Best Autism Books

Author interviews and book reviews of my top recommendations for the best books for parents of children with autism and Aspergers syndrome.

When I first started reviewing books on autism, some twenty years ago, there were not many to choose. Ten years before that and it was even more dismal, with some books still blaming mothers for the rise in autism. Now there are books for all ranges of the spectrum, especially more high functioning, and all ages. Here are some I have found useful.

Aspergers SyndromeAsperger's Syndrome : A Guide for Parents and Professionals
By Tony Attwood

"Encouraging and highly informative, Tony Attwood's Asperger's Syndrome has been the number one guide to Asperger's Syndrome available for many years. If your child has (or may have) Asperger's Syndrome or high functioning autism, this book will answer a lot of your questions.
Author Interview || View Book on Amazon

How to Set Up a Classroom for Students with Autism
By S. B. Linton

This useful 80 page book for teachers provides practical suggestions for designing and working in an autism classroom. Starting with the basics of setting up a well organized classroom for children with autism, it covers data collection, classroom set up, and scheduling. Practical advice is given on important topics for teaching children with autism, such as coping with distractibility, transitions, sensory issues, and problem behaviors. This down to earth book provides valuable advice for autism classrooms, especially for new teachers. Teachers with children who have autism in their classroom will also benefit from the recommendations in this book.
View Book at Amazon

Uniquely Human - Seeing AutismUniquely Human - A Different Way of Seeing Autism
By Barry M. Prizant, with Tom Fields-Meyer

An upbeat look at life with autism, with great suggestions on raising a child diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Laid out in a series of vignettes and personal stories, this book presents a way of helping children with autism succeed in the overwhelming world. The emphasis is working with your child from where they are, and taking clues from them, to bring them into the "normal" world. It goes a long way to destigmatize autism. I recommend it for parents of children or adults recently diagnosed as well as those already familiar with the world of autism. I think you will find many insights and encouragement in this easy to read presentation.
View Book at Amazon

1001 Great Ideas- Autism 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger's
By Veronica Zysk and Ellen Notbohm

This is an unusual find, as it is a book that is equally useful for parents and teachers of elementary school age children who are on the autism spectrum. It is crammed full of great ideas for interacting with and for teaching children in the classroom and at home. It is also very well organized so you can easily find ideas for every situation - behavioral, environmental and educational. Although information has come from many sources it is well edited, which makes it both easy to read and to use as a resource. From the title, I expected it to be a laundry list of hints, but it provides more depth and usefulness than that; in addition to being easy to read, each section is well laid out and developed. Parents and teachers are sure to find useful material here.
View Book at Amazon

AspergersFreaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence
By Luke Jackson
Author Luke Jackson share his view of life as a teen with Asperger syndrome in this this remarkable overview for families coping with high functioning autism. He provides an easy to follow introduction to Aspergers, and to teen issues. The descriptions of the different concepts are clearly presented - sensory integration, narrow food choices, coping with social situations, eye contact, etc. - but from the view point of a teen and the person has Aspergers. Of course people do vary and some parts may not apply to your child or reflect your thoughts an adult, but his sense of humor and directness is likely to appeal to many.
Order Book from Amazon

Social Skills Activities for Special Children
by Darlene Mannix

160 ready-to-use lessons and reproducible line master activity sheets to help children become aware of acceptable social behavior and develop proficiency in acquiring basic social skills. Each lesson places a specific skill within the context of real-life situations.
View Book at Amazon

Life SkillsLife Skills Activities for Secondary Students with Special Needs
by Darlene Mannix

Worksheets that help children acquire the basic skills necessary to achieve independence and success in everyday living. Each lesson places a specific skill within the context of real-life situations. It gives special children the extra focus they need to understand how to fit into the real world and how to develop the skills needed to become more independent in their homes, at schools, and in the community. Includes: Basic Survival Skills, Personal Independence, Community Independence, and Getting Along With Others.
View Book on Amazon

Siblings with autismSiblings of Children with Autism
By Sandra L. Harris and Beth A. Glasberg

This book explores the impact of raising a child with autism on the family, especially on brothers and sisters. This book describes ways to alleviate concerns of your other children, as well as ways to better integrate your child with autism into the family. It is an very relevant topic for families.
Author Interview || View Book on Amazon

Aspergers GuideThe OASIS Guide to Asperger Syndrome: Advice, Support, Insight, and Inspiration
By Patricia Romanowski Bashe and Barbara L. Kirby
Revised several times, this thick book provides a very informative, up to date overview of what it is like to parent a child with Asperger Syndrome. It is packed with advice on raising your child, from all aspects of parenting. One of the first books on the topic and still one of the most valuable, insightful parent to parent resources on autism.
View Book on Amazon

helpimg children with autism Helping Children with Autism Learn, Treatment Approaches for Parents and Professionals
by Bryna Siegel

An exceptional resource for anyone who is interested in helping children with autism. There is a wealth of information in this 498 page book - based on research and professional experience on autism and the spectrum. A well regarded resource for parents of children with autism.
View Book on Amazon

autism and special educationAutism: Asserting Your Child's Rights to a Special Education
by David A. Sherman

This comprehensive resource reviews your child's education from early intervention prior to pre-school through the transition process from high school. It covers legal aspects of special education including IEP meetings, extended school year, least restrictive environment, section 504, and obtaining outside services. It includes a lot of specialized information on the law and how to get services with due process.
View Book on Amazon

Aspergers rules Asperger's Rules!: How to Make Sense of School and Friends
By Blythe Grossberg

The book was a mixed bag for me the intent was there but the execution could have used a little more effort. For one thing, as someone with a knack for visual learning, I was distressed and bored by the lack of illustrations. For the most, the subjects were handled competently enough but there were some places that might have needed a little bit more explanation. Also, I'm somewhat surprised the concept of using a game was never brought up as it would seem like a useful tool when it comes to creating such a book. It would also help autistic children cope with the world around them. I did appreciate the fact that they included little footnotes on the sides of each page when it came to words that children might not understand.
One place I was particularly concerned with was the topic of bullying. While telling the teacher is certainly helpful, not only can there be times when the teacher might be the problem, the best way to deal with bullying is to create a program a pro-active bystander intervention. This means teaching bystanders, be they students or staff to intervene with bullying on school grounds. In any event, the book is coherently written for both parents and students but is dry and lifeless and might need a bit more of a visual edge. Some of the sections might also need expansion. (review by Alex Martin, an adult with autism)
View Book at Amazon