20 Must Read Books About Autism For Parents

Discover essential autism parenting books to support you on your journey. Find the perfect resource for navigating autism with confidence.

steven zauderer
Steven Zauderer
December 13, 2023
min read

Understanding Autism

To effectively support children with autism, it is crucial for parents to have a comprehensive understanding of this neurodevelopmental disorder. In this section, we will explore what autism is and the challenges faced by parents of children with autism.

What is Autism?

Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a complex developmental condition that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. It is characterized by a wide range of symptoms and challenges that vary from person to person. Individuals with autism may experience difficulties in social communication, repetitive behaviors, sensory sensitivities, and may have unique strengths and interests.

Autism is a lifelong condition, and early diagnosis and intervention are essential for optimal outcomes. While there is no known cure for autism, various therapies, interventions, and support systems can greatly enhance the quality of life for individuals with autism.

Challenges Faced by Parents of Children with Autism

Parents of children with autism face unique challenges that can have a significant impact on their daily lives. These challenges may include:

  1. Navigating the Diagnostic Process: The journey begins with obtaining a diagnosis for their child, which may involve seeking assessments from medical professionals, psychologists, and specialists. Understanding the diagnosis and its implications can be overwhelming for parents.
  2. Accessing Services and Support: Parents often face hurdles in accessing appropriate services, therapies, and support for their child with autism. This may include finding qualified professionals, securing insurance coverage, or navigating the educational system.
  3. Managing Daily Routines: Children with autism may have specific needs and routines that require careful planning and management. Parents often invest significant time and effort in creating structured environments and implementing strategies to support their child's development and well-being.
  4. Addressing Communication and Social Interaction Challenges: Autism can affect communication skills, making it challenging for children to express themselves verbally or understand social cues. Parents may need to explore alternative communication methods and assistive technologies to facilitate effective communication.
  5. Dealing with Behavioral Challenges: Children with autism may exhibit behaviors such as repetitive movements, sensory sensitivities, or meltdowns. Parents must develop strategies to manage these behaviors and create a safe and supportive environment for their child.
  6. Advocating for their Child: Parents often find themselves advocating for their child's rights and needs within various contexts, including schools, healthcare settings, and the community. This involves working closely with professionals and educators to ensure appropriate accommodations and support.

By understanding the unique challenges faced by parents of children with autism, we can appreciate the importance of providing them with the necessary resources and support. In the following sections, we will explore the crucial role parents play in supporting children with autism and the various resources available to assist them in this journey.

Importance of Support and Resources

Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children with autism. The journey of raising a child with autism comes with unique challenges and requires special care and attention. In this section, we will explore the importance of support and resources for parents of children with autism, as well as the role parents play in seeking and utilizing these resources.

The Role of Parents in Supporting Children with Autism

Parents are the primary source of support and guidance for their children with autism. They play a vital role in creating a nurturing environment that promotes the overall well-being and development of their child. By being actively involved in their child's life, parents can help foster growth, independence, and a sense of belonging.

Parents of children with autism often face various challenges, such as understanding and managing their child's unique needs, navigating the educational system, and addressing behavioral and communication difficulties. By educating themselves about autism and seeking out appropriate resources, parents can better understand their child's condition and develop effective strategies to support their child's growth and development.

Seeking and Utilizing Autism Resources

Parents should actively seek out and utilize the abundance of autism resources available to them. These resources provide valuable information, guidance, and support throughout their parenting journey. By accessing these resources, parents can enhance their knowledge about autism, gain insights from experts in the field, and connect with other parents facing similar challenges.

Autism resources come in various forms, such as books, support groups, online communities, therapy programs, and intervention services. Books for parents, in particular, offer a wealth of knowledge and practical advice. They cover a wide range of topics, including understanding autism, parenting techniques, and strategies for managing specific challenges.

Support groups and online communities provide a platform for parents to connect, share experiences, and exchange valuable information and resources. These networks offer emotional support and a sense of community, allowing parents to feel understood and less isolated. Additionally, therapy and intervention programs provide professional guidance and specialized services to help children with autism reach their full potential.

To find and access autism resources, parents can start by reaching out to local autism organizations and centers. These organizations often offer a wide range of services, including workshops, seminars, and support groups. Online directories and databases can also be valuable tools for locating specific resources tailored to their needs. Additionally, healthcare professionals, such as pediatricians and therapists, can provide recommendations and referrals to trusted resources.

By recognizing the importance of support and actively seeking out autism resources, parents can enhance their understanding, knowledge, and ability to support their child with autism. Through education, connection, and utilization of available resources, parents can empower themselves and provide the best possible care for their child with autism.

Types of Autism Resources

When it comes to supporting parents of children with autism, there are various types of resources available. These resources aim to provide valuable information, guidance, and support for parents navigating the journey of raising a child with autism. Some of the key types of autism resources include books for parents, support groups and online communities, and therapy and intervention programs.

Books for Parents

Books can be a valuable source of information and support for parents of children with autism. They provide insights into autism, strategies for managing challenges, and guidance for fostering the development and well-being of their child. From practical parenting advice to personal narratives, there is a wide range of books available that cater to the diverse needs of parents.

Support Groups and Online Communities

Connecting with other parents who are on a similar journey can be incredibly helpful and comforting. Support groups and online communities provide a platform for parents to share experiences, seek advice, and find emotional support. These groups can be local or online, allowing parents to connect with others from the comfort of their own home. Joining such groups can help parents realize that they are not alone and provide them with a sense of community.

