Friday, April 12, 2024

Picture Books About Autism

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How Do You Know If Your Autistic Childs Therapy Is Harmful

Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book Kids Books Read Aloud/Stories for children

Bad therapy can be abusive and has far-reaching consequences like increased anxiety, depression, and PTSD in later life.

What does the therapist hope your child will achieve with them? What are they aiming to do?

Cure them?Reduce their autism symptoms or make them less autistic?

If so, then please keep your child away from them.

If their goals are to help your child thrive as their autistic selves, to help them learn to successfully navigate a world theyre not built for, without betraying their nature- theyre worth keeping.

Benji The Bad Day And Me

Sammy is a neurotypical kid and has a terrible day. Yet no one seems to notice or carethats what he thinks, anyway. Benji, his little brother, shows us that autistic kids can be empathetic despite the stereotypes. This story is based on the authors sons, who are autistic. The illustrations are cute, and the book highlights how proprioceptive input has a calming effect on many autistic children.

#ownvoices Books About Autism

Please welcome my guest author, Adriana White. I had created a post on special needs childrens books about ten years ago when I started this blog that was really out of date and she saw my post on Twitter and was kind enough to help me out by gently educating me:

Adriana White, MLIS @Adriana_Edu

I love the idea behind this list, but I wanted to point out a couple things. 1) The term special needs is not preferred by #disability advocates. See the #NotSpecialNeeds campaign by the World Down Syndrome Day group, or this article by @RebeccaCokley.

Why Special Needs is Not Helpful by Rebecca Cokley in MediumThank you to everyone who made suggestions to help me learn about this topic. I have updated the book list and welcome your comments and suggestions. Im always learning and am grateful to this community for taking the time to educate me!

She also generously offered to create a post of #OwnVoices childens and young adult books. Im thrilled to present it here today!

For as long as I can remember, I have loved reading. As a child, I would read and reread my familys collection of Childcraft encyclopedias. I loved the stories about other countries and their unique cultures. Now, as a librarian, I still believe that reading is one of the best ways to learn about the diversity of the world. A good book can transport you somewhere entirely new, or show you the perspective of someone living a completely different life.

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Queens Of Geek By Jen Wilde

Taylor is autistic, anxious, and in love with her best friend Jamie. Taylor has accepted that nothing will ever happen between her and Jamie, but when they accompany their vlogger/actress friend Charlie to SupaCon, everything changes. This story is told in alternating chapters, as Taylor and Charlie both experience their own distinct love stories. Author Jen Wilde is both autistic and diagnosed with anxiety, so she is able to bring her own life experiences into the character of Taylor, which makes for an incredibly compelling and genuine representation.

Mrs Gorski I Think I Have The Wiggle Fidgets

Eight Great Picture Books About Autism  Mosswood Connections

David gets scolded a lot by his teacher, Mrs. Gorski, for not paying attention in class. He wants to pay attention but it is just so hard when an exciting idea pops into his head. And he usually cant tell that hes making a mistake until after he makes them. But after a particularly big mistake, David comes up with his own plan to tone down his wiggle fidgets.

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Andy And His Yellow Frisbee

This is a story about Sarah, a new girl at Andy and Rosies school. Andy plays with his yellow frisbee every day during recess, and Sarah has noticed. This sparks Sarahs desire to connect with Andy, and she invites him to spin her pink frisbee, which she brought from home. Rosie, Andys sister, is concerned over Sarahs interest, but when she sees Sarahs effort to interact with Andy, her acceptance, Sarah and Rosie decide to play together.

This story is about acceptance and shows how there is no magic formula for interacting with autistic children. It’s a highly recommended book, but not for introducing the concept of autism to neurotypical students.

About This Autism Picture Books List

  • I originally shared my favorite autism picture books over at CBC Parents so some of the books I mention below will suggest you click to read that post for more details. But I have obviously found some new suggestions since I originally wrote that post for them.
  • This list will be continually added to as I find and discover new picture books about autism, but here are my absolute favorites!
  • Unlike other lists of autism books for kids you’ll come across, I’ve actually read every single book on this list. I didn’t pick them blindly!
  • These are books I would actually read – and have read – to my autistic son and his brother.
  • This book list was updated on December 8, 2020 to include two new titles: Just Right for You & Do You Want to Play?

