Must-Have Autism Books: Before and After A Diagnosis

Must-Have Autism Books

As a blogger and counselor working to stay current with my knowledge of autism spectrum conditions, I am continually looking for good books to recommend to you, the readers, and and to add to my library.

I’ve read a number of interesting posts on Facebook and in other Aspergers forums with questions and opinions about the diagnosis of Aspergers as well as how to explain the condition to children and to others. The following books are on my wishlist.

autism aspergers books

My personal autism spectrum library is full of a number of great books.  However, these books, which I have not yet purchased,  look particularly helpful in the area of diagnosis of Aspergers, and in talking to children and others about the condition.

Aspergers and Autism Spectrum Diagnosis

Coming Out Asperger: Diagnosis, Disclosure And Self-confidence Psychology & Counseling Books).

About The Author/s:

Dr. Dinah Murray is the author and editor of this book.  She has aPhD in linguistics, which has led to her keen interest in autism for over a decade. She is currently a tutor for Birmingham University’s distance learning course in autism, has published widely about autism both in Britain and abroad.

Other contributors to this book include some very well-known names in the autism spectrum field, including Liane Holliday Willey and Tony Attwood.

Book Sumary:

This book examines the complex subject of Aspergers diagnosis; the pros and cons of telling a child and others about the diagnosis; and the effect on a child’s self esteem.  Other topics include:

  • How a diagnosis impacts upon family life
  • A clinician’s view of diagnosing adults
  • Adult issues surrounding disclosure, including how to deal with relationships and sexuality; disclosure in the work place; and social and disability issues.

 The OASIS Guide to Asperger Syndrome: Completely Revised and Updated: Advice, Support, Insight, and Inspiration Health, Mind & Body Books)

About the Authors

Patricia Bashe and Barbara Kirby wrote this book.  Ms. Bashe is a certified special education teacher, and Ms. Kirby, founder and moderator of OASIS (a popular Asperger Syndrome Web site with support message boards).

Book Summary

This book is a quasi-reference guide to everything Aspergers.  That’s why I recommend that if you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed, you’ll want to have this guide with you.  It’s kind of like having a tour guide book with you as you go to a country for the first time.

Topics covered in the book include:

  • Doctors’ and families’ viewpoint of what is currently known about the nature of Asperger Syndrome
  • How to access information, support, and treatment for yourself or your loved one
  • A holistic approach to helping a child with Aspergers manager her/his emotional worlds from youth to adulthood

You can tell this is  a high quality book because of some of the experts who have reviewed it, as well as the quality of the reviews (5 stars, consistently)

All Cats Have Asperger SyndromeAutism & Asperger’s Syndrome Books)

This book rates 4.5 stars with 124 customer reviews.

About the Author (from Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Kathy Hoopmann is an Australian author currently living in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. She is the author of ten books for children and teenagers published in Australia, the UK and the UAE. Her acclaimed Asperger Adventure series: Blue Bottle MysteryOf Mice and Aliens, and Lisa and the Lacemaker, was shortlisted for a variety of literary awards and has been translated into five languages.

Can I Tell You About Asperger Syndrome?: A Guide for Friends and Family Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Books)

About the Author:

Jude Welton has a 10-year-old son with AS. Originally trained as a child psychologist specializing in autism, she is a freelance writer, writing mainly on the arts. She recently started writing about and for children with AS.

Book Summary:

This book is an excellent resource to share with school personnel and other professionals.  It’s especially helpful for helping neurotypical children understand Aspergers syndrome.  It’s appropriate for children from ages 6 through 15, per the reviews.

One good way to judge how helpful a book may be is by the number of favorable reviews it has on Amazon.  This book has 77 reviews with an average of 5 stars!

 Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes Biographies & Memoirs)

About the Author: (from her Amazon page)

Jennifer Elder (b. 1968, San Francisco) is an American author, illustrator and assistant editor for the Collins Library. She graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1990. The mother of an autistic son, she has written two books for autistic children: Different Like Me and Autistic Planet. She is married to author Paul Collins, with whom she has appeared on National Public Radio program Speaking of Faith. She is the basis for the character Jennifer Collins in Oliver Goldstick’s play Wild Boy.

Book Summary:

This book has been well received, with an average 4.5 star rating and 24 customer reviews.

I like this book because, while it acknowledges the differences of the autism spectrum, it also provides positive role models of famous figures from science, art, math, literature, philosophy, and comedy.  The narrator is an eight year old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome named Quinn.  Quinn introduces young reader the achievements and characteristics of his autism heroes, from Albert Einstein, Dian Fossey and Wassily Kandinsky to Lewis Carroll, Benjamin Banneker and Julia Bowman Robinson, among others. All excel in different fields, but are united by the fact that they often found it difficult to fit in-just like Quinn.

Different Like Me introduces children aged 8 to 12 years to famous, inspirational figures from the world of science, art, math, literature, philosophy and comedy.  Eight-year-old Quinn, a young boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, tells young readers about the achievements and characteristics of his autism heroes, from Albert Einstein, Dian Fossey and Wassily Kandinsky to Lewis Carroll, Benjamin Banneker and Julia Bowman Robinson, among others. All excel in different fields, but are united by the fact that they often found it difficult to fit in-just like Quinn.


The first two books I introduced are geared more for adults with Aspergers, or to parents whose children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

The final three books are meant to help the child with autism spectrum better understand the diagnosis and implications of Asperger’s syndrome.  If a child is gently shown the ways in which s/he is a) better than other kids her/his age at some things; b) the same as other kids in some aspects of her/his life; and c) not as good as others in some respects (usually due to the limitations imposed by Aspergers syndrome), s/he will gain an accurate and healthy understanding of her/himself.

I hope you found these materials interesting.  I’m always adding to my list, so feel free to introduce autism spectrum books that you have found most helpful to you!

photo credit: raider of gin

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About Stephen Borgman

 I'm Steve Borgman.  I'm a licensed clinical professional counselor and blogger committed to bringing you hope, understanding, and solutions that you can apply to your life immediately.
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thefastforwardcoach 1 Like

Hi Steve, brilliant list, I haven't seen some of these. Will check them out specially the first one. I really recommend Maxine Aston's books, The Asperger couple's workbook. and Asperger's in Love. Am so enjoying your blog, lots of helpful info. thanks Julie

AspieKid 1 Like

All Cats Have Aspergers Syndrome. Very cool book. And very true.