18 Books on Autism You Need to Read This Year

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There are a lot of excellent books out there on autism. So, how do you know which suits you and your situation? People with Autism have varied needs and symptoms, so finding a book that speaks to your unique situation is beneficial.

We scoured book sites and reviews to compile a list of nearly twenty books on autism to help children, teens, and adults with autism support daily living and skills. 

stack of books on autism
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Books on Children with Autism

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

1001 Great Ideas, winner of a Silver medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards and Learning Magazine’s Teachers Choice Award, has been a treasured resource in the autism community since 2004. This expanded second edition presents parents and educators with over 1800 ideas, try-it-now tips, eye-opening advice, and grassroots strategies to aid the autistic child. 

The Social Skill Picture Book: Teaching Play, Emotion, and Communication to Children with Autism by Joel Baker, PhD

This book, winner of a Disney iParenting Media Award, uses full-color photographs of students engaging in various common social scenarios. The photographs are designed to help students on the spectrum more easily understand social concepts and expectations.

Each social concept is taught beginning with a simple overview, several strategies, and then mini social stories that show the right and wrong ways to manage a social situation.

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida

The Reason I Jump, written by Naoki Higashida, is a very smart, self-aware, and charming one-of-a-kind memoir by a thirteen-year-old autistic boy. His story demonstrates how an autistic brain thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few can imagine. 

Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within. Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he cannot speak aloud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions people want to know.

Uniquely Human: Updated and Expanded: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant, Ph. D

Winner of the Autism Society of America’s Dr. Temple Grandin Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Autism, Dr. Barry M. Prizant’s Uniquely Human tackles new language such as shifting from “person-first language” to “identity-first language,” diversity of identity in the autism sphere, and the future of autistic advocacy by amplifying the voices of autistic and neurodivergent individuals.

woman reading on a couch
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Books on Parenting Children and Teens with Autism

Sincerely, Your Autistic Child By Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network

From childhood and education to culture, gender identity, and sexuality, this anthology tackles the everyday joys and challenges of growing up while honestly addressing the emotional needs, sensitivity, and vibrancy of autistic kids, youth, and young adults. Contributors reflect on what they have learned while growing up on the autism spectrum and how parents can avoid common mistakes and overcome challenges while raising their children.

Positive Parenting for Autism: Powerful Strategies to Help Your Child Overcome Challenges and Thrive by Victoria Boone MA BCBA

Positive Parenting for Autism offers proven techniques for helping your child with autism develop the foundational skills they need to thrive and live a fulfilling life. This practical guide provides concrete tools for developing personalized behavior change plans to increase your child’s positive behaviors and decrease unwanted or problematic behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorders. 

Beyond the Spectrum: A Guide to Parenting Adolescents With Autism: Navigating Challenges, Cultivating Strengths, and Fostering Independence by Richard Bass

This book also includes 18 parent and teen exercises at the end of each chapter, which promote continuous learning and seek to help both parties understand and respect each other’s needs.

The truth is that ASD doesn’t have to get in the way of parenting, and neither does puberty! Adolescence can be a profoundly nourishing and positive transition, but only when parents and teens make the necessary adjustments in how they relate to one another.

Amelia and Me by Melinda Hildebrandt

Amelia and Me is the powerful story of a mother facing the ups and downs of raising her deaf and autistic daughter, Amelia. Together, they approach life’s challenges with humor, hope, compassion, and love. This is an intensely private story told with brutal honesty; it is also a must-read for anyone who has walked a similar road to theirs.

The Art of Parenting a Child with Autism and Asperger’s: Meet Their Unique Needs, See the World Through Their Eyes, and Unlock Their Full Potential by Audra Mills

Raising a neurotypical child is challenging every day. Caring for a child with autism is a more significant challenge. It can become worse if you don’t get the proper support and you’re not able to provide for all your child’s needs. This guide offers a simple framework with insights and strategies for you to follow and help your child with autism or Asperger’s syndrome thrive.