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Too Sticky: Sensory Issues With Autism By Jen Malia Illustrated By Joanne Lew

Holly loves science class, but hates things that are sticky, like maple syrup and glue. So when she finds out that her class will be making slime for their next science project, she considers skipping the whole thing. Her parents, sister, and teacher help her work through it, by offering Holly lots of support and a series of touching accommodations. Author Jen Malia was diagnosed with autism on the same day as her daughter, and based Hollys story on her familys experience with autism and sensory sensitivities.

Nathans Autism Spectrum Superpowers

Autism Book for Kids | Autism Awareness Books Read Aloud

The superhero protagonist, Nathan, explains his autism spectrum superpowers, how they affect him, and how his friends can help him when he gets out of control. While this book contains more information than narrative, its still a sensitive and accessible read. This book is primarily a tool to help autistic children and their friends, families, and caregivers understand kids with autism and some of their struggles.

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Best Picture Books About Autism

This is a guest post from Leigh Merryday, a teacher and librarian who blogs about early childhood autism at Flappiness Is She tells us she has worked in middle school for 20 years and has seen the difference for autistic kids whose peers have had autism explained to them early.

A few weeks ago, I was asked if I might be willing to come in and talk to a group of kindergarteners about autism. Of course, this isnt just any group of kindergarteners. Its my autistic sons peers. So, I wanted a read aloud one or two books, and I wanted them to be good. Being a school librarian, I know that there are an awful lot of childrens books out there. So, I asked the most qualified people I knowmy readersto offer their suggestions on my Facebook page. I got a lot of them.

I couldnt afford to buy them all, so I ordered several that seemed to fit the age group and read them all in one sitting. No, I didnt like all of them. Ive included only the ones here Im recommending. I dont find negative reviews useful to an audience of readers who already have limited time. I tend to shy away from the preachy ones, believing that children are much savvier readers than we give them credit for. And I like books that are a bit subtle and lend themselves to fruitful discussion. Because thats where you reach hearts and minds.

1. Looking after Louis by Lesley Ely, illustrated by Polly Dunbar

2. Andy and His Yellow Frisbee by Mary Thompson

My Friend With Autism

My Friend with Autism is a narration by someone who has an autistic friend. He begins by detailing all the things his friend is good at and explains how that affects his friend. This practical book offers a positive introduction to autism, portraying autism as something children shouldnt worry about and that kids with autism can have friends.

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Helping Parents Understand Autism From The Inside Out

There is a lot of information about Autism on this page. We suggest you scroll through all of the content before clicking links to leave the page, or come back and continue reading where you left off. There is so much we want to share with you. We know you landed here because you have questions and we want to provide answers.

The Many Mysteries Of The Finkel Family By Sarah Kapit

8 Great Children

Sarah Kapits next book is the story of two autistic siblings one of whom uses an Augmentative and Alternative Communication device to communicate. Sisters Lara and Caroline start a detective agency and begin to solve mysteries together, but when everything falls apart, can they make things right and be friends again?

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Why Johnny Doesnt Flap: Nt Okay

Johnny is different. He is never exactly on time, he cant seem to stick to a routine and he often speaks in cryptic idioms. Johnny is neurotypical, but thats OK.

A picture book with a difference, Why Johnny Doesnt Flap turns the tables on common depictions of neurological difference by drolly revealing how people who are not on the autistic spectrum are perceived by those who are. The autistic narrators bafflement at his neurotypical friends quirks shows that normal is simply a matter of perspective.

Reading Books For Social Skills

The following books are good for young readers and parents who are wanting to help their autistic children understand social skills and develop their conversational skills using picture books.

Mo Willems is a seasoned childrens author with many popular published books under his belt. For social skills, Mos books,My New Friend Is So Fun, Should I Share My Ice Cream?,and Can I Play Too, show young kids how to interact with friends and how to show empathy in social situations.

A book that parents might also love to read to their kids is the fun and heartwarming story,Bronco, and Friends: A Party to Remember by Tim Tebow with A.J Gregory. This book celebrates children with special needs and encourages young children to embrace each others differences.

The Social Skills Picture Book: Teaching Play, Emotion, and Communication to Children with Autism by Jed Baker, PhD is a picture book and educational resource offering pictures of how to handle a social situation. The Social Skills Picture Book shows almost 30 pictures of real-life social situations allowing the child to interpret the most appropriate way of handling a social situation, with the book showing the consequence of choosing the wrong way.

