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Book Recommendations

Check out these books on various topics to help guide you on your journey!

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Children's Picture Books

A Day With No Pictures
Tiffany Hammond

Aidan shares how he communicates being a non-speaking autistic child. This book is a true celebration of communication diversity and captures inclusivity wonderfully. A perfect book for non-speaking individuals, and great for encouraging inclusion and acceptance.

Crow Boy
Taro Yashima

Chibi has been cast off by those around him for years. Until someone takes note of him and what makes him truly special. Chibi is given the opportunity to share his uniqueness with those around him and in doing so he opens their eyes to his world. Fantastic book that highlights acceptance and understanding. 

Hello Hello 
Brendan Wenzel

Inclusion just starts with saying hello. This book shares a series of animals all saying hello, all unique and each one different. This simple book is full of playful, colorful and engaging illustrations. Perfect to also help a child with the phrase “hello.” Recommend for all.

How To Build A Hug
Amy Guglielmo

Temple Grandin is in search of the perfect hug, despite the fact that  hugs feel awful to her. She can see what hugs were for others, and she wants that too. This book shares part of the story of Temple Grandin’s life and her fantastic hug machine. Great book for a discussion about sensory needs and aversions, and how to find what is right for you. 

I Am Temple Grandin
Brad Meltzer

Temple Grandin is just an ordinary individual who changed the world. This story shares the challenges Temple faced, such as difficulty in communication, social settings and sensory processing. How she overcame them, and what makes her extraordinary.  The illustrations beautifully done,  and are fun and engaging. 

I Have Ants In My Pants!
Julia Cook

Louis has a hard time keeping his body still and calm. He finds he is constantly needing to wiggle and gets into trouble when those wiggles get the best of him. Louis and his mom come up with a solution to be proactive about his wiggles when he knows needs to get ready to be still for a bit. Enter, the wiggle dance. This is a silly and fun story for children who have a difficult time being still. 

I Like Dinosaurs Too!
Mandy Farmer

Evan may have some differences, but is more similar to you than you may think! This is a great book about inclusion and different  perspectives. Highly recommend for a child learning about their own autistic diagnosis.

Just Ask!
Sonia Sotomayor

This is a super fun inclusive book that discusses several childhood disorders and disabilities. The overall theme is to encourage us to talk about what makes us different and unique. Encouraging us to not be afraid to ask questions, if we are curious. The beautifully diverse illustrations are inclusive to a wide range of individuals. 

Alexandra Hoffman

Samuel sees the world differently, and navigates it differently too! He needs different  accommodations for learning, so he create his very own masterpiece. This is a perfect book about inclusion and meeting children where they are at in life. Highlights inclusion and acceptance. This would be a wonderful book for teachers, families and all children.

My Mouth Is A Volcano!
Julia Cook

Louis has a difficult time holding in his BIG thoughts and find himself blurting them out when they come to him. Always interrupting with his urge to speak what is on his mind. Louis works through a solution with his mom to learn how to pause when his mouth wants to become a volcano of words. A super story to share with children who have a difficult time with interrupting or waiting for the appropriate time to speak. 

My Whirling, Twirling Motor
Merriam Saunders

Charlie is always in motion and feels like he has a whirling, twirling motor running inside him all the time. Much of his life is focusing on the struggles he faces due to this constant need to move. He is corrected often and told about his struggles. He always assumes he is in trouble, but his has a surprise for him instead! This fun book  reminds us how to refocus and highlight the wonderful moments of even the hardest day. 

No Such Thing As Normal
Megan DeJarnett

Join Brody and Shane through a day, as they learn there is no such thing as normal. This book speaks to the curiosities and difficult questions that arise in a world full of diversity. Included in the back of the book is  discussion questions to help promote healthy conversations around differences in all people. Perfect book to open the conversation about inclusion and disabilities. 

Strictly No Elephants
Lisa Mantchev

It is Pet Club day! But no all are allow to join. Specifically, no elephants. So, an elephant and his boy are sent away unwelcomed. Instead of making a club just for him and his elephant, he finds someone else who is also excluded. Together they decide to start their own club, where everyone is welcome. Fantastic story about inclusion, acceptance, friendship and differences.

Susan Laughs
Jeanne Willis

Join Susan as she does a variety of exciting activities. Swimming with dad, playing with friends, attending school, and even riding a horse. Every activity all kids loves to do! But Susan accomplishes them all despite her disability. This book shares a happy little girl whose physical challenges are never seen as barriers. This book presents a great view on acceptance of the things we can do, verse what we can not.

The Same But Different Too
Karl Newson

“I am me, you are you. We’re the same, but different too.”  A short simple book about opposites and differences. Highlighting similarities along the way. This book contains fun illustrations. A great way to introduce inclusion by focusing on what makes us similar, despite our differences. 

This Beach is Loud
Merriam Saunders

A little boy is so excited for beach day! But when he gets there it is all just too much for him. All the sounds and textures are overwhelming. With a little help from Dad, he is able to find his calm and turn the day into a great one. This is a fun story to discuss sensory processing and how to make adjustments for one’s needs. 

Tomas Loves
June Welton

Explore with Tomas as he navigates things that he loves. Trains, trampolines and his dog Flynn. He hates sudden noise, surprises and changes in routine. But ultimately he wants to have fun and friendship just like any other child. This is a fun, relatable story for children with autism, and for others to understand the joys of a child with autism.

