An autism diagnosis is only one small step in this journey. Being a parent of two children with autism, I have had to learn quickly to adapt. The more rigid a routine they need, the more its changes mine. As a parent to an autistic child, you become their advocate. Children aren’t born with a manual, but thankfully we have some books dedicated to helping us parents out!
There is a lot to take in and try to figure out after a diagnosis. Searching for extra resources shouldn’t have to be! So for all my book loving parents like myself, I’ve created a list just for you! After going through many books, these are my top picks! Check them out and I hope they work as great for you as they have for us!
Top Reads for Parents of Autistic Children
This is such an amazing book for any parent. It is one of those books that is perfect to read and pass along. This was first recommended to me by one of my child’s psychiatrist several years ago. He has been working with children for over thirty years, so for him to recommended this means a lot. This was the first book in my life that I had to save up for (all the girls were little and diapers are expensive!), and it was well worth every penny!
“This parenting book shows you how to raise self-confident, motivated children who are ready for the real world. Learn how to parent effectively while teaching your children responsibility and growing their character. Establish healthy control through easy-to-implement steps without anger, threats, nagging, or power struggles. Indexed for easy reference.”
This is such an amazing resource! Even a small glimpse inside the mind of any child is helpful. Seeing the world from the eyes of a child with autism is life changing! This book won’t do that for you, but it will help lead you to be able to see the word through your child’s eyes.
“A bestseller gets even better! Every parent, teacher, social worker, therapist, and physician should have this succinct and informative book in their back pocket. Framed with both humor and compassion, the book describes ten characteristics that help illuminate—not define—children with autism.”
This book quickly resonated with myself as our son jumps, all the time. Our son is only two, so he can’t explain anything to me just yet, but we know it makes him happy. Seeing the perspective from a 13-year-old boy with autism was eye-opening! The honest answers he provides truly lets you take a small step in the mind of an autistic child.
“You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.”
4. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum: 101 Inspirational Stories for Parents of Children with Autism and Asperger’s
It is very easy to get tied up in what to expect, how to cope, and all the technicalities of raising a child on the autism spectrum. Some times, we just need a some inspiration and a little humor. I have always had a soft spot for the Chicken Soup for Soul series, and this one fit right in!
“If you are the parent of a child – from newborn to college age – with autism or Asperger’s, you will find support, advice, and insight in these 101 stories from other parents and experts. Stories cover everything from the serious side and the challenges, to the lighter side and the positives, of having a special child on the autism spectrum.”
5.The Autism Mom’s Survival Guide (for Dads, too!): Creating a Balanced and Happy Life While Raising a Child with Autism
Day to-day life is where the rubber meets the road in raising a child on the spectrum. This book is an awesome guide to help balance it all! Any parents truly wants their kids to be happy more than anything else. This book is a great resource to help focus you in on making every day happy for all!
“Given the daily challenges of raising a child with autism, it’s easy for parents to lose themselves and for their overall quality of life to plummet. Susan Senator interweaves the voices of autism parents, researchers, and professionals to offer guidance and encouragement on how to find happiness and fulfillment in the midst of the struggles of raising an autistic child. Topics include: how to handle feelings of despair and hopelessness; finding fun, even during turbulent times; caring for your marriage; and finding a balance between accepting your child as he or she is and seeking new treatments.”
Dr. Barry M. Prizant is one of the leading experts in the world of autism. This book is absolutely a must read. It is very refreshing to see a professional not wanting to “fix” autism. I have learned very clearly, that seeing the world through the eyes of those with autism is such a better place. I have been very blessed to work with several young people on the spectrum. One of which is an amazing young man I worked with several years ago in the restaurant industry. He is the most positive, hard-working, sweet, and genuine people I have ever met. I know for a fact that he has impacted so many lives he has touched. If we could all learn to look at the autism differently, and even start looking at the world through their eyes, it would be a much better world!
“Autism therapy typically focuses on ridding individuals of “autistic” symptoms such as difficulties interacting socially, problems in communicating, sensory challenges, and repetitive behavior patterns. Now Dr. Barry M. Prizant offers a new and compelling paradigm: the most successful approaches to autism don’t aim at fixing a person by eliminating symptoms, but rather seeking to understand the individual’s experience and what underlies the behavior.”
Oh, the questions like that my daughter has asked! This incredible book inspires parents in knowing that autism doesn’t limit our children. David J Burns uses his own life story of autism to give such a refreshing out look on how not only to see autism, but coping skills that have worked for him. All while keeping a light-hearted look on it. If you only choose one from this list to read, this is the one!
“In this unashamedly honest book, David J. Burns draws on his own lived experience of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to provide guidance on how to take advantage of the supposed disadvantage. The book is filled with often hilarious anecdotes, spanning the confusion of his early diagnosis, to his marriage and life with his four children, as David proffers his advice on how to cope with everything from school work to flirting. Part memoir, part guide, and written with a refreshingly funny outlook, this book can be picked up and dipped into whether you’re looking for encouragement, practical coping strategies, or a perspective of life as seen through the lens of ASD.”
*Disclaimer: Descriptions in parenthesis are provided from the author’s description of the books. All views are my own.
These were my top 7 autism books. What are your favorite autism books you have read? Share them in the comments below!