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Early Chapter Books With Characters Who Have Asd

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold. Third grader, Bixby Alexander Tam, goes by the nickname Bat and exhibits behaviors that might place him on the spectrum. He flaps his hands and avoids eye contact, but the author never labels Bat “autistic.” She simply allows us to see Bat, and all his friends, as unique individuals. Bat’s mom is a veterinarian and one day she brings home baby skunk. Bat wants to take care of it and must prove to his mom that he knows what he is doing. Full of wonderful characters and lots of interesting information about skunks, this is an absolutely delightful story. It makes a nice read aloud for ages 6 and up or a great independent read for ages 7-10.

West Meadows Detectives: The Case of the Snack Snatcher by Liam O’Donnell is the start of a series featuring two special needs* kids who bond over a mystery at school. Myron, who is autistic is starting a new school. He earnestly narrates the story, describing his unique way of seeing the world, his need for structure and how his special ability to focus on the detail makes him the perfect sleuth. His energetic friend, Hajrah, who acknowledges she has a bit of ADHD, becomes his partner. This is a feel good story with a positive portrayal of a range neurodiverse kids.

*NOTE: It has come to my attention that the term “special needs” is considered by some to be problematic. You can read an opinion about that here.

The Boy With Big Big Feelings

Autism Is…?

Meet a boy with feelings so big that they glow from his cheeks, spill out of his eyes, and jump up and down on his chest. When a loud truck drives by, he cries. When he hears a joke, he bursts with joy. When his loved ones are having a hard day, he feels their emotions as if they were his own. The boy tries to cope by stuffing down his feelings, but with a little help and artistic inspiration, the boy realizes his feelings are something to be celebrated. Written by debut picture book author Britney Winn Lee and boldly illustrated by Jacob Souva, The Boy with Big, Big Feelings is relatable for any child, but especially for children experiencing anxiety and extreme emotions, or who have been diagnosed with autism or as a Highly Sensitive Person.

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Underdogs By Chris Bonnello

In a dystopian future England, a group of disabled teens must stand up to an army of cloned soldiers. Previously defined primarily by their deficits, these teens will learn how to use their strengths to fight back and save their country. The neurodiverse cast of characters include students with autism, anxiety, ADHD, Downs Syndrome, dyslexia, and more. The second book in the series, Underdogs: Tooth and Nail, was released this summer. In addition to being an author, Chris Bonnello also runs the excellent Autistic Not Weird website, where he offers advice based on his experiences as an autistic teacher.

Stories Featuring A Neurodiverse Sibling Or Friend

My Brother Charlie, by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete and illustrated by Shane Evans: Charlies big sister knows there are things that are harder or more challenging for Charlie than other kids, but she also knows that there are a ton of things that Charlie does really well. This book beautifully showcases the compassion and acceptance one little girl develops for her younger brother, and most of all, it shows that there are no limitations on love, no matter what kind of differences we each face. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!

Benji, the Bad Day and Me, by Sally J. Pla and illustrated by Ken Min: Sammy is having a bad day, and when he gets home from school he is convinced that no one notices his challenges. His brother Benji is autistic, and hes having a bad day, too. When Benji feels bad, he has a cozy play-box to lie in so he can feel safe again, but Sammy doesnt have one. Just when Sammy thinks no one cares about his bad day, someone surprises him and helps Sammy feel safe, too, in the best way possible. Absolutely love this treasure! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!

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Isaac And His Amazing Asperger Superpowers

Isaac may look like everyone else, but he actually has superpowers that make him different from his brother and his classmates. Some kids dont understand that and call him names. But Isaacs superhero brain remembers loads of things, he has energy enough to bounce on his trampoline for hours, and his ears are so sharp he can even hear the buzzing some lights make in school . He tends to say whatever comes into his head and doesnt realize that he might hurt someones feelings by telling them they have big teeth, for example! Even though hes not really a superhero he has Asperger syndrome, which means his brain works a little differently he does love to play superheroes with his brother, who understands him. Straightforward and engaging, Isaacs first-person narrative will help kids see the world through the eyes of a child with the high-cognitive type of autism spectrum disorder commonly known as Asperger syndrome.

Wiggles Stomps And Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down

Books to Help Kids Learn About Autism

A Picture Book about Sensory Differences. The vibration in her feet when she runs, the tap-tap-tap of her fork on the table at mealtime, the trickle of cool water running over her handsthese are the things that calm her jitters down. This book is for anyone who has ever felt the need for a wiggle, stomp, or squeeze! This title is also available in Spanish: Meneos, Pistones, Y Apretones Para Calmar Mi Cosquilleo

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