This ultimate list of Autism books for kids includes many great stories. After my friend, Missy Harris, guest posted about autism I was curious about what kind of books were available for kids to learn more about it. I kind of hyperfocused a bit. What started out with a simple list grew and grew.
These kids with autism experience school, family life, being a sibling, and being a friend. Yet they all overcome their hurdles and even learn that their special talents brings joy to the people who know them. I have included book just for parents and therapists, too.
Sometimes kid will get diagnosed with ADHD first and parents stop there. Did you know that kids can have ADHD and Autism or Aspergers, too?
Roughly two-thirds of kids with ADHD have at least one co-existing condition, and Autism Spectrum Disorders — ASD — are among the conditions that commonly occur with ADHD. Some studies suggest that up to half of kids with ASD also have ADHD. Marner, K. (n.d.). Is it ADHD or Autism? Or Both? Retrieved April 29, 2015, from http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10236.html
What is Aspergers? The book “All Cats Have Aspergers“, written by Kathy Hoopman, explains it well. Kathy did so well at explaining Aspergers with cats that she wrote another book called “All Dogs Have ADHD” that I reviewed. I love how this book is written to both parents and kids. I wondered if there were other books about Autism that were written for children. There are so many wonderful books it was hard to choose which ones were the best. That’s why there are 29 of them. Even then, I probably left out some really awesome ones.
Oh, many of these have a Kindle version! Be sure to leave in the comments which book, or books because who doesn’t love tons of books, are your favorite.
1. All Cats Have Aspergers, by Kathy Hoopman
2. Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew Updated and Expanded Edition, by Ellen Notbohm – This updated edition of a national best seller delves into expanded thought and deeper discussion of communication issues, social processing skills, and the critical roles adult perspectives play in guiding the child with autism to a meaningful, self-sufficient, productive life.
3. Autism Spectrum Disorder (revised): The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism [Kindle Edition] by Chantal Sicile-Kira – Comprehensive and authoritative, Autism Spectrum Disorders explains all aspects of the condition, and is written for parents, educators, caregivers, and others looking for accurate information and expert insight.
4. Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book, by Celeste Shally – Since We’re Friends is about two boys. One has autism, the other does not. The story of their relationship provides practical examples of how to make such a friendship work. It will help children see that their peers with autism can make a fun, genuine contribution to friendship.
5. My Friend Has Autism by Amanda Doering Tourville – This book tells the story of two friends who share an interest in airplanes from the point of view of a Nick, a boy with an autistic friend named “Zack”. That doesn’t matter to Nick or Zack. They talk about airplanes, build models, and enjoy hanging out at each other’s house.
6. My Brother is Autistic by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos – This book describes an autistic child from his brother’s point of view. It talks about ways autistic kids can be helped and how they can better relate to their family and surroundings.
7. Some Kids Have Autism by Martha E. H. Rustad – Colorful photos show kids with disabilities enjoying activities with their peers.
9. Keisha’s Doors by Marvie Ellis – Keisha’s Doors is told from the perspective of just such a child, a nine-year-old girl who doesn’t understand why her three-year-old sister Keisha won’t play with her or speak when spoken to. When Keisha is diagnosed with autism, we are there with her family as the doctor and therapist explain what this means and begin to teach them techniques for establishing better communication with the little girl.
10. Looking After Louis by Lesley Ely – A young girl sits next to a boy named Louis at school. Louis has autism, but through imagination, kindness, and a special game of soccer, his classmates find a way to join him in his world. Then they can include Louis in theirs.
11. Leah’s Voice by Lori Demonia – Leah’s Voice tells the story of two sisters facing these challenges. Through her kindness and devotion, one sister teaches by example the importance of including everyone and showing acceptance.
12. Tacos Anyone? An Autism Story by Marvie Ellis – Michael is a four year old boy with autism. His older brother, Thomas, doesn’t understand why Michael behaves the way he does. The therapist teaches Thomas how to play with Michael, making sibling time fun again.
13. A Friend Like Simon by Kate Gaynot – An autistic child joins a mainstream school and the other children are taught to be mindful and patient of the differences that exist and to also appreciate the positive contribution that an autistic child can make to the group.
14. Ann Drew Jackson by Joan Clark – Hillary Branson, a spunky, independent classmate of Jackson, a boy who is autistic, assigned to complete a science project with him. As the story unfolds, the reader begins to see Hillary s troubled background and delight in how she and Jackson discover they have a lot more in common than they ever realized. Appropriate for ages 10-14.
