17 Books That Promote Understanding of Autism

Early diagnosis and treatment are very important in terms of improving the life quality of the child with autism and continuing his / her life without being dependent on others. That’s why they should take the same education with their normally developed peers.

Books are very important in education. Considering this as the education of a child with autism, books for children with autism who need special attention and education are of particular importance. There are many books published today to contribute to the education of children with autism for them, for their parents and for teachers.

In other respect, there are some books which are written by children with autism, adults with autism and normally developed individuals. There are some books like kind of biographies or autobiographies. Also, there are some informative books which mostly give information about autism to parents.

In addition to informative books, in today’s world even though people are more aware of autism and more informative about awareness, people with autism are still relatively underrepresented in the realm of film, TV, and literature.



On the other hand, there are some books that foster awareness and empathy for children and individuals on the spectrum. In this article, I will list some of them. I will briefly talk about what they are talking about and what kind of improvements they lead to society’s awareness.

Lorna Wing – The Autistic Spectrum: A Guide for Parents and Professionals


Lorna Wing, the mother of a child with autism, says in her book individuals with autism can learn how to deal with life. Wing provides the most up-to-date information while providing simple explanations to help children with autism to better understand how they perceive the world, the causes of behavioral disorders, why they don’t like routine change and many other problems.

As a psychiatrist, Lorna Wing is considered one of the most important researchers in the world on the autism spectrum. Wing has many studies on the causes of autism, the structure of the brain and the functioning of genes. In this book, Wing offers real-life advice for parents who want to learn about autism, learn the symptoms of it and treatment methods of autism.

This book is considered a classic in autism and is a reference book for parents.



Barb Cook – Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism


While most researches based on men, emerging research is now taking women into account. In order to try to raise awareness about women with an autism spectrum disorder, this book was written by women with an autism spectrum disorder.

All of them put their own viewpoints across independently. They describe the life of a woman with autism’s perspective. They talked about all the challenges they met such as jobs, money, personal hygiene and mostly staying safe. In short, they talked about their personal experiences.

There are amazing contributions from women in this book. It is a perfectly all-inclusive collection of knowledge and advice for any woman on the autism spectrum.

Temple Grandin – Thinking in Pictures with Autism in My Life


The hero of the book Temple Grandin who is an American animal science specialist and professor, at Colorado State University, author, autism activist, consulted on animal behavior in animal husbandry sector and made a device which is called hug box used to calm and soothe children with autism. She is also the author of the book.



This book is inspired by a real personality. It tells the success of Grandin who is a woman with autism, who has difficulty in communicating with her surroundings, who lives in a different way, who communicates not with words but with images. With the foreground of the book, she is already able to influence the reader.

She makes striking remarks about the ways in which individuals with autism, normally developed people and animals think and hear. As a person with autism, she reveals the difference between her own life and normally developed people’s lives.

Temple Grandin has great visual intelligence, which translates spoken and written words into a brain like a videocassette. Grandin, who talked about the difficulties she had had since her childhood until her adulthood, and the people who supported her through these difficulties, actually made her greatest favor by accepting her disorder which autism spectrum disorder.



Grandin’s achievements have been a hope and inspiration for families with autism and people with disabilities. The book in the style of an article should read by every family and every teacher living with individuals with autism.

The book provides information that is very important and useful about autism by embodying it through the life of Grandin. There are important notes on each page. Although the book is based on autism, it is also beneficial for individuals who need other special needs. It will surely change others’ perspectives on children with special needs.

We can make some implications from this book. Both educational and medical diagnoses placed on children who need special education cannot go beyond labeling for us. We are labeling children. This situation causes to emphasize the inadequacy, disability, and limitations of the individual with autism; focus on what the individual cannot; developing prejudices and low expectations about children; be rejected and mocked by friends and peers.

So in short, this labeling makes to focus on the child’s inadequacies and we do not take into account the situations that the child has enough capability to do. Instead of focusing on their incompetence, we need to focus their competencies and skills that they have and develop programs in this direction.



Alis Rowe – Asperger’s Syndrome and Communication: By the Girl with the Curly Hair


The typical feature of autism spectrum disorder is the lack of language and speech skills. Many children and adults with autism have difficulties in initiating and maintaining speech while communicating.