The Teens’ Workbook to Self Regulate: Empowering Teenagers to Handle Emotions with Success through Coping Strategies and CBT Exercises by Richard Bass

The Teens’ Workbook to Self-Regulate is a valuable resource that introduces modern teenagers to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy created to develop emotional regulation and behavioral modification skills.

The workbook is divided into two parts: cognitive and behavioral techniques. It provides teens with exercises that reinforce essential social skills.

Related Post: Famous People with Autism

Books for Educators

The Social Skills Picture Book for Highschool and Beyond by Dr. Jed Baker

For many autistic students, high school can be tough. When contending with a new set of peers, more challenging classes, puberty, and more, social interaction is more complex than ever before. The Social Skills Picture Book series will help you teach essential social skills using the visual strengths of your students on the autism spectrum.

The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek

Weaving her experience with remarkable new discoveries, Temple Grandin introduces the advances in neuroimaging and genetic research that link brain science to behavior. She even shares her brain scan to show which anomalies might explain common symptoms. Most excitingly, she argues that raising and educating kids on the autism spectrum must focus on their long-overlooked strengths to foster their unique contributions.

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students by Christine Fonescax

Presented in an easy-to-read, conversational style, this revised and updated second edition contains additional chapters addressing temperament and personality development, as well as expanded role-plays and strategies designed to show parents and teachers how to interact and guide gifted children in a way that teaches them how to recognize, monitor, and adjust their behavior. 

This practical resource, which includes resources and worksheets, is a must-read for anyone wishing to make a positive and lasting impact on the lives of gifted children.

Schools for All Kinds of Minds by Mary-Dean Barringer

This book shows how schools can and must develop expertise in “learning variation” (understanding how different kinds of minds learn) and apply this knowledge to classroom instruction to address the chronic learning challenges and achievement gap faced by millions of students.

It addresses how school leaders can incorporate this knowledge into instructional practice and school-level policy through various professional development strategies.  

Related Post: Inspiring Autism Awareness Quotes

child reading a book
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Picture Books for Children 

Nathan’s Autism Spectrum Superpowers by Lori Leigh Yarborough

The superhero of this book, Nathan, explains his Autism Spectrum superpowers, how they affect him, and ways his friends can help out when his superpowers spiral out of control.

Neurodivergent Ninja by Mary Nhin

Life is hard! It’s even more challenging for children just trying to figure things out.

The children’s book series Ninja Life Hacks was developed to help children learn valuable life skills. Fun, pint-size characters in these comedic books are easy enough for young readers yet witty enough for adults.

Too Much!: An Overwhelming Day by Jolene Gutiérrez

This is a reassuring rhyming picture book for children about sensory overload and what you can do when everything is too much. Writing from her own experience with sensory processing disorder, award-winning teacher-librarian Jolene Gutiérrez’s compassionate picture book explores the struggles of a sensorily sensitive child and how they settle themselves.

Wonderfully Wired Brains: An Introduction to the World of Neurodiversity by Louise Gooding

Wonderfully Wired Brains is an informative and inclusive children’s guide to neurodiversity for those not in the know and to inspire neurodivergent children. It teaches children aged 7-9 about the awesome abilities that neurodiverse individuals have, introduces them to advocates who are challenging neurodiversity stereotypes, and, most importantly, gives them a safe space to feel accepted.


  • L. Elizabeth Forry

    L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with fifteen years of classroom teaching experience. She earned a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from The University of North Dakota and has a Bachelor of Arts in English and one in Music from Lebanon Valley College. She has taught children in Japan, Washington D.C., Chicago, and suburban Maryland. She is trained as a reading therapist, has a TEFL certification, and has done extensive work with children regarding autism, ADHD, mental health, social-emotional development, and gender development. She has written curriculum for children and educators and has led training sessions for parents and educators on various topics related to early childhood development. She is the mother of two boys and resides outside of Annapolis, Maryland.

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