15. I Am Utterly Unique: Celebrating the Strengths of Children with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism by Elaine Marie Larson – This book, laid out in an A-to-Z format, celebrates the extraordinary gifts and unique perspectives that children with ASD possess. Each page of this playful alphabet book presents one of the children s many talents and abilities.
16. All About My Brother by Sarah Peralta – Through her simple depictions of her brother Evan s everyday behavior, Sarah encourages others to approach autism without fear or pity. Sarah invites her young readers to share ideas for how to live with siblings or classmates who have autism spectrum disorders.
17. Ian’s Walk: A Story about Autism by Laurie Lears – Julie can’t wait to go to the park and feed the ducks with her big sister. Her little brother, Ian, who has autism, wants to go, too. Ian doesn’t have the same reactions to all the sights and sounds that his sisters have, and Julie thinks he looks silly.
18. We’re Going To Do It by Christopher A. Chaplin – Christopher begins to exhibit many unusual behaviors at an early age and is diagnosed with autism. All hope seems lost for Christopher, but Dad decides to not give up and vows to help Christopher manage his challenges.
19. My Friend with Autism: A Coloring Book for Peers and Siblings by Beverly Bishop – Beverly Bishop was determined to help her special needs son fit in with his peers, and to foster tolerance and understanding among her son’s friends and schoolmates. She wrote My Friend With Autism for the teachers and students in her son’s elementary school class. By helping others understand autism, she is able to encourage tolerance and a positive approach to Classroom integration for special needs children.
20. Waiting For Benjamin: A Story about Autism by Alexandra Altman – Alexander’s little brother, Benjamin, doesn’t do things the way Alexander thinks he should. When Benjamin’s family learns that he has autism, they hire special teachers to teach him how to listen and talk and play.
21. Playing by the Rules: A Story about Autism by Dena Luchsinger – When a long-distance relative comes for a visit, Jody and her brother Josh, who has autism, find themselves teaching Great Aunt Tilda the rules of the games they like to play. The author keeps the tone lighthearted while revealing the realities of autism and the difficulties for both the child affected and the family living with him.
22. Little Rainman: Autism–Through the Eyes of a Child by Karen Simmons – Recommended by world-renowned author and speaker Dr. Temple Grandin, this children’s book paints a picture of what life is like for children with autism. Unique illustrations accompany a child’s voice as he explains the different ways he thinks, sees, hears, and feels.
23. Sundays with Matthew: A Young Boy with Autism and an Artist Share Their Sketchbooks by Matthew Lancelle – Sundays with Matthew demonstrates that using a special interest and talent is a proven way to help a child reach his full potential. This is a positive and encouraging example of a special relationship between two artists sharing a passion for art and life.
24. Me, My Brother and Autism by A. C. Phalon – The story of a young child’s discovery of her brother’s autism. She learns what having autism means and how to develop a relationship with her brother and his condition.
25. Autism Through a Sister’s Eyes: A Book for Children about High-Functioning Autism and Related Disorders by Eve B Band and Emily Hecht – This book gives voice to ten-year-old Emily’s story: her questions about her brother, her search for answers about autism, and her exploration of her feelings as a sibling of a young man with autism.
26. Connor’s Gift: Embracing Autism In This New Age by Tracie Carlos – Connor’s Gift introduces the world to a very special boy, and the family who love him. Author Tracie Carlos describes the highs and lows of life with her autistic son in honest and unabashed detail.
27. The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone With Autism by Ellen Sabin – This book offers educational information, conversation-starters, and engaging exercises that invite children to “walk in someone else’s shoes” as they learn to treat others the same ways they would like to be treated themselves.
28. The Girl Who Spoke with Pictures: Autism Through Art by Eileen Miller – Kim, was unable to verbalize her experiences and emotions, but she was able to communicate using a less conventional language: her art.
29. A Is for Autism F Is for Friend: A Kid’s Book for Making Friends with a Child Who Has Autism by Joanna L. Keating-Velasco – Get an inside look at the life of Chelsea, a young girl who has severe autism. In sharing some of her other behaviors and challenges, Chelsea compares them with issues that all kids face such as playing at recess.
Ooops, I have to add this one! I was just made aware of it after I had made the pictures. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is so sweet I couldn’t leave it out. My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete – From bestselling author and actress Holly Robinson Peete–a heartwarming story about a boy who happens to be autistic, based on Holly’s son, who has autism.
This list of Autism books does not include the many wonderful books that are out there. It’s meant to get you thinking and talking about how other kids have hurdles, too. With the love of their parents and families they do overcome them!
What book, or books, have you found helpful in talking about Autism? Share your story either on our Facebook page or by entering your essay as a guest post. We would love to hear all about your hurdles and your triumphs!