Top Eight Autism Spectrum Books: My Wish List

autism booksI’ve been reflecting on what types of books I might want to include on my autism books reading list.  I’ll share my list with you and wait to hear what you may want to add.

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s

autism books
Okay, I confess that I’ve already read this book, and I do own it, but I do wish you could own it, too :)
Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother, Augustin Burroughs, in them) had earned him the label social deviant.
It was not until he was forty that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself and the world. A born storyteller, Robison has written a moving, darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account sometimes alien yet always deeply human.

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome takes a playful look at Asperger Syndrome (AS), drawing inspiration from the feline world in a way that will strike a chord with all those who are familiar with AS. Delightful color photographs of cats bring to life familiar characteristics such as sensitive hearing, scampering at the first sign of being stroked and particular eating habits. Touching, humorous and insightful, this book evokes the difficulties and joys of raising a child who is different and leaves the reader with a sense of the dignity, individuality and potential of people with AS. This engaging book is an ideal, gentle introduction to the world of AS.

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes

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 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. Fully illustrated in color and written in child-friendly language, this book will be a wonderful resource for children, particularly children with autism, their parents, teachers, caregivers, and siblings.

1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s, Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition

Winner of Learning Magazine ‘s Teachers Choice Award, the first edition of 1001 Great Ideas has been a treasured resource in the autism community since 2004. Now, in this expanded edition, Ellen Notbohm (best-selling author of the revolutionary book Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew ) and Veronica Zysk (award-winning author and editor of Autism Asperger’s Digest magazine) present parents and educators with over 1800 ideas try-it-now tips, eye-opening advice, and grassroots strategies. More than 600 fresh ideas join tried and true tactics from the original edition, while many ideas pick up where the first edition left off, offering modifications for older kids, honing in on Asperger’s challenges, and enhancing already-effective ways to help your child or student achieve success at home, in school, and in the community.

1001 Great Ideas is the starting line you are looking for, the mother lode of strategies and inspiration you ll return to again and again. Don’t let tradition and habit stand in the way of what your child or student can do. Read this book first and you ll be well on your way to a bright future teaching and raising a child with autism or Asperger’s.

The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome: A guide to an Intimate Relationship with a Partner who has Asperger Syndrome

Based on research, her experiences as a counselor specializing in this area, as well as her personal relationship experiences, the author explores the relationships of adults with Asperger Syndrome. By using quotations and real-life examples to illustrate her points, she balances factual information and compassionate understanding. Practical, everyday topics include living and coping with AS, anger and AS, getting the message across, sex and AS, parenting, staying together and AS cannot be blamed for everything.

Parenting a Child With Asperger Syndrome: 200 Tips and Strategies

For parents of children with Asperger Syndrome (AS) ordinary care and parenting just doesn’t always do it – AS kids need a different approach. Brenda is mother to eleven-year-old Kenneth Hall, author of Asperger Syndrome, the Universe and Everything, and since his diagnosis at the age of eight she has gathered together the parenting ideas and tips that have had a positive effect on Kenneth’s life. Among other aspects, Brenda discusses parents’ reaction to their child’s AS, from pre-diagnosis to acceptance of the condition, and gives advice on how parents can better understand ‘Planet Asperger’. With an extensive section of practical tips for issues such as anger management and communication, this book will help parents to respond positively to the challenge of AS and find the ‘treasure’ in their child’s way of being.

The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome

The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome is the definitive handbook for anyone affected by Asperger’s syndrome (AS). It brings together a information  on all aspects of the syndrome for children through to adults.
Drawing on case studies and personal accounts from Attwood’s extensive clinical experience, and from his correspondence with people with AS, this book is both authoritative and extremely accessible. Chapters examine: causes and indications of the syndrome; the diagnosis and its effect on the individual; theory of mind; the perception of emotions in self and others; social interaction, including friendships; long-term relationships; teasing, bullying and mental health issues; the effect of AS on language and cognitive abilities, sensory sensitivity, movement and co-ordination skills; and career development.
There is also an invaluable frequently asked questions chapter and a section listing useful resources for anyone wishing to find further information on a particular aspect of AS, as well as literature and educational tools.
This is essential reading for families and people affected by AS as well as teachers, professionals and employers coming in contact with people with AS, this book should be on the bookshelf of anyone who needs to know or is interested in this complex condition.

Freaks, Geeks & Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence

Have you ever been called a freak or a geek? Have you ever felt like one?
Luke Jackson is 13 years old and has Asperger Syndrome. Over the years Luke has learned to laugh at such names but there are other aspects of life which are more difficult.
Adolescence and the teenage years are a minefield of emotions, transitions and decisions and when a child has Asperger Syndrome, the result is often explosive.
Luke has three sisters and one brother in various stages of their adolescent and teenage years but he is acutely aware of just how different he is and how little information is available for adolescents like himself.
Drawing from his own experiences and gaining information from his teenage brother and sisters, he wrote this enlightening, honest and witty book in an attempt to address difficult topics such as bullying, friendships, when and how to tell others about AS, school problems, dating, relationships and morality.
Luke writes briefly about his younger autistic and ADHD brothers, providing amusing insights into the antics of his younger years and advice for parents, carers and teachers of younger AS children. However, his main reason for writing was because “so many books are written about us, but none are written directly to adolescents with Asperger Syndrome. I thought I would write one in the hope that we could all learn together.”
Those are my top 10 autism books for my Wish List.  How about you?  Do you have any to suggest?  Please share them in the comments below!
Print Friendly
"Subscribe to the blog"
Receive an update straight to your inbox every time I publish a new article. Your email address will never be shared
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Website

 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.

Are you tired of feeling alone, like you're the only one in this world? Please join the Thrive with Aspergers Community to connect with others just like you!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Pingback: Get Rid of Adult (Aspergers) Uncertainty Once and For All – Prospering With Aspergers | Prospering with Aspergers()

  • Terry Foraker

    Right now I’m in the middle of a book written for teens and adults called “Living Well on the Spectrum.” It’s written by Valerie Gaus, who works with a lot of spectrumites and who previously wrote a book called “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adult Asperger Syndrome”. Whereas that book was written for therapists/counselors, this is written for people on the spectrum. (It seems geared mainly toward young adults, but I would say that anybody from their mid-teens onward can benefit from it.) Much of it has a workbook format, with exercises for self-reflection. I’ve just finished the first section detailing the differences (cognitive, emotional, physical/sensory, and social) between spectrumites and “typicals”, and am now getting ready to start the meat of the book, which involves handling the differences in a variety of settings and life experiences, and more importantly, building on the unique strengths which spectrumites have. One of the best things about the book is that it focuses on strengths (based on the field of Positive Psychology) and how to use them to build a fulfilling, productive life.

    I would consider both of Dr. Gaus’ books to be essential reading for anybody helping people on the spectrum, and “Living Well” to be a core resource for spectrumites themselves.

  • steveborgman

    Hi, Terry! Nice to connect with you here on the blog. I’ve read both Dr. Gaus’ books, and I own them as well. I’ve really appreciated her particular framework for understanding both the strengths and challenges of Aspergers. I do wish she included more information on understanding social cues in the material, but overall, she’s done a superb job.