If you’re a parent with a child on the autism spectrum, you might be eager to jump into all the resources available to you. From autism books for parents, articles like this one, conferences, tv shows, and documentaries, the options of how you can learn about autism are endless. Whether you’re looking for stories from other parents or tips on challenging behaviors, there is something on every topic. It can even be overwhelming with so much to choose from!
Here at ABA Centers of America, we took some of the guesswork out of your next autism read. These are some amazing books about autism that you should add to your list, in no particular order. Don’t forget to check out our other blog articles about early intervention, ABA therapy, and more!
1. The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a 13-Year Old Boy with Autism
by Naoki Higashida
The Reason I Jump is a memoir that beautifully expresses how a mind with autism thinks, feels, responds, and perceives the world. Parents and providers will love how they can understand neurodivergent thinking through this curious, heartwarming, and thoughtful read from a thirteen-year-old, Naoki. As a non-verbal boy with autism, he uses an alphabet grid to construct words, phrases, and thoughts he cannot say out loud. He even answers the most delicate questions that many people want to know with a child’s imagination. These include:
- “Why do people with autism speak so weirdly?”
- “Why do you line up your toys?”
- “Why do you jump?” to which he answers, “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are growing upward to the sky.”
This boy’s honest account is full of heart and genuinely unique. He offers insight into the mysteries he sees in words, the release of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory. Expect to never look at the world the same way after this read. Also, a movie based on the book is available to watch on Netflix!
2. Uniquely Human (A Different Way of Seeing Autism)
by Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D.
Uniquely Human is one of our favorite books on autism. Dr. Barry Prizant is a famous autism advocate and details his transformative experiences working in the field. It is a touching and positive perspective on autism, describing how autism affects each individual, making them uniquely human. He advocates for services that allow the child to shine by focusing on their strengths. Uniquely Human is a new take on the traditional notions about autism and its expression.
What’s incredibly remarkable about this book is how Dr. Prizant describes his experiences. He often gets on the child’s physical and emotional level, trying to see the world through their eyes. Expect tears and moments of laughter while you learn more about the field reading this one.
3. Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
by Ellen Notbohm
Just as the title describes, this book is full of information autistic children wish you knew. Many in the field recommend this book for parents as well as educators. The body of the book outlines ten concepts that can help a neurotypical person understand the personality and identity of those on the autism spectrum. The book also explores topics like communication issues, relationships, and behavior challenges, among other things.
Ellen Notbohm, the author, is not only a parent of children with autism; she is a significant contributor to many publications, conferences, blogs, and classrooms. In this book, she has created a guide for all who will connect with a child with autism. The most updated edition touches on expanded communication issues and social processing skills. Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew is the ultimate guide to achieving a healthy perspective to help your child live a meaningful, productive, and self-sufficient life.
4. NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity
by Steve Silberman
NeuroTribes is a bestseller that answers the big questions, such as “What is autism?” and “Why are there so many new cases in these last few years?” It explores the psychology of autism as well as the future. The main idea is how essential it is for society to understand neurodiversity.
Silberman talks about the secret history of autism and the clinicians who became famous for discovering it. This book goes back to the earliest days of autism to understand the lonely yet brave journey of autistic people and their families. Be ready to have some “aha” moments as you read about how to understand an autistic mind better. Through our understanding, these individuals live more vibrant, productive, and independent lives.
5. A Full Life with Autism: From Learning to Forming Relationships to Achieving Independence
by Chantal Sicile-Kira
Unlike any other book on this list,this book is an incredibly accurate guide to helping your child with autism lead a purposeful and fulfilling life. This book is full of answers to life’s most challenging questions, especially those related to an autistic child’s growth and age. Yet each solution is delivered in an inspiring way full of hope and positivity.
In the next few years alone, hundreds of thousands of children will be diagnosed with autism, and they will eventually reach adulthood. And while treatment has improved vastly over the years, it is still essential to know what happens next. How do we help our children grow into adults who can navigate the economy, cope with life’s difficulties, hold down a job, and build sustainable relationships?
Reading Is Fundamental!
You will often hear that early intervention is necessary when it comes to autism treatment, but what’s more important is to understand an autistic child’s mindset. Being relatable is helpful but being an expert on the subject makes you a superhero. Dive into these books and watch how your understanding of autism evolves. Also, check out our companion blog article, 7 Best Books for Children With Autism.
Here at ABA Centers of America, we provide ABA therapy (Applied Behavior Analysis therapy) for people with autism. Our goal is to understand a client’s strengths and challenges and then help them develop skills necessary for lifelong success. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.