and we bawled our eyes out. She is definitely an inspiring woman and her story is one of hope and perseverance.
4. I See Things Differently – A First Look At Autism
Written by Pat Thomas, Barron’s Educational Series
This picture book explains what autism is in simple terms. It aims to help children who may have siblings or classmates with autism understand what everyday life feels like from a child with autism’s perspective.
This book is part of a series of information books that offer advice and promote interaction between children, parents, and teachers on a wide variety of personal, social and emotional issues.
5. More Than Words® — The Hanen Program® for Parents of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Written by Fern Sussman
As a parent, you know how challenging it can be for your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder to interact meaningfully with others and connect with the world around him/her.
Hanen also offers an excellent More Than Words® program for parents and I was fortunate enough to have the most amazing instructor (a big shout out to Debbie).
The book (and the program) provides parents with the tools, strategies and support they need to help their children reach their full communication potential.