As a parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you probably recognize the value of finding quality books that can help your child connect with the world around them and more deeply understand expectations. Reading children’s autism books can help your child in many ways, including encouraging their use of social and communication skills.
Furthermore, reading books to children with autism can also increase their vocabulary and understanding of emotions while preparing them for challenges that may arise, making children’s autism books an incredible asset and valuable resource for many.
This blog by ABA Centers of America offers a list of children’s autism books to help children with autism and their families navigate the complexities of everyday life on the spectrum. From books that focus on specific challenges like sensory overload to stories that embrace the unique strengths of individuals with autism, these titles entertain and educate readers of all ages and divergences.
So, whether you pick one or several titles from this list, we hope these book options spark curiosity in readers having unique experiences while emphasizing confidence and personal strengths. So, let’s peruse some pages and explore these titles!
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The Power of Children’s Autism Books
It’s no secret that raising a child with autism comes with its own set of distinct challenges. As parents, we constantly search for resources to help our children learn and grow in an understanding and inclusive environment. A powerful tool aiding this journey is literature, specifically, children’s autism books, which keep neurodivergence in mind by design for young readers and their families.
Below are nine high-profile autism and sensory-related books that may assist you in deepening your comprehension of the subject and how to empathize with others of unique abilities. Whether you’re a mom of a child with autism, a teacher working with neurodivergent students, or an autism ally trying to gain insight into their experiences, these books offer something valuable for everyone!
9 Amazing Autism and Sensory-Related Books for Young Children
1.“My Brother Otto”
“My Brother Otto” is a heartwarming children’s picture book written by Meg Raby and illustrated by Elisa Pallmer. Otto is a young boy with autism who engages in quirky behavior and has a particular way of communicating with his family. The book is a beautiful portrayal of the love and understanding that can exist between siblings, even when one has differences.
It is a perfect read for children aged 3-7 who will enjoy following Otto’s adventures and learning more about autism through his eyes. Including playful illustrations and simple yet meaningful language, “My Brother Otto” will undoubtedly captivate children and parents alike, as it celebrates the beauty of diversity, acceptance, and the ways siblings can engage in everyday activities in the face of neurodiversity.
“Nope. Never. Not For Me!” is a charming children’s book written and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill. It follows the story of a young child who refuses to try broccoli until her mom gently encourages exploration of the unfamiliar food. This compassionate approach to picky eating is constructive for children with ASD or sensory issues, as it enables them to try new experiences with less stress or pressure and more encouragement.
With simple text and bold illustrations, this book is helpful for parents and educators when introducing new foods or ideas to children who may be experiencing eating issues and more. Furthermore, it promotes patience, understanding, and acceptance of individuals with differences in a fun and engaging way.
Parents of neurodivergent children often struggle to find books that accurately portray their children’s experiences. This award-winning children’s book, written by Alexandra Hoffman and illustrated by Beatriz Mello, celebrates the unique talents and challenges children on the autism spectrum face. ASD children and teenagers will see themselves and their experiences reflected on the page through bright, engaging illustrations and digestible dialogue.
This book can also help neurotypical children understand and empathize with their peers on the autism spectrum, as the story of Samuel, a boy with ASD, shows his class the way he sees the world through art and proves to be the true masterpiece. With its message of acceptance, inclusivity, and the value of different perspectives, this autism children’s book is an excellent addition to any family’s library, helping many learn about diversity.
All My Stripes is a Mom’s Choice Award and Gold Medal winner written by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer. It is a valuable book for children with autism, beautifully illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin, that describes the advantages of self-acceptance. Through the colorful character of Zane, the authors encourage children to embrace diversity and individuality, as Zane realizes that his stripes make him who he is, even if autism is one of them.
In the story, Zane, a young zebra, learns that having autism isn’t something to be ashamed of and is one of his many strengths or stripes. This book is an excellent resource for caregivers, educators, and therapists exploring concepts like acceptance and self-assurance. All My Stripes provides a much-needed representation of life with autism in literature and gives ASD kiddos on the spectrum a relatable character to look up to.
