All kids want to be able to see themselves represented in literature. These books about autism books for kids include books that contain diverse characters of all genders, abilities, and skin tones. Autism Spectrum Disorder can be a disorder that children may have difficulty understanding.
That’s why we have compiled a list of some great books, including those that have main characters with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome and books with other Autism heroes. There is a mix of books listed, from picture books to chapter books and books for young readers too.
Check out our 20 Children’s Books about the 5 Senses for even more book learning fun.
Books About Autism for Kids
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Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes by Jennifer Elder
Told from the perspective of young Quinn, “Different Like Me” tells the reader all about some famous historical figures who were possibly autistic. Included are Albert Einstein, Andy Warhol, and Lewis Carol. An inspiring book that shows the reader that anything is possible and not to be held back by any differences you might have.
Apples for Cheyenne: A Story About Autism, Horses, and Friendship by Elizabeth K. Gerlach
This beautifully written book tells a sweet story for preschool through elementary-aged children. It tells the story of Rachel and her special bond with Cheyenne, a horse companion. I love how this story includes other children with disabilities and focuses on their similarities rather than their differences.
All my stripes: A Story For Children With Autism by Shaina Rudolph
Zane the zebra feels different from the rest of his classmates. He worries that all they notice about him is his “autism stripe.” With help from his mom, Zane learns to embrace and love his stripes. This is a story about accepting oneself and also, to learn to appreciate the differences and unique qualities of those around us. Please read the book first though, as there were a few mixed reviews about one part of the story.
A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey
This sweet story follows Henry as he begins his first day of school and looks for a friend. Younger children will relate to first-day nerves and making new friends. I love the message that this story sends: finding things we have in common with others and accepting others, even when you don’t always like the same things.
Brody the Lion: Sometimes I ROAR! by Dr. Kristin Wegner and Kimberly Sattler
Sometimes I ROAR! introduces the reader to Brody, a lion cub who has autism. Simple text and engaging illustrations make this an excellent book for preschoolers and early readers. Young children will learn how to manage difficult situations and big emotions alongside Brody.
Dragon and His Friend: A Dragon Book About Autism by Steve Herman
Another great book in a fabulous series introduces children to Drew’s pet dragon. When a new friend who has autism moves to town, Drew needs to teach his dragon all about what that means and why their new friend may behave differently than they are used to. The text will pull in readers, and they will love walking alongside Drew and his dragon. There are over fifty titles in the “Dragon” series, so there are others to explore by Mr. Herman.
Tacos Anyone? An Autism Story by Marvie Ellis
I love that this book is bilingual. The story is written in English and Spanish. It tells the story of two brothers, the younger of which has autism. Join Thomas as he learns about his brother Michael’s diagnosis and different ways to play with him and understand him better.
Rules by Cynthia Lord
A chapter book perfect for older elementary and middle school children. This book follows the story of two siblings; an older sister and a young brother with autism. Catherine just wants her brother David to be “normal” and follow what she believes are socially-acceptable rules. The story shows her journey to understanding a different definition of normal and why David is perfect just the way he is.
Davis Speaks: A Brother with Autism by Teisha N. Glover and Nicholas Glover
This book is a great all-around pick. It has the bond of brothers and is a true story written by the mother of Davis and Davis’ older brother Nicholas. It is a heartwarming story of the brothers’ relationship. Even when Nicholas’ brother isn’t what he was expecting, he learns what it is to have autism and how to love and support his brother through his diagnosis.
Autism and Me – Autism Book for Kids Ages 8-12 by Katie Cook
This is a fabulous resource for older children on the Autism Spectrum. It is interactive and helpful for children to reflect on themselves and consider their strengths. I love how this book teaches children to work through their challenges and difficult emotions. Kids will love reading stories of others that they can relate to.
Five Books About Autism for Parents and Caregivers
When your child is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Asperger’s Syndrome, you might feel overwhelmed and have many questions. In addition to resources such as teachers and doctors, there are many fantastic books for adults on this topic. Below is a list of my top five.
Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant
This book is a fabulous first resource for parents of a child with autism or for someone who has a loved one in their life on the spectrum. Dr. Prizant shares stories of children he has worked with through his 50-year career. He focuses on helping people understand behaviors associated with autism rather than seeking to “fix” or “change” children.
Differently Wired: A Parent’s Guide to Raising an Atypical Child with Confidence and Hope by Deborah Reber
Written by a mother of a special-needs child, Ms. Reber shares 18 “Tilts” or strategies for parenting children with special needs. This book doesn’t just focus on autism. The strategies and teachings in this book work with diagnoses of autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorders, and more.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum by Dr. Rebecca Landa, Mary Beth Marsden, Nancy Burrows, and Amy Newmark
The “Chicken Soup” books are lovely and easy to read. This title includes stories from parents and caregivers of children on the autism spectrum. Those raising children with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome will appreciate and relate to these heartwarming and motivational stories. However, keep in mind that these stories are more positive based, and some challenging behaviors may not be highlighted here.
105 Activities for Your Child With Autism and Special Needs by Susan Jules
As the title states, this book contains over 100 great activities to engage children with special needs. They are play-based, fun, and easy to implement. The book is broken up into sections so you can flip to the activities that will specifically target goal areas for your child, including fine and gross motor skills, communication, and social interactions.
Navigating Autism: 9 Mindsets for Helping Kids on the Spectrum by Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Debra Moore
Dr. Temple Grandin is a well-respected and well-established writer in the autism community. She has been diagnosed with autism and uses her experiences and her work with children to inform the book’s content. Dr. Grandin and Dr. Moore share nine mindsets for working with children on the autism spectrum.
My brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete
From bestselling author and actress Holly Robinson Peete, comes the story of a young and sweet boy who happens to be autistic, based on Holly’s son. This story is told from the the point of view of Charlie’s twin sister. There are a few things that Charlie can’t do well, but a lot of other things that he does really great at.
The picture books, early readers, and upper elementary books introduced above are a great addition to a home or classroom library. Kids with and without special needs will receive positive messages from these stories about loving themselves and understanding and accepting others.