This book is the first book to describe the replicating slicing method for children and adults to communicate in a predictable and meaningful way by replicating flickering to enable children and adults to talk. In this book, there are some suggestions in order to establish communication between a child with autism and adults.

The use of this strategy starts with the children repeating voice-recorded words and phrases or voice-reading in order for children to attempt to speak. Most of the time, it continues until they can talk like normally developed children and adults.



In the book, you can find information for those who have read and cannot read, cues, speech events, activity charts, speech books, card readers and bass talks, tips, and rewards, observations, evaluations, and measurement of results. The writers told how to acquire speaking skills at home, at school, and in all social life.

The book guides parents, teachers, and therapists from beginning to the end of their journey. It constitutes case examples, charts, and photos. It provides step-by-step instruction for teaching speech skills.

Jerry Newport, Mary Newport & Johnny Dodd – Mozart and the Whale: An Asperger’s Love Story


In this book, writers tell the surprising and inspiring memories of a couple who fell in love, who left, and finally succeeded in building a common life by overcoming the pressures of fame, family, and autism.

When Jerry and Mary met at Newport, a strong bond had been established at first sight. They have never felt so comfortable with anyone before. One of them was a great artist and the other was a wonder of mathematics. Other than these, they have a common characteristic which is they have an autism spectrum disorder.



The story of Jerry and Marry Newport is not limited to a love story. This book offers a lot of information to people, educators, and families interested in autism spectrum disorder and Asperger’s syndrome. It is a book about the common characteristics of individuals with Asperger syndrome and how we should approach them.

Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time


In his book, Mark Haddon, who works on mentally and physically disabled people, mixes his imagination with his knowledge and appeals to the reader with a very compelling and successful story.

It is difficult to write stories as a child tells, but it is even more difficult to write like a child with autism tells. The book is about a child with autism named Christopher. He is educated at a private school with children with special needs like him. His story, which started with using his talents to solve a murder, soon becomes a gripping adventure.

It is a tremendous book for those who want to understand how these children feel, how they perceive and how they are affected by the events happening around them, and of course, how their families feel.



The book is a perfect wording about individuals with autism who cannot tolerate changing even the tables and chairs in the kitchen; refuse to eat when different dishes mix with each other; feel incredibly uncomfortable about being touched and touched; have a tremendous memory; cannot make emotional inferences like normally developed people; cannot give emotional reactions and communicate with people outside of the usual ways. These individuals are also afraid of crowded environments and incredibly talented in mathematics and physics.

The book opens a door for the parents of children with autism who cannot explain themselves so that they can look at the world through their children’s window. At the same time, it gives a deep message to the parents: Don’t make a choice for your children because of your own selfishness in divorce!

Stanley I. Greenspan, Serena Wieder & Robin Simons – The Child with Special Needs: Encouraging Intellectual and Emotional Growth


Professor Dr. Stanley I. Greespan is one of the leading names in child development, education and treatment of the last twenty years as a physician, writer, teacher, and analyst. This book is written for parents of children with developmental disorders. Naturally, it is not limited to them. Every professional who has concerns can benefit from the book.



While this book does not discuss the specific needs of children with hearing or visually impaired, these therapeutic approaches which are told in the book can be applied to them.

Oliver Sacks – The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat


In this book, the author, who is a neurologist at the same time, shared many interesting patients in his professional life. It is not a book that everyone can read with the same comfort, because there are medical terms. People should need a little bit of health information. This is a good book that should be read by all related professionals or anyone interested.

There is information about agnosia, apraxia, autism and experienced seizures due to the frontal lobe area. The damage caused by the use of drugs is described. Deafness with no reason; although twins’ intelligence level below 60, they are very good with numbers and at math; when you tell a date to that twins, they can tell which day it was and more of them are told in that book.

Movies, books, music, and pictures related to the cases were also shown. In addition to those, Tourette Syndrome also was processed and researches about it were shared.



Sarah Bargiela – Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women


Because of the biased diagnostic criteria, women with autism could be missed out of diagnosis in early life. Women with autism camouflage better. Because of this reason, this book is about them, women with an autism spectrum disorder.

This is a graphic novel. It analyzes differences between men with autism and women with autism. There are 4 autobiographies in it. Those 4 people on the autism spectrum talked about their experiences, their lives, and their diagnosis. And also, the book consisted of illustrations about the experiences of women diagnosed late in life.

