Books about autism written for families can be hard to come by. Hundreds of books exist for parents, educators, therapists, and those on the spectrum themselves. Remarkably few titles have been written specifically for the family of autistic children and teens. Fortunately, of those that have been written, many are extremely helpful at explaining the ways in which families affected by autism might work a little bit differently. Below, we’ve listed 10 such books. Each covers autism specifically as it affects families.
1001 Great Ideas for Teaching & Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s
Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk
This bestselling book about the autism spectrum is a must-read for anyone living with children on the spectrum. Authors Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk offer more than a thousand useful ideas for helping children on the autism spectrum to achieve success at home and out in the community.
Autism in the Family: Caring and Coping Together
Robert Naseef, Ph.D.
Families struggling with finding the balance it takes to support a child with autism while also ensuring the rest of the family’s needs are met are sure to find Autism in the Family extremely helpful. It’s written by Dr. Robert Naseef, whose son is on the autism spectrum. This bestselling and well-reviewed book guides families through effectively collaborating with professionals, maintaining a strong marriage, discipline, managing stress, and more.
The Child with Autism at Home & in the Community: Over 600 Must-Have Tips for Making Home Life and Outings Easier for Everyone
Kathy Labosh and LaNita Miller
The two authors of the bestselling The Child with Autism at Home & in the Community definitely know what they’re talking about. Kathy Labosh is the mother of two autistic sons, while LaNita Miller is a long-time special education teacher. Referred to as a “book of instructions,” The Child with Autism at Home & in the Community contains advice about dealing with common issues that occur at home and while out and about. Included are myriad ideas about how to enjoy places like the local playground, restaurants, movie theater, and sporting events.
Dasha’s Journal: A Cat Reflects on Life, Catness, and Autism
Everyone in the family will find something to love about Dasha’s Journal, which provides a totally unique perspective on families and autism. It’s written from the perspective of the family cat, Dasha. This fun, informative book deals with common challenges, effective communication, sensory perceptions, and challenging behaviors — all with a bit of humor.
Disconnected Kids: The Groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for Children with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Neurological Disorders
Dr. Robert Melillo
In Disconnected Kids, Dr. Robert Melillo presents his program for improving the lives of autistic children and their families. This bestselling book, rated 4.5 stars by Amazon consumers, outlines Melillo’s successful Brain Balance Program ™. It’s a drug-free at-home approach for dealing with Asperger’s, ADHD, OCD, and autism spectrum disorders. Sections include exercises targeting physical, sensory, and academic performance; behavior modification; and identifying food sensitivities, among others.
Eating for Autism: The 10-Step Nutrition Plan to Help Treat Your Child’s Autism, Asperger’s, or ADHD
Thousands of families have found Elizabeth Strickland’s Eating for Autism to be life changing. Strickland explains how and why the things that a child eats impacts his or her brain and body function. She then outlines a 10-step plan that makes it easy for families to adjust their diets. She includes foods and supplements that have been proven to improve kids’ moods, sleeping patterns, learning abilities, and behavior. Strickland even includes 75 kid-friendly recipes!
Parenting Across the Autism Spectrum: Unexpected Lessons We Have Learned
Maureen Morrell and Ann Palmer
Both Maureen Morrell and Ann Palmer have sons on the autism spectrum, yet the two boys could not be any more different. While one is introverted and passive, the other is a constant whirlwind of activity. Parenting Across the Autism Spectrum is a practical guide for parents and families dealing with a new diagnosis or young child on the autism spectrum It is also a deeply personal account of these two mothers’ experiences with raising children on the spectrum.
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
The “Ten Things” referenced in the title correspond to this bestseller’s 10 chapters. Each one focuses on a positive message meant for the friends, teachers, and family members of children with autism. The author has sons with both ADHD and autism, and her personal stories and words of encouragement all come off as genuine. In the book’s updated and expanded edition, Notbohm has included a new section entitled “Ten Things I Want My high School Senior with Autism to Know.”
Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism
Barry M. Prizant
In Uniquely Human Barry M. Prizant writes from the far-too-uncommon view that autism is simply “a unique way of being human.” While many autism therapies focus on getting rid of autism, Prizant advocates for a new approach which seeks to understand each individual’s experience and behaviors. A bestseller, Uniquely Human is considered a “must read” for parents with newly diagnosed children on the autism spectrum. It is also for families struggling to find a balance in the relationship with their autistic family member.
What I Wish I’d Known About Raising a Child with Autism: A Mom and a Psychologist Offer Heartfelt Guidance for the First Five Years
Bobbi Sheahan and Kathy DeOrnellas, Ph.D.
Families just learning to live with a newly diagnosed child on the autism spectrum are sure to appreciate this bestseller. It’s co-written by a psychologist and a mother of a child with autism. What I Wish I’d Known About Raising a Child with Autism provides an honest look at such topics as navigating the judgmental world of parenting, dealing with picky eaters, bedtime battles, speech delays, discipline, early intervention, and sibling rivalry, and more.
Interested in books about autism for parents and educators? Find 30 helpful books here!