Books are a great way to learn empathy and to hear new voices.
In recent years, more authors with autism have published books that can help others better understand neurodivergence–whether the reader is someone with autism looking for something relatable or someone who wants to know more about the experience of having autism.
Here are 10 books by authors with autism–that offer a wide array of experiences:
- A Kind of Spark, by Elle McNicoll follows a preteen with autism who doesn’t fit in with her classmates or teachers. When she learns about the witch trials in Scotland, she relates to the women and girls who were persecuted for being different and she campaigns to create a memorial.
The Awesome Autistic Go-To Guide: A Practical Handbook for Autistic Teens and Tweens, by Yenn Purkis and Tanya Masterman, provides tips and strategies for dealing with–and celebrating–neurodivergence while navigating adolescence.
- The Reason I Jump, by Naoki Higashida, a memoir written by a 13-year-old non-speaking boy with autism. It offers a compelling look inside a mind which is all too often underestimated.
- Ido in Autismland: Climbing Out of Autism’s Silent Prison by Ido Keday, is another memoir by a non-speaking teenager. The rich emotional exploration in this book is sure to touch anyone who has ever wondered about the inner thoughts of someone who doesn’t speak.
- We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation by Eric Garcia offers a look at the challenges–and blessings–of creating an inclusive world. Garcia, a politics reporter, writes about being a person of color who has autism and is part of the LGBTQ community. He shows why stereotypes don’t help and provides ideas for shaping a supportive society.
The Spectrum Girl’s Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic, by Siena Castellon, offers a guide to combining adolescence with neurodiversity in a way that both celebrates the benefits of autism while offering tips for handling the challenges.
Sincerely, Your Autistic Child: What People on the Autism Spectrum Wish Their Parents Knew about Growing Up, Acceptance, and Identity is a collaboration of writings by people with autism. The rich variety of experiences shows that autism truly is a spectrum and that if you stereotype people with autism, you’re missing out on a wealth of connection. This book combines memoir with advice in a way that is helpful to anyone who loves someone with autism.
Different, Not Less: A Neurodivergent’s Guide to Embracing Your True Self and Finding Your Happily Ever After by Chloe Hayden is written by an actress with autism who offers a poignant and humorous look at life on the spectrum.
Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic: A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum by Michael McCreary is a memoir written by a stand-up comedian and again shows the rich array of autism voices.
- Thinking in Pictures, by Temple Grandin–for decades, this was the book recommended to anyone wanting to know more about autism. When it was written in 1995, this was one of the few books written about autism by someone with autism. And while there are a lot of new voices adding to the bibliography of the spectrum, this remains a classic that still offers a good insight into autism.