Pat Thomas – I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autism


It is an informational book about autism spectrum disorder and the challenges facing an individual with autism. It explains lots of situations that cause children to get frustrated, get surprised and act differently than their peers. Basically, it explains what people on the spectrum live throught their lives.



There are practical explanations about autism in that book and most comparisons between normally developed children and children with an autism spectrum disorder. It is a very useful book.

This book is interesting to students, because of the illustrations. The illustrations portray the various activities in the book that the characters do really well. They are colorful, and students can relate to playing in the park, swimming, and so on. Therefore, it is not a book that would be difficult to engage students.

Eileen Riley – Parenting Girls on the Autism Spectrum: Overcoming the Challenges and Celebrating the Gifts


This book is useful for parents of children newly diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. However, even the title says “parenting girls”, still there is more information about boys with autism.

This book clearly explains that raising children with autism is difficult but as they grow older, it is important that embracing acceptance. Not saying it always comes easy, but children with autism grow into adults with autism, and they often take offense to the constant barrage of negative comments regarding autism, rightly so.

There is information for parents of newly diagnosed children and they can find hope within the pages. This book provides helpful resources for parents and their daughters with an autism spectrum disorder.



Leeann Whiffen – a Child’s Journey out of Autism: One Family’s Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure


The disorder is an event which is understood only when it happened to us or our loved ones. At first, the disagreement comes, then coping with the disease and self-comparison with many people comes, and finally, acceptance comes.

This book is written by a mother who finds the reality of autism in their lives some time after the birth of her second son. Leeann’s acceptance of this situation is evident by her commitment to her child and doing everything in her power to cure him.

The journey of Leeann and his family to autism begins with the birth of Clay, his second son. However, this journey is a rugged road. It is a way to convict children with autism that nobody knows. But Leeann would not leave his son Clay on his own in this journey. She gives everything world for him and she treats her son no matter how high treatment’s costs are.

The first reason why this book is impressive is that what happened is real.



Barry M. Prizant – Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism Paperback


Many therapists focus on behavior rather than focusing on the underlying causes of behavior. On the other hand, we can say that this book is necessary for all those who have someone with autism around them, including professionals. The world is a chaotic and overwhelming place for individuals with autism. Doctor Prizant gives a detailed insight and suggestion to this situation.

Gunilla Gerland – A Real Person: Life on the Outside


Did you ever feel like you came from another planet? Have you worked with your whole self to become like other people who live in the same house, who live in the same world and who see the world as three-dimensional while you see in two dimensions, and they speak a different language than yours?

Have you ever thought about what kind of loneliness would be? A Real Person is the story of this loneliness. With this story, which is told by a person with an autism spectrum disorder, it leads us to become aware of the fine line between what is typical and what is atypical.

With this book, Gunilla Gerland opens the doors to the mysterious and foreign world of autism.



Ellen Notbohm – Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew


It is an award-winning book. It offers excellent and practical information to understand children with autism. Parents play a critical role in driving their children with autism to have a life that can be productive, sufficient for themselves and enough for themselves. Therefore, this book can be considered as a good resource and can be read for this purpose.

Jennifer Elder – Different like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes


This book introduces famous and inspirational figures from different topics. It was written by a boy who is 8 years old and has Asperger’s syndrome.

There are biographies about worldwide famous people who are thought as with autism and also who affect the community in a way. For example, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Dian Fossey, and Wassily Kandinsky. Their life stories and characteristics were told as well as their achievements.

“Different Like Me” has an importance in terms of showing that just because you have an autism spectrum disorder does not mean that you cannot be successful and you cannot do what you want in your life as well as normally developed individuals do. In addition to those, it is important for children with autism and with need other special needs to know and understand there is nothing impossible.



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


As the title implied, the book was written by a 13-year-old boy with autism spectrum disorder. This book is like an answer to all frequently asked questions about autism. Especially for the parents, it kinda answers why their children keep doing some certain things.

There are 2 things to remember while reading this book. The first one keeps in mind that every individual on spectrum different from each other, even they share many traits. The second one keeps in mind that we should not give up on them. It looks like they do not understand us but at some point, they do and maybe that point changes their lives.

This book is a great insight into a creative mind that has been trapped inside a body which is also available to the rest of us, however with patience and understand many other children could be allowed to find their own self and unleash their ideas on the world.

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