When it comes to helping your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it can feel like the most overwhelming thing in the world. Once you get your diagnosis, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to proceed in giving your child their best possible chance of having a well-adjusted and full life. Teaching kids with autism is different for every family. No two cases are the same, and each child is unique in their needs and challenges. Of course, the disorder also has many similarities that you can build upon. To that end, there are a variety of books about special needs that can help set a good foundation to help you work with your child.
How Do I Educate Myself?
Reading as much as you can is your best bet in becoming an advocate for your child. Because every child is different, understanding exactly what ASD is and what to look out for at each stage of development is imperative. It is important to have more than just a clinical understanding of the disorder so that you can empathize and recognize when things don’t go according to the norm. Similarly, once you have that beginner’s knowledge, you will find that you spend a lot of time learning how to cope with your individual child’s needs. Every child on the spectrum may have their own set of challenges to work with. From behavioral issues to social skills to communication and everything in between, you can find books to help you work with your child to give them all the skills they need to cope with all that life throws at them.
How Do I Educate Friends and Siblings?
When you have a child on the spectrum, it can take up the majority of your time. Other children in the house who may not be on the spectrum can often feel ignored or not as important as their sibling. It is important that everyone in the family have an understanding of ASD so that there is open communication and love constantly flowing. Once again, there is a great selection of books for friends and loved ones of your autistic child so that they can understand and find their role in the family dynamic. Parenting the ASD child can take a lot of time, so it is important to find blocks of each day to focus on the non-ASD child(ren). By making sure they are given as much quality attention as possible, it will help to alleviate jealousy between kids. But it all starts with helping each child to understand why the special needs sibling needs that extra attention in the first place.
How Do I Educate My ASD Child About Their Diagnosis?
Thankfully there are books for every age that can help to explain the diagnosis to your child. From picture books for ASD toddlers to fantastic history books for older kids, these books will help your child navigate their diagnosis without feeling like an outcast. When your child understands that their brain works slightly differently to others, they can more easily accept that they are merely unique – not less than anyone else. Offering up these books early in their life can help them to understand from the beginning that they are very special.
Below, we feature a selection of books geared toward those who live with or love someone on the autism spectrum. These are the best books to help your child with autism spectrum disorder.
Books For Parents of Kids with Autism
Autism Breakthrough: The Groundbreaking Method That Has Helped Families All Over the World: The incredible story of Raun Kaufman, who claims a full “recovery” from autism with the use of The Son-Rise Program, developed by his parents. A fascinating read.
Autism Every Day: Over 150 Strategies Lived and Learned by a Professional Autism Consultant with 3 Sons on the Spectrum: This book’s author has both professional and personal experience with ASD, and she offers a great selection of techniques for the entire autism spectrum.
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition: A book which gives a humorous and compassionate look at autism, helping to give a better understanding of the condition.
Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism: The Chicago Tribune calls this “required reading” for those who want to understand autism.
A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Second Edition: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive: Learn how to work with your child’s unique struggles and harness his or her unique gifts.
Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity: A New York Times bestseller that turns on its head everything that we thought we knew about ASD. A must read.
Autism: Teach Your Autistic Children Hygiene Skills To Help Them Live A Clean, Healthy And Happy Life: Personal hygiene can be difficult to manage for ASD kids, and this book offers help in teaching your child these necessary life skills.
AUTISM – Behind The Locked Door: Understanding My Life as an Autistic: Written by a 34 year old autistic man, he shares practical solutions to dealing with the sometimes bizarre behaviors of ASD people.
Engaging Autism: Using the Floortime Approach to Help Children Relate, Communicate, and Think: New research can help young children and infants in their development from the time that ASD symptoms develop. This is groundbreaking stuff!
Autism: Everything You Need To Know About Autism – Autism Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Treatments And Therapies!: A well put together book that works as a great primer for parents who are just starting out on their ASD journey.
101 Games and Activities for Children With Autism, Asperger’s and Sensory Processing Disorders: Amazing ideas to help those with sensory processing disorders learn and grow through play.
The Autism Activities Handbook: Activities to Help Kids Communicate, Make Friends, and Learn Life Skills: More than 30 games and activities to help children on the spectrum learn different developmental skills.
The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism: Written memoir-style by a 13 year old boy, the book allows anyone who wishes to understand ASD a better opportunity to see how their minds work.
Autism: The Ultimate Parenting Handbook For Teaching An Autistic Child That Will Improve Their Life Forever: This book features solid strategies for parents dealing with ASD kids, allowing them to help keep their lives running smoothly day to day.
An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn: A fantastic guide for parents on how to turn everyday activities such as breakfast or bath time into opportunities for development in very young ASD kids.
The Green Zone Conversation Book: Finding Common Ground in Conversation for Children on the Autism Spectrum: A visual conversation model between two people (blue and yellow) to help ASD kids find the “green zone,” or common interests that can result in great conversation.
Autism Resources For Parents, Teachers And Caregivers – The Ultimate Guide: Top Autism Spectrum Resources You Need to Know: A free e-book which compiles all of the most powerful resources available to ASD parents and caregivers online.
Books For Family and Friends of Kids with Autism
A Friend Like Simon – Autism / ASD: A wonderful book that works as an introduction to ASD children. It is an especially great picture book to read to a class who may have a new ASD child being introduced.
What About Me?: A Book By and For An Autism Sibling: This book was written by a 7-year old boy who explains the struggles and joys of being an ASD sibling.
We’re Amazing 1,2,3! A Story About Friendship and Autism: Part of Sesame Street’s autism initiative, this book allows Elmo to introduce his ASD friend Julia to Abby, explaining brilliantly how Julia does things a little differently.
The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone With Autism: This is a great book to teach autism to neurotypical children. It works as a conversation starter and a reminder to be compassionate, allowing children to imagine how ASD kids might feel.
I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autism: A story book geared toward teaching kids about autism and helping them understand it better.
Books For Kids on the Autism Spectrum
Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes: Find out who else in history had to deal with ASD. This book helps your child see that some of the greatest people in history were just like them!
The Social Skills Picture Book Teaching play, emotion, and communication to children with autism: A book to teach appropriate social behaviors to ASD kids by utilizing photographs of other children in social situations.
The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens with Asperger Syndrome: Written “by an aspie for aspies” this book helps ASD kids (ages 10 – 17) to better understand the sometimes confusing social etiquette they have trouble with.
Autism Is…?: A wonderful children’s book featuring a little boy who overhears his grandmother tell a friend that he has autism. When he asks her what that is, she explains it to him beautifully.
All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism: The story of a Zebra called Zane who worries that his stripes set him apart from others. His mother helps him to understand that his stripes make him special.
Where Is It?: A language learning book for wonderful kids with autism: A picture book with repetition to help children with delayed language skills get better.
I Have a Question about Death: A Book for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Other Special Needs: A straightforward book geared toward ASD kids aged 5 – 11 to help explain the overwhelming concept of death.
Different, Not Less: A Children’s Book About Autism: A poem-format book written by the father of a child with ASD, this book helps to explain autism to your child in a loving and caring way.
The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (And Their Parents): Because every ASD kid is different, this book helps to find commonality in the disorder and help children with coping mechanisms to be able to deal with the issues they may face.
Education is imperative when dealing with a child on the spectrum. By surrounding yourself with information from experts, you can be sure that you will have the best knowledge at your fingertips.
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