15 Inspiring Books For Autistic Children

Autism spectrum disorder1 is an umbrella term for a developmental disorder characterized by impairment in social skills, communication skills, interests, and behavioral patterns.

Young children with autism have difficulties in social interactions, sharing their feelings and emotions, maintaining relationships, and having a strong need for a routine. According to WHO, 1 in 160 children suffers from autism spectrum disorders.

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Kids with autism spectrum disorders can often find reading and comprehension hard. Books for autistic children can help reduce communication differences and improve their emotional connection, language, listening, and social skills.

Young children learn new things easily, and books can be the best way to facilitate that. Reading picture books and books on things they like can be fun for autistic children and help blossom young readers.

Here are 15 must-read books for autistic children.

1. All My Stripes by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer

All My Stripes is a children’s book about Zane the zebra, who has an autism strip. Initially, he is scared that other children will judge him for acting and doing things differently. With the help of his mother, he unlearned such ideas and realized how special he was.

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism by Shaina Rudolph

This book is a good option for children on the autism spectrum as they can relate to the main character, understand their behavior better, and develop self-confidence.

2. A Friend Like Henry by Nuala Gardener

This is another one of the books for autistic children that follows a young boy named Dale,  who has had high-functioning autism since birth. His autism is severe, and his parents are extremely worried.

One day, they visit their friends and he seems to be getting along with the dog. This encourages his parents to get him a puppy named Henry. Henry helps improve his emotional connections, day-to-day activities, and self-esteem, making his life easier.

A Friend Like Henry eBook : Gardner, Nuala: Amazon.in: Kindle Store

It is one of the best books for autistic children about how Dale can finally get his autism under control and lead a normal life, thanks to his new friend Henry.

3. Different Like Me by Jennifer Elder

Different Like Me is one of the best books for autistic children. An eight-year-old boy Quinn describes the lives of Albert Einstein, Lewis Carroll, Dian Fossey, Julia Bowman Robinson, Benjamin Banneker, and other inspiring historical figures who, despite being different from others, changed the world.

Different Like Me eBook by Jennifer Elder - EPUB | Rakuten Kobo India

This book about autism heroes is a good option for children on the spectrum trying to understand their differences and looking for role models. It teaches kids on the autism spectrum an important lesson- doing things differently doesn’t affect your success in life.

4. Pablo: Goodnight Pablo by Pablo

This is part of a series of bedtime books for autistic children specifically written to them. Pablo and his friend are afraid they will disappear when they sleep at night. The other children make them understand that this won’t happen and help them peacefully go to sleep.

Amazon.com: Pablo: Goodnight Pablo eBook : Pablo: Kindle Store

The beautiful illustrations in this picture book are immensely loved and enjoyed by young readers, making this one of the best books for autistic children.

5. All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann

This book has a fun take on the difficulties faced by autistic children and those taking care of them. With the help of many beautiful pictures of cats and kittens, the author jokingly draws an insightful parallel between children with Asperger’s syndrome, other kids on the autism spectrum, and household cats.

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome (Original Version) | Welcome

They are indeed pretty similar in not liking being touched, being picky about eating, and having sharp hearing abilities. The book explains Asperger’s syndrome2 in simple and easy terms and can act as a learning resource.

6. Why Does Izzy Cover Her Ears by Jennifer Veenendaal 

Izzy is a first-grader who often covers her ears due to sensory overload and sensory modulation difficulties. The people around her are not able to understand her behaviors and sensory issues.

Why Does Izzy Cover Her Ears? Dealing with Sensory Overload : Veenendall, Jennifer: Amazon.com.au: Books

Kids with autism often complain of sensory sensitivity. This book creates a safe space for autistic children who can relate to the main character and try to make sense of their actions. It also helps teachers, parents and family members, and friends to be more sensitive and understanding toward children with a sensory processing disorder.

7. My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete

Holly has collaborated with her daughter to write about the life of their young boy with autism. This book is a sibling’s diary where an older sister talks about the day-to-day life struggles of her younger brother, an autistic child.

She also mentions how they are similar yet different from each other and what makes her younger brother Charlie, the author’s son, a special boy regardless of his autistic mind.

My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete

My Brother Charlie is a popular pick in books for autistic children as it can also be used to explain autism to other young people who may have a friend with autism.

8. The Girl Who Thought In Pictures by Julia Finley Mosca

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures is a picture book about one of the autism heroes and scientists, Dr. Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child. Despite being an autistic kid, Temple Grandin developed a special connection with animals and became a very significant contributor to the world of farming.

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin (Amazing Scientists, 1): Finley Mosca, Julia, Rieley, Daniel: 9781943147304: Amazon.com: Books

This book will inspire children with autism to never underestimate themselves and keep following their passion because if Temple Grandin can do it, so can they.

9. Andy And His Yellow Frisbee by Mary Thompson

Andy is a young boy with autism. He plays with his frisbee alone during recess while his sister watches him from a distance, making sure her autistic brother is safe. One day a little girl tries to talk to him and show him her frisbee, but Andy is reluctant to talk to her. She remains hopeful, and they eventually become friends.

