Whether you are a parent of a newly diagnosed child on the spectrum or just a person looking to learn more about autism, here are some places to start your journey.
Read These Blogs First:
"What is Autism?"
"Welcome to the Club" by: Jess of “Diary of a Mom”
"Welcome to Holland"
"Don’t Mourn for Us" by: Jim Sinclair
"A Behavior Plan for Parents of a Newly Diagnosed Child"
My Top 10 Autism Books to Read:
1) Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew by: Ellen Notbohm
If you are new to the autism world, this is a great book to read first. It describes characteristics from autism from the child’s perspective. While each person on the spectrum experiences the world differently, this is a great overview and frames the information in a positive but realistic perspective.
2) Ten Things Every Student With Autism Wishes You Knew by: Ellen Notbohm
Written in the same format as the one above, but with a slant towards the impact in the classroom. A great gift for your child’s teacher!
3) Neurotribes by: Steve Silberman
This book provides a sweeping and informative look at autism across history and explores the reasons why we’ve seen a sharp increase in diagnosis in recent years. An excellent read and an important book for the autism community.
4) Look me in the Eye by: John Robison
This memoir describes the life of John Robison, from dismantling car radios to building guitars for the rock band KISS. It wasn’t until his adult years when he received a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, which transformed the way he saw himself-and the world.
5) The Out-of-Sync Child by: Carol Kranowitz
This book is a must-read to help understanding sensory processing disorder, which can occur by itself or in conjunction with autism. Not all children diagnosed with sensory processing disorder have autism, but most autistic children also have sensory issues.
6) The Way I See It by: Temple Grandin
Any book by Temple Grandin is excellent, but this book provides practical tips and strategies based on Temple’s life experiences an autistic person. Dr. Grandin was one of the first autistic adults to publicly speak and write about her experiences.
7) The Reason I Jump by: Naoki Higashida
This book is written in a question and answer format by a thirteen-year old nonverbal autistic boy. It is a fascinating look at autism from this boy’s perspective.
8) The Spark by: Kristine Barnett
An inspiring story of a mom who didn’t buy into the what the experts said about her son (who was nonverbal and who the experts said would never learn the alphabet, let alone learn to read), and her son went on to defy all expectations and may someday earn a Nobel Prize. This is not to say that all of our kids will turn out to be mathematical geniuses like this boy, but this mom’s courage and commitment to trusting and knowing her child (and building on her child’s strengths) are lessons we all can take from this book.
9) Rules by: Cynthia Lord
This is a chapter book for young adult readers and describes the main character’s experiences with her brother on the spectrum. This would be a good book for a sibling to read or to help a student to gain greater acceptance and understanding for a fellow classmate.
10) Mindset by: Carol Dweck
In this book, the author Carol Dweck explains that it is not our abilities and talent that bring us success, but whether we approach a situation with a fixed or a growth mindset. This is not a book written about autism, but since many on the spectrum tend to have a fixed mindset, this is a great read in how to foster the growth mindset in ourselves and to encourage it in others.