“This Beach Is Loud!” by Samantha Cotterill is a helpful book for children with autism as it explores sensory sensitivity. Many children with autism struggle with processing their senses, which can make outings to loud and busy places, like the beach, overwhelming and complicated.
This book provides a relatable and thoughtful story that can help children learn about and manage their sensory sensitivity or feeling overwhelmed. Through colorful illustrations and simple language, young readers can follow along with the main character’s journey, navigating the sensory overload of a crowded beach with the help of his father.
This book is a valuable tool for parents and educators to build empathy and understanding toward those with sensory processing difficulties and gain a deeper comprehension of how debilitating these experiences can feel and soothing exercises to cope.
“A Friend for Henry” is a heartwarming children’s book perfect for readers ages 3-5 that tackles the issue of autism sensitively and thoughtfully. Written by Jenn Bailey, this book tells the story of a young boy named Henry looking for a friend to play, share interests with, and listen to but struggling to do so. By offering insight and the perspective of a child on the spectrum, this book can help caregivers open a dialogue about the value of friendship.
The book’s illustrations, created by Mika Song, beautifully depict the emotions and experiences of each character while promoting a powerful message. Everyone deserves a friend, and that difference can be extraordinary. “A Friend for Henry” can be a fantastic addition to any book collection, especially those on the autism spectrum.
For children with autism, the world can sometimes be a complex and confusing place. Those on the spectrum may experience difficulties communicating their thoughts and feelings, making it difficult to navigate social situations. Written by Julia Finley Mosca and beautifully illustrated by Daniel Rieley, this book tells the story of Dr. Temple Grandin, a real-life scientist diagnosed with autism as a child who achieves incredible things through an early connection with animals.
Through her experiences and achievements, the book shows readers that there’s no right way to think or learn and that being different can be a tremendous asset. Children with autism, especially those nonspeaking, may find themselves and their struggles represented in a positive and incredibly empowering way. And for parents, reading stories like this can help them understand and support their children towards developing future goals and dreams.
For children with autism, everyday activities that are pleasant for most kids can be scary or highly uncomfortable. “Too Sticky! Sensory Issues with Autism” is an engaging and heartwarming book that explores sensory processing challenges for children with autism. Written by Jen Malia and illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, this book is a valuable resource that helps children with autism understand and cope with the sensory issues that can happen daily.
Through a relatable story and charming illustrations, Holly, who loves science, struggles with a new experiment that includes slime because it’s sticky and made with glue. The texture worries Holly, but with help and some accommodations, she decides to try something new anyway and finds new experiences don’t always end terribly.
For children with autism, managing overwhelming situations can be a daily challenge because sometimes everything feels too much. Fortunately, by drawing from her own experiences, author Jolene Gutiérrez has created a helpful tool for parents looking to support their child’s emotional regulation. “Too Much!: An Overwhelming Day” is beautifully illustrated by Angel Chang and follows a young child through a busy day filled with sensory triggers she perceives as overwhelming.
Using relatable language and vivid imagery, Gutiérrez accurately depicts the feelings many children with autism and sensory issues experience while providing coping strategies for dealing with these stressful experiences. This book is a valuable resource for parents, educators, and caregivers looking to support a child with overwhelming anxiety related to autism.
Reading Children’s Autism Books Leads to New Perspectives!
In conclusion, there are many books out there that help children learn about autism in a fun and engaging way. Through the stories of Otto, Henry, and all their peers, children can better understand and appreciate autism. Additionally, these books show us that having autism is something we can celebrate and highlight!
More ABA Therapy with ABA Centers of America
ABA Centers of America provides top-tier ABA Care and evidence-based interventions to help many with autism across age groups and other demographics. We recognize that every neurodivergent client has different strengths and deserves support to be their best self. Our team of ABA providers provides every client with a validated approach to behavior modification that highlights what is genuinely beneficial for your child or teen on the spectrum.
For families looking to learn more about autism diagnostic services or to explore ABA therapy options in the New Hampshire and Massachusetts area, please reach us via the online form or at 844-923-4222. We are here to help and provide resources so your family with autism can live a better quality of life.
With the right resources and support, children and teenagers with autism can grow and thrive in the best ways for you!