15 Great Children's Books About Autism
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Help your child learn more about autism by reading these children's books about autism spectrum disorders for kids of all ages, from preschoolers to teens. Read the books during Autism Awareness Month (April) or anytime!
About 1 in 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to the CDC, so your family probably knows someone who is autistic. Help your child learn more about ASDs by reading these children's books about autism and asperger's syndrome for kids of all ages, from preschoolers to teens. Read the books during Autism Awareness Month (April) or anytime you think your child could gain a better understanding of a classmate, neighbor, friend, or sibling who is "on the spectrum."
Our Top Picks
- All My Stripes: A Story for Children With Autism at Amazon
- The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone With Autism at Amazon
- Ethan's Story; My Life With Autism at Amazon
- My Friend with Autism: Enhanced Edition with FREE CD of Coloring Pages! at Amazon
- My Brother Charlie at Amazon
- Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes at Amazon
- Mockingbird at Amazon
- Rules (Scholastic Gold) at Amazon
- The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders at Amazon
- Uniquely Wired: A Story About Autism and Its Gifts at Amazon
- Dragon and His Friend: A Dragon Book About Autism. A Cute Children Story to Explain the Basics of Autism at a Child's Level at Amazon
- Since We're Friends: An Autism Picture Book at Amazon
- I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autism (A First Look At...Series) at Amazon
- Nathan's Autism Spectrum Superpowers (One Three Nine Inspired Book 1) at Amazon
- The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin (Amazing Scientists) at Amazon
What to Look for in Books About Autism
- Is it authentic? To teach real compassion we have to talk candidly about what it really means to have Autism--the good parts and the challenges.
- Does it build understanding and compassion? Kids learn acceptance of others by meeting and interacting with a diverse variety of people in their lives. Books are a good supplement to help them learn to love others, neurotypical or not.
How We Chose Our Favorites
We talked with autistic children and adults as well as those with with Autistic loved ones to find out which books are best to help children understand those with Autism.
Zane is a zebra with autism who wishes his differences from other kids wouldn't make him stand out. His mother gently reminds him that autism is just one of his "stripes," and it makes him amazing and unique. This picture book is written for children with autism, as well as their siblings and peers.
This is an activity book about "being a friend to someone who has autism." Parents and teachers can use it as a conversation starter to help kids learn about autism and how to be empathetic toward people with all kinds of differences.
The young author of this book is a young boy named Ethan Rice. He was diagnosed with autism at age 4. He wrote this book at age 7 to help his first-grade classmates understand what it feels like to have an ASD. He lays out his challenges and strengths in his own words and in a way that young children can understand.
The author — the mother of a boy with an ASD — wrote this book to help inform her son's classmates about autism in a straightforward, positive, kid-friendly tone. The story addresses the challenges of ASDs, such as sensory sensitivity, communication differences, unique ways of playing, and insistence on routine. The book comes with a CD of free coloring pages!
Actress and autism spokesperson Holly Robinson Peete collaborated with her daughter on this story, based on Holly's son, Charlie, who has autism. Told from the perspective of a caring big sister, we learn about 10-year-old Charlie's struggles (with expressing his feelings and making friends), and his special talents (playing the piano and knowing the names of all the presidents).
This book introduces children to inspiring historical figures, such as Albert Einstein, Andy Warhol, and Sir Isaac Newton, who were "on the spectrum" and achieved greatness in the worlds of art, science, philosophy, and comedy. The story is told from the perspective of Quinn, an 8-year-old child with Asperger's Syndrome, but is relevant for all young readers learning about ASDs.
Caitlin has Asperger's. The world according to her is black and white; anything in between is confusing. When her older brother, Devon, is killed in a school shooting, she is reeling but wants immediate closure. In her search for it, she discovers the world may not be so black and white after all. This critically acclaimed story won the National Book Award.
In this Newberry Honor Book, 12-year-old Catherine wishes for a normal life — which seems impossible when you have a brother with autism. She has spent years trying to teach David the rules: "a peach is not a funny looking apple" and "keep your pants on in public." One summer, Catherine makes some new friends — and new realizations — that make her question the meaning and importance of "normal."
This book is written for autistic kids to use as a resource. It intended to help autistic children learn about themselves and their condition and help them navigate the world. This book promotes acceptance by helping autistic children gain the tools they need for things like social skills necessary for making friends and navigating sensory issues, neither of which comes as easily to them as to others.
This story tells of a young boy who named Zak, who is autistic. As Zak describes his point of view, young readers develop a better understanding of his behaviors and learn how to be a friend to kids will autism by using patience, curiosity, tolerance and understanding.
This is a very cute story that explains autism and asperger's syndrome in kid-friendly language. It is all about how to explain autism to a dragon, when the dragon makes a new friend who is autistic. It is a great way to help young children learn about and those around them with special needs.
This book builds compassion and promotes acceptance by highlighting the relationship between two young boys, one of whom is autistic. By creating a relatable story about two best friends, the author helps young people, both autistic and neurotypical, see themselves in the text.
This book helps children understand what autism is and why autistic children may act differently than they expect. The very honest text is presented in such away that it really helps young children develop compassionate and grow their tolerance of others who may stand out.
We love this book because it turns the concept of autism as a "disorder" on its head and makes it into a set of superpowers. What a great way to help challenge assumptions about kids with special needs and offer encouragement in place of exclusion.
We love this story because it is all about Dr. Temple Grandin, a female scientist with autism. Not only did Temple Grandin achieve great things (she created a more humane way to work with animals in the meat industry) but being autistic was part of what led her to her success.