Therapy and Intervention Programs

Therapy and intervention programs play a crucial role in the development and progress of children with autism. These programs are designed to address specific needs and challenges associated with autism, focusing on areas such as communication, social skills, behavior management, and sensory integration. Depending on the individual needs of the child, therapy and intervention programs may include speech therapy, occupational therapy, applied behavior analysis (ABA), and more. These programs are typically provided by qualified professionals who specialize in working with children with autism.

By utilizing these various types of autism resources, parents can gain knowledge, find support, and access interventions that can greatly benefit both themselves and their child. It's important for parents to explore different resources and find the ones that best suit their specific needs and circumstances. Additionally, seeking recommendations from healthcare professionals and local autism organizations can provide valuable insights and guidance in accessing the most appropriate resources for their child.

Recommended Books for Parents

When it comes to navigating the world of autism and supporting your child, books can be valuable resources for parents. They provide insights, guidance, and practical strategies to help you better understand and support your child with autism. Here are some categories of books that are highly recommended for parents:

  1. The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism" by Naoki Higashida
  2. This book offers a unique perspective on autism from the point of view of a non-verbal autistic teenager. It provides deep insights into the autistic mind and helps parents better understand their children.
  3. "Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism" by Temple Grandin
  4. Temple Grandin, a renowned autistic adult and expert on autism, shares her personal experiences and thoughts on autism. This book is a must-read for parents seeking to understand their children better.
  5. "The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed" by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek
  6. This book explores the science behind autism and offers practical advice for parents on how to help their children with autism succeed and thrive.
  7. "NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity" by Steve Silberman
  8. Silberman's book delves into the history and evolution of autism research and advocates for embracing neurodiversity. It provides a broader perspective on autism and its place in society.
  9. "The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder" by Carol Stock Kranowitz
  10. Sensory processing issues are common in individuals with autism. This book provides insights and strategies for parents to understand and support their children's sensory needs.
  11. "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome" by Tony Attwood
  12. Tony Attwood is an expert on Asperger's Syndrome and provides comprehensive information on this specific form of autism. The book offers advice for parents on understanding and supporting children with Asperger's.
  13. "Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew" by Ellen Notbohm
  14. This book offers practical insights into the world of autism and provides tips for parents on how to better communicate and connect with their autistic children.
  15. "The Parent's Guide to Occupational Therapy for Autism and Other Special Needs" by Cara Koscinski
  16. This guide focuses on the role of occupational therapy in supporting children with autism. It provides practical advice and strategies for parents to help their children develop essential life skills.
  17. "The Autism Discussion Page on the Core Challenges of Autism: A Toolbox for Helping Children with Autism Feel Safe, Accepted, and Competent" by Bill Nason
  18. This book provides a wealth of practical advice and strategies to address the core challenges faced by children with autism, with an emphasis on helping them feel safe, accepted, and competent.
  19. "The Autism Sourcebook: Everything You Need to Know About Diagnosis, Treatment, Coping, and Healing" by Karen Siff Exkorn
  20. This comprehensive resource covers various aspects of autism, from diagnosis and treatment to coping strategies for parents and families.

Finding and Accessing Autism Resources

When it comes to finding and accessing autism resources for parents, there are several avenues to explore. These resources can provide valuable information, support, and guidance for parents navigating the journey of raising a child with autism. Here are three common methods for accessing autism resources:

Local Autism Organizations and Centers

One of the first places parents can turn to for autism resources is their local autism organizations and centers. These organizations often offer a range of services, including support groups, counseling, workshops, and educational programs. They can connect parents with other families who are going through similar experiences and provide a network of support. Additionally, local organizations may have libraries or resource centers where parents can access books, articles, and other materials specific to autism. To find local autism organizations and centers in your area, consider reaching out to your pediatrician, school district, or conducting an online search.

Online Directories and Databases

The internet has made it easier than ever to access information and resources. Online directories and databases dedicated to autism can be a valuable tool for parents seeking resources. These databases often provide a comprehensive list of autism-related organizations, support groups, therapy providers, and educational resources. Parents can search for resources based on location, specific needs, or type of service. These online platforms may also include reviews and recommendations from other parents, helping to guide parents in their search for appropriate resources. When using online directories and databases, it's important to verify the credibility and reliability of the sources before making any decisions.

Recommendations from Healthcare Professionals

Another reliable source of autism resources for parents is healthcare professionals who specialize in autism spectrum disorders. Pediatricians, psychologists, developmental pediatricians, and therapists who work with children on the spectrum can provide valuable insights and recommendations. These professionals have experience in the field and often have access to a network of resources. They can recommend books, websites, support groups, and therapy programs that align with the specific needs of the child and family. Collaborating with healthcare professionals can ensure that parents receive personalized and evidence-based recommendations.

By utilizing these methods, parents can access a wide range of autism resources that cater to their unique needs and circumstances. Whether it's local organizations, online directories, or recommendations from healthcare professionals, these resources provide valuable support and guidance on the journey of raising a child with autism. Remember, knowledge and support are key in empowering parents to provide the best possible care for their child.


Parenting a child with autism can be challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. These books about autism offer valuable insights, practical strategies, and emotional support to parents on their unique journey. By reading and learning from these resources, parents can better understand their children, advocate for their needs, and provide the love and care that every child deserves. Embracing this knowledge is a powerful step towards creating a supportive and nurturing environment for children with autism.


steven zauderer

CEO of CrossRiverTherapy - a national ABA therapy company based in the USA.

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