There are thousands of published books about living with autism. These books include writings for children with autism as well as books for adults on handling an autism diagnosis.
Below, we discuss the importance of these books and provide details on the 10 best books on autism available on the market today.
Why Are Books on Autism Important?
Books on autism help teach empathy, understanding, and acceptance of those with autism. Books that explain the various aspects of autism are also great for creating public awareness about the disorder.
Best Books About Autism
1. Uniquely Human by Barry M. Prizant and Tom Fields-Meyer
The plethora of reviews that Uniquely Human received is a testament to how many lives it affected. Barry Prizant and Tom Fields-Meyer challenge people to change their attitudes and perceptions about autism.
Prizant wrote Uniquely Human from his perspective after working with children with autism for more than 40 years. Each page reflects his compassion, which gives him exceptional insight into the disorder.
2. Following Ezra by Thomas Fields-Meyer
Thomas Fields-Meyer tells his own story in Following Ezra. This book details Fields-Meyer’s son Ezra’s autism diagnosis at age three and what happened after.
Fields-Meyer authored human-interest stories for People magazine for twelve years and wrote one of the chapters of Following Ezra as a final People assignment. He included poignant and often funny stories in his book after deciding to let his son make his way in the world.
3. NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman
In NeuroTribes, science writer Steve Silberman writes about the first autism diagnosis and how research into the disorder ended when the Nazi reign of terror began.
More importantly, Silberman also expands on the myths around autism, particularly the one that claims vaccines were the cause of it. He explains the evolution of autism and combines the traits of those with autism with ongoing studies into its history. The book also focuses on autism campaigns that aim to make inclusivity and acceptance the norm.
4. 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s by Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk
Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk put their heads together to draft this book filled with ideas and tips on enhancing the development of children with autism.
Veronica Zysk is the managing editor of the Autism Asperger’s Digest magazine, while Ellen Notbohm has a son with autism. They’ve compiled strategies for all aspects of autism, along with a handy glossary of terms, which helps to simplify the reading process.
5. Growing Up on the Spectrum by Lynn Kern Koegel and Clare LaZebnik
Growing Up on the Spectrum: A Guide to Life, Love, and Learning for Teens and Young Adults with Autism and Asperger Syndrome consists of Lynn Koegel’s expert strategies and writer Claire LaZebnik’s questions about teenagers with autism.
Growing Up on the Spectrum deals with adolescence, social awkwardness, and college admission, providing inspiration to thousands of parents. LaZebnik has a teenage son with autism who contributed several pieces to the book.
6. In a Different Key by Caren Zucker and John Donovan
In a Different Key tells the intense story of the first child in history to be diagnosed with autism, Donald Triplett. Caren Zucker and John Donovan did seven years of research and based some of their writing on their individual experiences. Zucker has a son with autism, while Donovan has a brother-in-law who is on the spectrum.
The book consists of 10 parts that include interviews with several individuals with autism as well as other researchers and even advocates. Though some chapters can be upsetting, the whole book is essential to understanding the ongoing struggles of those with autism.
7. Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm
Punctuated with humor and kindness, Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew illustrates the characteristics of children with autism. Ellen Notbohm pours out her heart on the book’s pages as she details her first-hand experiences. This excellent literary effort saw Notbohm win an iParenting Media Award.
This book is recommended for every person who works with or has children with autism. The updated version of the book includes discussions around social skills and communication issues, as well as perceptions and reactions to different surroundings.
8. Connecting with the Autism Spectrum by Casey Vormer
Casey Vormer is an autism advocate and self-taught artist. He wrote Connecting with the Autism Spectrum as a guide for those struggling to connect with children or family members with autism.
The book begins with an introduction to the autism spectrum and provides tips on active listening and positive reinforcement. Vormer also explains why the term “high-functioning autism” is a label best avoided.
Furthermore, he lists ways to communicate better and find a sensitive tone when speaking to people with autism.
9. The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higshida
The Reason I Jump is a book about autism written by 13-year-old Noaki Higshida, who was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of five.
The book illuminates the difference between how children and adults with autism view the world versus how everyone else perceives them to view the world. It also highlights the fact that this disconnect is what causes people with autism to be mistreated.
10. Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison
John Elder Robison had Asperger’s during a time when an Asperger’s diagnosis did not exist in America. Robison only learned that he had Asperger’s in 1996 when he was 39. He wrote his memoir, Look Me in the Eye, in 2006, when his childhood behavior finally started making sense to him.
However, his fascination with sound engineering and electronics led him to a career working with Pink Floyd’s sound company and working on special effects for Kiss. After spending some time designing games and toys for Microvision, he started his own car restoration business.
The Bottom Line
Books about autism play an important role in increasing the understanding of autism and the experiences of people with autism spectrum disorder. The books above can provide unique perspectives on the disorder and advice on interacting with individuals with autism.
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