5. Look Me in The Eye: My Life With Asperger’s
by John Elder Robison
This New York Times bestseller is the memoir of John Elder Robison, who struggled with the “social deviant” label as a child because of awkward social behavior, a tendency to blurt, and an obsession with radios. He wasn’t diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome until he was 40. His book describes how he struggled as a teen but went on to have a successful career and a family of his own.
Some critics of the book felt that John’s experience was not a true representation of Asperger’s or autism. Others felt the book incorrectly associated mean, hurtful behaviors with being on the spectrum. One reviewer said, “…the author seems very proud to be vulgar and the book is laced with the f-bomb over and over… I have a son with ASD and he does not naturally possess this level of cruelty, vulgarity, and lack of regard for other people.”
Overall, the more than 1,200 reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive, and people felt John’s book offered a valuable perspective.
6. Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism
by Barry M. Prizant
Rather than focusing on dealing with the “symptoms” of autism, this book aims to understand why a person with autism behaves a certain way. By understanding the thinking behind the behavior, parents and caregivers can respond more effectively and with more empathy. One Amazon reviewer, millerr22, said, “I was so lost before I found this book but it’s changed my perspective and I’m so thankful. I’m appreciating my son now for who he is and not worried about ‘fixing’ or ‘saving’ him from autism. I love his enthusiasms!”
The negative feedback about the book was that it was written in first-person, so it may not be appreciated by people on the spectrum.
7. All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome
by Kathy Hoopmann
This one’s for the kids! This book has a playful-but-insightful perspective, and talks about the parallels between those with Asperger’s and cats. It seems strange, but the similarities can help kids and parents understand Asperger’s and the trouble they might have learning to interact with others and their environment. the book is funny but insightful, and likely a great introduction for both children with Asperger’s and people who have very limited knowledge of the condition.
Bonus if the child likes cats, because there are lots of cute pictures!
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, and we’d love to hear other suggestions for future lists. We hope you found one or two books that you’ll enjoy!