5 Popular Books on Autism

Working with children and adolescents with autism can be challenging. A little research can go a long way toward ensuring the most positive interactions at home and in the educational environment. Recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that one out of 68 children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The right resources are critical for family members and teachers. Here are five of the best and most popular books about autism for general audiences.

1. Incorporating Social Goals in the Classroom

by Rebecca A. Moyes

Designed to help teachers and parents of children with high-functioning Asperger syndrome or autism, “Incorporating Social Goals in the Classroom” offers insights into the academic experiences of students in real-world situations. The experts at Autism Speaks recommend this reference guide as a solid resource for parents and teachers in providing the most helpful, engaging activities and social interactions for students with autism spectrum disorder. By creating measurable goals and integrating them into the student’s individualized education program (IEP), teachers can have a lasting impact on future opportunities for children and adolescents with autism.

2. The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

by Naoki Higashida

The Reason I Jump has earned widespread acclaim by critics and everyday readers as a thoughtful account of what it is like to live as an adolescent with autism. By describing the internal landscape and the effects of various stimuli, Higashida provides insights into the feelings and thoughts experienced by children with autism around the world. Carefully translated from the Japanese by KA Yoshida and David Mitchell, The Reason I Jump was named as one of the best books of 2013 by The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio and Bloomberg Business.

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3. NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

by Steve Silberman

NeuroTribes was awarded the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for nonfiction and made it to number eight on the New York Times bestseller list during its initial release. Rather than approaching the subject of autism as an issue to be overcome or a condition to be treated, Silberman postulates that differences in neural processes are normal and should be embraced by society. Silberman is widely known as a journalist for WIRED Magazine and brings a balanced view to the subject of autism, arguing for greater acceptance of people with autism and for neurodiversity in a general sense.

4. Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism

by Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., and Tom Fields-Meyer

Considered one of the most important recent works on autism, Uniquely Human includes information gleaned from parents and children to provide a balanced and positive look at the condition. By working on understanding the underlying reasons for the behavior of an individual rather than simply attempting to remedy the symptoms, Prizant and Fields-Meyer shift the focus from fixing damage to embracing the unique individuality of people with autism. This positive approach can reduce stress for children in academic settings and can encourage greater achievement among those with autism spectrum disorder.

5. The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed

by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek

Perhaps the most visible spokesperson for autism issues, Temple Grandin offers her own unique insights into the condition in The Autistic Brain. Topics covered include the role of genetics in autism spectrum disorder, the advantages and drawbacks of neuroimaging and Grandin’s own strategies for coping with autism in her daily life. The autobiographical details included in the book allow readers to achieve a greater understanding of the symptoms of sensory processing disorders and the challenges that face individuals with autism and related conditions in modern society.

For teachers and caregivers, these five books can provide valuable perspectives and insights into the nature of autism spectrum disorder and the best ways to approach the educational process. This can offer students pathways to success and added opportunities to achieve their short and long-term goals.