Wiggles, Stomps, and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down
Lindsey Rowe Parker

Follow a young girl though her day with sensory differences, and how it impacts her interaction with environments around her. The vibration in her feet when she runs, the tap-tap-tap of her fork on the table at mealtime, the trickle of cool water running over her hands—these are the things that calm her jitters down. This book will validate any child who experiences the world differently with their senses. 

Wilma Jean the Worry Machine
Julia Cook

Super fun book with repetition and rhymes. What if? What if? What if? The worry never stops! Wilma learns that by talking about her worries, she can get the help she needs facing them! This book includes tips for dealing with an anxious child at the end of the book. 

Juvenile, Middle Grade & Young Adult

A Kind of Spark
Elle McNicoll
192 pages 
Age : 9+

Addie, a Scottish Autistic girl, campaigns for a memorial when she learns that her small Scottish town used to burn witches simply because they were different. Addie feels a close bond to them, as she is bullied at school by her peers, and even her teacher. She feels ultimately feels most understood when she’s with her older Autistic sister, or when she is diving into books about her favorite animal, sharks. Take a journey with Addie as she discovers amazing this about herself. This is an absolute must read book!

Autistic Author
Female Perspective

Can You See Me?
Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott
362 pages
Age : 9+

“For Mum. Thank you for understanding me and helping to understand myself. This book is also dedicated to every girl that feels like she doesn’t fit in – stand out and be brave!” from Libby Scott. With a dedication like this, what more can be said? This book and the sequel, Do You Know Me?, are just what every preteen needs to read who is struggling during those awkward middle school years. Join Tally as she deals with all the overwhelming emotions of starting 6th grade. These books are inspired by young coauthor Libby Scott’s own experiences with autism, this is an honest and moving middle-school story of friends, family, and finding one’s place.  

Autistic Author
Female Perspective

Chester and Gus
Cammie McGovern
272 pages
Age :  8+

Through the eyes of a dog. Not just any dog, but a failed companion dog who just wants to be with his person, Gus. A young non-verbal Autistic boy. Will Chester be able to help Gus when he needs him most? This is aa wonderfully heartwarming and humorous middle grade novel about the remarkable bond that forms between an aspiring service dog and an autistic boy in need of a friend. Be sure to join Gus and Chester as they appear in the sequel Frankie and Amelia. 

Parent Author

Kathryn Erskine
256 pages
Age : 12+

Caitlin has Asperger’s and just wants things to go back to where they were before her brother Devon died in a school shooting. “Sometimes I read the same books over and over…You can open and close books a million times and they stay the same… Books are not like people. Books are safe.” Caitlin goes on a journey to understand friendships, empathy and closure as she navigates grief, and discovers that the world just may not be so black and white after all. This is a wonderful book that takes you through all sorts of emotions, filled with laughs and tears.

Parent Author
Female Perspective

Cynthia Lord
224 pages
Age : 9+

This is a heartfelt and witty story about feeling different and finding acceptance–beyond the rules. Twelve year old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which seems impossible with an autistic brother that life seems to revolve around. Catherine has come up with Rules to help David navigate life.. Follow Catherine during her summer break, as she creates new friendships and challenges her own rules. Catherine faces struggles of her own about acceptance and finding a place to belong. This is an incredible book that enters into the mind of a child with a disabled sibling. Entering into the internal struggles and emotions that a sibling may face.

Parent Author
Sibling Perspective

The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mark Haddon
226 pages
Age : 12+

Christopher John Francis Boone, 15, knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals, but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched and he detests the color yellow. And brown too! Then one day Christopher discovers the slain body of his neighbor’s poodle, Wellington, on the neighbor’s front lawn and sets out to uncover the murderer. In the process he stumbles into another mystery that is much more personal. Note main character is Autistic coded. Author wrote with minimal understanding of Autism, Autism is not the main focus of the book. 

Autistic Coded 

Adult Fiction Novels

Memoirs & Biographies

Autism In Heels
Jennifer O’Toole
272 pages

Every female who is questioning if they are Autistic should read this book. Every parent or caregiver of an Autistic female needs to read this book. Jennifer discusses her experiences as a late diagnosed Autistic adult female and the challenges she faced in the pursuit of a diagnosis for her daughter and for herself. We live in a world where the bias for an Autism diagnosis is created off a white male. She talks of how this has impacted the understanding of Autism for women and girls on the spectrum. If there is one book to read, this is it! 

Autistic Author
Female Perspective
Late in Life Diagnosis

Born On A Blue Day 
Daniel Tammet
256 pages

Daniel shares his life story as an Autistic savant in this exceptionally written and truly inspiring book. Be ready to lose track of time when opeing his book, it is absolutely mesmorizing. Daniel recounts various life moments and memories. Shares a peek inside his unusual and unique mind. Sharing with his how his mind sees everything in color, pictures and colors. In his life Daniel has learned several languages, including Icelandic in a weeks time. He held the World Record for a time for reciting over 22,000 digits of pi from memory. A feat that took over 5 hours. This book is an absolute captivating book!

Autistic Author

Look Me In The Eye
John Elder Robison
302 pages

It was not until Robison was forty that he was diagnosed with Autism. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself—and the world. Join Robison in his humorous, moving and dark memoir about his unbelievable life. It’s a strange and wild retelling that is incredibly human. Warning this book contains descriptions of abuse, torture and animal cruelty.

Autistic Author
Late in Life Diagnosis

General Autism Books