Whether an autism diagnosis is new or a parent is already several years into the journey with their child, autism can be a challenging condition to understand and live with.

According to the , autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in 68 children in the United States. Some may have difficulty with social interactions, communication, and play activities.

Read on to learn about some of the best books that offer essential reading for families who have children on the autism spectrum.

Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism

Barry M. Prizant, PhD, is an authority on autism. In “,” he shows the disorder in a new light. Rather than portraying autism as a disability in need of treatment, he focuses instead on understanding people with autism. By seeking to understand the person behind the diagnosis, you can better enhance their experience and help them build a better life.

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew

What if autism could be boiled down to 10 simple things? In “,” author Ellen Notbohm gets close. The book is organized by 10 different characteristics of children with autism. The latest edition also includes 10 things to share with kids with autism as they reach puberty and adulthood. This book is a great resource for parents, teachers, and caregivers alike.

A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive

Children on the autism spectrum experience the condition in different ways and to different degrees. Many are high-functioning and go on to live productive, fulfilling adult lives. In “,” authors Sally Ozonoff, PhD, Geraldine Dawson, PhD, and James C. McPartland, PhD, help parents raise children who’ll go on to be independent contributing members of society. The book contains useful advice and examples on how to help children on the spectrum build relationships and act appropriately.

Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism

Temple Grandin, PhD, is a well-known animal scientist and perhaps the most well-known person with autism. She lectures on the topic and is the author of several books, including “.” In this volume, Grandin tells her story of what it’s like to live with autism. For outsiders it’s a foreign world, but Grandin manages to illustrate it clearly and delivers insights otherwise not seen.

Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism

Sometimes, you need a book that covers all of the basics — those things you might hear from a doctor, behavioral scientist, or other autism expert — but in a format easy to understand. The “” by Chantal Sicile-Kira is that primer. You’ll find chapters on causes, diagnosis, treatments, and more. It’s a great first autism book for parents, grandparents, teachers, and anyone else in the life of a child with autism.

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

What if autism and other disorders like ADHD weren’t seen as disorders, but variations? In “,” author Steve Silberman proposes just that — that autism spectrum disorder is simply one of many variations on the type of humans in existence. He reaches back to outline the history of autism research and uncovers many things, including why autism diagnoses may be increasing.

An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate and Learn

Sally J. Rogers, PhD, Geraldine Dawson, PhD, and Laurie A. Vismara, PhD, wrote “” to give parents of kids with autism a jump-start on their child’s development. The book is geared toward parents, teachers, and caregivers, and offers everyday strategies for helping children learn and communicate. It also guides you on how to make daily tasks like bath time and meals as opportunities for growth and development.

Autism Adulthood: Strategies and Insights for a Fulfilling Life

Children with autism grow up to be adults with autism. For parents, this eventuality can be worrying. In “,” author Susan Senator uses her own personal experience as the mother of an adult son who has autism to educate other parents on the challenges and rewards they and their children will face. The book is filled with personal stories of Senator and others navigating adulthood with autism.

I Think I Might Be Autistic: A Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis and Self-Discovery for Adults

Cynthia Kim knows what it’s like to find out you’re an adult with autism. She shares her knowledge and personal journey in “.” The book is a great resource for adults receiving new diagnoses or who have a suspicion that their uniqueness is actually autism. She discusses the symptoms and goes into what it’s like to adjust to your new reality once you’ve received a diagnosis. The emotional side of such a diagnosis can be difficult, and Kim offers actionable advice for coping.


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