Understanding autism is the key to both helping your own kiddos show compassion towards friends on the spectrum and to growing as parents and friends ourselves. When I need to tackle tough topics with my kids, I turn to books. Here’s a great list of books I’ve found to help kids learn about autism.
People are different. From favorite colors to favorite sports teams, everyone has their own likes and dislikes. People also have different ways of expressing themselves. People with autism express themselves differently than others. They’re intelligent. They’re quiet. They’re loud. They take in stimuli differently. They react to situations in unique ways.
They’re differently wired.
And they’re super cool.
With the help of these books, kids will be able to identify autism around them, while building the tools they need to be accepting and compassionate towards kiddos who are wired differently than they are. Some of these stories come from the perspective of kids who are on the autism spectrum and other perspectives come from siblings and parents of children with autism.
Ethan’s Story: My Life With Autism: This kid’s book is written by a kiddo, Ethan, who happens to have autism. He explains why he feels so lucky that God created him just the way he is, autism and all.
Russell’s World: Take a look inside Russell’s world through this book that was written by his father. It gives both kids and adults the inside scoop on what it is like to live with autism. A great story to share.
I See Things Differently: I like this book because it is great for all age groups, even the younger kids. Written by a psychotherapist and counselor, this book gives a simple explanation about autism.
The Autism Acceptance Book: Take an in-depth look at autism and how to handle real life situations with this workbook. It can be used as a resource to help both kids and parents navigate around the motto of autism acceptance. There are different activities, worksheets, and tips to help everyone reach a level of understanding.
My Brother Charlie: Holly Robinson Peete wrote this book with her daughter. It is about her son, who has autism. The book talks about some of the struggles Charlie has as well as some of the strengths he holds. Like remembering the Presidents of the United States.
Just Because: In this book to help kids learn about autism, a little brother talks about his sister and all of the things she cannot do…. all while beaming about how wonderful she actually is. As you read along, you will soon learn that his sister has special needs. But this never stops them from going on adventures. You can tell by his level of excitement just how much he loves his big sister.
A Friend Like Simon: The focus of this book is school-aged children. It will help them understand how to be patient, understanding, and accepting of autistic students.
The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders: If autism hits close to home for you or your kids, this book gives some great tips, techniques, and ways to cope with the disorder. You can use it as a resource to help a neighbor, classmate, or friend.
Autism Is….. : When Logan hears his grandma tell a friend that he has autism, he starts to wonder what that means. The story has such a simple and sweet explanation of what autism is about, without the negativity.
The Superhero Heart: This book was written after The Superhero Brain, and is geared towards kids who have siblings that are on the autism spectrum. Both books are incredibly simple to understand and make autism acceptance attainable.
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: If you want the inside scoop on autism, this book gives you an honest look at what autism involves. This guide is both funny and informative.
These books to help kids learn about autism bring awareness and acceptance to the table. Every child wants to have friends and be involved with everyday kid activities. By explaining how people are wired differently to our kids, we can prepare them to rock it when they meet a child with autism.
Do you have any tips on explaining autism to kids? What books do you use to open up the discussion? Share your favorite tips and books with me in the comments.
You also might be interested in my post about Books to Help Kids Who Worry.