Sometimes, families who have kids with an autism spectrum disorder just need a little extra help. That’s where books about autism and autism spectrum disorders come into play. The best books describe real-world, practical things families can do to help a loved one who just happens to learn things a little differently from everyone else.
1. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum by Dr. Rebecca Landa
As with most “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, this tome shares 101 stories. Written by parents and autism experts, this book lets parents of kids with autism realize they are not alone in their struggles and joys.
2. Population One: Autism, Adversity, and the Will to Succeed by Tyler McNamer
Teenager Tyler McNamer gives readers several snippets that try to relate how he thinks. This teenager with mild autism wrote his book as a guide for others to promote acceptance of people with autism.
3. Autism: Understanding the Puzzle by Sharla R. Jordan
Jordan attempts to clarify several aspects of autism and autism spectrum disorders in this easy-to-read guide. This book is perfect for parents and families when they first receive the diagnosis of a child who has autism.
4. The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius by Kristine Barnett
Barnett chronicles how she, as a mom, didn’t feel as if she should restrict her son’s activities based on a diagnosis of autism. Instead, Barnett nurtured her son’s genius to the point that he studied quantum physics at Indiana University as a future vocation.
5. Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism Edited by Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Jennifer Byde Myers, Liz Ditz, Emily Willingham, and Carol Greenburg
This compilation of 55 essays from autism experts and parents of children on the spectrum gives parents critical insights into the daily care of kids with autism.
6. NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman
Silberman details some amazing lives of people with autism and how they changed the world. Silberman shows how Henry Cavendish and Nikola Tesla became foremost experts in their fields thanks to, rather than in spite of, autism. The beauty of Silberman’s work is that he works on anecdotes to tell stories instead of hard facts.