Reading is one of the best ways to learn and there are some brilliant books out there about autism. Here are books I have read and would recommend you try. My most recent favourite is fiction:
Underdogs by Chris Bonnello
You may know Chris Bonnello from his website and online community Autistic Not Weird. Chris who has Asperger’s is the author of a brilliant page turner with Underdogs. If you want to learn about neurodiversity and have some fun while you do it this is the book for you.
Underdogs is a near future dystopian war novel with a band of neurodiverse students from a specialist school as its heroes. An easy to read thriller with real depth to the characters. I really enjoyed getting inside the head of young people with autism, ADHD and anxiety and getting a glimpse of how they view the world.
The second book in the series Underdogs Tooth and Nail is now available and it is as brilliant as the first book. Some fantastic characters providing insights into neurodiversity who I am now fully invested in so looking forward to book 3.‘
Neurotribes by Steve Silberman
My non fiction favourite has to be Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, a fascinating book full of the history of autism and the neurodiversity movement. It did take me a while to read but it was really worthwhile. This book genuinely helped me to understand autism and see the real value and positives of neurodiversity. I really would urge everyone to take the time to read this book.
If you want a shorter read both books below by Naoki Higashida are really great. The Japanese author is autistic and non verbal. The first book The Reason I Jump was written when Naoki Higashida was 13 and in it he provides an insight into his world. The second book Fall Down 7 Times and Get Up 8 is even better, I found it to be a very moving book particularly as he shows a real depth of understanding towards his readers. My own son is non verbal and reading these books really hit home (I did shed a few tears reading these).
How to be Autistic by Charlotte Amelia Poe
This is a wonderfully honest account of life growing up on the spectrum. Undiagnosed until she was an adult Charlotte provides great insights into being autistic. It is written for everyone and will be enjoyed by autistic and neurotypicals alike. This is an easy read and one I really enjoyed reading and learnt a lot from.
A Different Kettle of Fish by Michael Barton
A Different Kettle of Fish by Michael Barton is a quick but fun read. The book takes you through a day in Michael’s life when he was a physics student with a focus on bizarre idioms of the English language. Very funny and makes some great points about our use of everyday language.
Temple Grandin is probably one of the most famous autistic authors and her most famous books are Thinking in Pictures and The Autistic Brain both I would recommend as she provides a wonderful insight to autism. Some of the comments in the books are probably a little dated now but still worth a read.
Building Language using Lego Bricks by Dawn Ralph and Jacqui Rochester
If you want something more practical I would recommend Building Language using Lego Bricks by Dawn Ralph and Jacqui Rochester. I had the privilege of attending a short workshop by the authors at the Autism Show last year and their helpful advice on using Lego to support language development as well as social is very useful.
Check out my review of ‘Why is He Still Here?’ by Max Toper.
I hope you get as much out of these books as I did. If you have suggestions for me to read next let me know in the comments.
My Building Attention eBook might be of interest. It contains tips on getting attention and 23 fun activities.
It is designed to support young children that struggle with attention and communication. Each activity can be completed quickly using household items.