Buy Andy & His Yellow Frisbee (Woodbine House Special-Needs Collection) Book Online at Low Prices in India | Andy & His Yellow Frisbee (Woodbine House Special-Needs Collection) Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in

This sweet story is a real depiction of the lives of children with autism spectrum disorders and the children around them. The book introduces children to the fact that autistic children may initially act distant and do things differently, but they can make new friends and be loving when handled with patience and care.

10. Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin

This story about autism is from the perspective of a 12-year-old child with autism spectrum disorder, Jason Blake, trying to make it through a mainstream school.

Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin

He talks about his thoughts, feelings, and challenges in making friends with his parents. As a child with autism, he describes the mechanisms he has developed to deal with them.

11. The Asperger Children’s Toolkit by Francis Musgrave

As the name suggests, this book is a toolkit with helpful suggestions for children with Asperger’s syndrome.

Buy ASPERGER CHILDRENS TOOLKIT Book Online at Low Prices in India | ASPERGER CHILDRENS TOOLKIT Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in

With the help of some characters, this book helps engage children in activities that help them work through anxiety and other negative emotions that accompany Asperger’s syndrome. Children’s parents, teachers, and other young readers can help and make it a learning experience.

12. A Friend Like Simon by Kate Gaynor

Mathew introduces readers to Simon, an autistic boy in their class who acts differently from others. Finding him different, Mathew doesn’t bother talking to him until they are partnered during a school trip.

He stays by himself, clarifies that he doesn’t like being touched through facial expressions, and keeps his belongings in a specific order. He then realizes that despite their differences, Simon has certain qualities that make him a good friend.

Buy A Friend Like Simon (Special Stories Series 2) Book Online at Low Prices in India | A Friend Like Simon (Special Stories Series 2) Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in

It is one of the many sweet storybooks for autistic children that teaches kids about friendship, acceptance of differences, the importance of supporting one another, and how awesome having a friend with autism is.

With the help of simple language, the author accurately described the different behaviors associated with autism that other young people might find unusual. It also teaches children to accept others who are like Simon.

13. Nope. Never. Not for Me! by Samantha Cotterill 

Nope. Never. Not for Me! is a children’s book about a picky eater child who refuses to try new food items. Autistic children often behave so because of their strong desire for routine and aversion to new experiences.

Buy Nope. Never. Not For Me!: For kids on the autistic spectrum (Little Senses) Book Online at Low Prices in India | Nope. Never. Not For Me!: For kids on the autistic

In this book, a mother tries to make tasting broccoli easy for her little girl through acute observation of the vegetable. This story encourages autistic kids to be open to new experiences through a step-by-step process.

14. Can You See Me? by Libby Scott, Rebecca Westcott

This book is about a child who has autism. The book is in the form of diary entries in which she gives a detailed description of her feelings and the challenges she faces every day. She also mentions how autism makes people special, as some people on the autism spectrum have better memory and hearing skills.

Can You See Me? (Audio Download): Libby Scott, Rebecca Westcott, Imogen Wilde, Scholastic Ltd: Amazon.in: Audible Books & Originals

This is one of the best books for autistic children as they can relate to the main character and her daily struggles with social rules. It also can provide a better understanding of autism to other kids.

15. Autism Activities Handbook by Catherine Pascuas:

The Autism Activities Handbook is one of the best activity books for autistic children. It includes a wide range of engaging activities that will help children on the autism spectrum develop their language, vocabulary, motor skills, social, and communication skills and help them lead a normal life.

These activities are- fun, easy to follow, and a learning experience – all at the same!

Books for Autistic Children
By Victoria_Borodinova/ Pixabay. Copyright 2021.

To Conclude.

These are some of the best options in books for autistic children to encourage your child to start reading! Reading is a great habit that ensures the overall development of a child. Though it might be hard at first, these and other children’s books for autistic children, like engaging storybooks, picture books, and activity books, will make it easier for young readers on the autism spectrum.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Can an autistic child read a book?

  • Autistic students may read and process language in a fluent way. This is in contrast to children with dyslexia who often struggle to decode written language. Nonetheless, these students are not always able to access semantic meaning in the same way.

Q. What can make autistic kids happy?

  • Reward good behavior: Positive reinforcement can go a long way with children with ASD, so make an effort to “catch them doing something good.” Praise them when they act appropriately or learn a new skill, being very specific about what behavior they’re being praised for

Q. What age do autistic kids get better?

  • A new study found that around 30 percent of young children with autism have less severe autism symptoms at age 6 than they did at age 3, with some children losing their autism diagnoses entirely.


7 Remarkable Therapies For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Icy Health
  1. Lord, Catherine, et al. “Autism spectrum disorder.” The lancet 392.10146 (2018): 508-520. ↩︎
  2. Tantam, Digby. “Asperger’s syndrome.” Journal of child psychology and psychiatry 29.3 (1988): 245-255. ↩︎

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