I am asked almost every week through my social media to recommend the best autism books for parents, so I have decided to write this post.
I remember over a decade ago when my gorgeous Conor was identified as autistic, book recommendations for parents of autistic children were few and far between. The books that were available to me, depicted autism negatively, as a disordered way of being human,
I distinctly remember reading the title of one book called “When Your Child Has The Autism”. It was terrifying at the start with so much negativity in what was available for parents to read and learn from in order to support their children.
The approaches often recommended in those days were not neuroaffirmative either.
Best Autism Books For Parents
Here are the best autism books for parents that I recommend all the time to parents. What I can say is that you will learn best about autism and autistic experience by listening to autistic writers, speakers, professionals and advocates.
My best autism books for parents will contain books that are and are not written by autistic individuals. The books recommended that are not written by autistic individuals are approved by the autistic community.
In no particular order:
Uniquely Human – Dr Barry Prizant
The first book on autism that made me realise other individuals saw autism the way I did. That my autistic children, were as I saw them, incredible, authentic, unique individuals.
Sincerely Your Autistic Child – Edited by Emily Paige Ballou & Others
A collection of autistic experiences written by autistic individuals. This is one of the most insightful books on autistic experience I have read thus far.
Loud Hands – The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
An anthology of authentic voices and experiences. If you want to read exactly what life is and has been like for autistic individuals, then this is the book.
Ido In Autismland – Ido Kedar
Raising a non speaking son means I cannot always know how he feels or what he wants to say or what he is thinking. Ido’s book is incredibly powerful and moving in equal measure.
The Reason I Jump – Naoki Higashida
It is no surprise to me that this book has now been made into a film. I remember many years ago purchasing this book and for the first time ever I could see parts of my inner world on a page. That someone else understood my inner world but someone I would most likely never meet. Just like Ido’s book mentioned above, powerful, moving and authentic.
Neurotribes – Steve Silberman
A huge read, but one you will be so glad you did. When Steve’s book launched it became a global best seller and with good reason. It is heavy on research and facts and overwhelming authentic when discussing the differing life experiences of neurodivergent individuals.
I know a lot of parents wonder how to talk to their children about being autistic. My advice is to have a good understanding of what autism actually is before trying to explain to your child. You want to come to your child with the right information, you want to be empowering and helping them to embrace their autistic identity and culture.
I have an upcoming parent workshop specifically to support you in talking to your child about their autistic identity.
Until next time,