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We have changed our name! Kids on the Spectrum is now called Living on the Spectrum

12 books on Autism and Neurodiversity that are a must read.

We decided to review our top 12 books on autism, neurodiversity, inclusion and parenting just in time for the holidays. Read Tanya’s top picks now.

12 Books on Autism and Neurodiversity that are a must read.

12. Amelia and Me

Author – Melinda Hildebrandt.

Bio – A mother with lived experience, 282 pages.

This book is a memoir about a mother raising her deaf autistic daughter. Love the first few lines of this book that shares even though your child is different they are still your child, and you love your child unconditionally.

“It’s not where you intended to go but it’s not a terrible place, just different to what you expected”

This is Melinda’s first book and if this one is anything to go by, I can’t wait to read her second. Amelia and her mum’s life isn’t sugar coated we read about it all the difficulties, how Melinda coped, to the meltdowns and the fun stuff too.

11. The Australian Autism handbook

Author – Benison O’Reilly and Kathrine Wicks.

Bio- O’Reilly and Wicks are professional writers and both have children with autism, 388 pages.

This book is your one-stop resource specifically written for parents that have a child diagnosed with autism. There is nothing you won’t find in this book, from early signs and symptoms, Getting a Diagnosis; Early Intervention, and why it is so evidence-based medical theories behind ASD Schools and Pre-Schools – the options available.

10. Autism an inside out approach

Author – Donna Williams.

Bio – Donna is autistic.

Great book by providing low-cost / no-cost strategies to make places more autism-friendly. Every business, parent, and carer should have a copy of this book. Donna herself is autistic, so she has written with a real person’s first-hand experience of how to make the work a more inclusive place.

9. Uniquely human a different way of seeing autism

Author – Barry M. Prizant.

Bio -Winner of the Autism Society of America’s Dr. Temple Grandin Award for the Outstanding Literary Work in Autism, 272 pages.

Not your typical book about autism from a professor, this book looks at how autistic individuals thrive and succeed and how we are uniquely human even though we have our differences. Uniquely Human offers inspiration and practical advice drawn from Dr. Prizant’s four-decade career. It conveys a deep respect for people with autism and their own unique qualities. Filled with humanity and wisdom.

8. The reason I jump

Author – Naoki Higashida.

Bio – Naoki is a 13 year old autistic boy, 2008 pages.

The inner voice of a 13-year-old with autism. Heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, and emotional ride with a look inside the autistic mind of this young boy. Showing the empathy and other emotions he feels daily living in today’s world. Naoki Higashida, a bright, self-aware, and charming thirteen-year-old boy,is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine.

Read More: 12 books about neurodiversity and inclusion you should read right now.

7. Population one – autism, advocacy and the will to succeed

Author – Tyler McNamer.

Bio – Tyler is a 17-year-old autistic individual, 205 pages.

Life through the eyes of 17-year-old Tyler, Tyler is autistic, and  this book is almost a memoir. It’s also a practical guide for parents and teenagers alike. This book guarantees an uplifting message and feeling alongside Tyler all the emotions from hardship to success. A must read for anyone who has autism in their lives.

6. The autistic brain, helping different kinds of minds succeed

Author – Temple Grandin.

Bio – Temple is an autistic speaker, author and advocate, 256 pages.

My absolute favourite part of this book is this one line “Temple argues that raising and educating kids on the autism spectrum must focus on their long-overlooked strengths to foster their unique contributions.”. With her own experience with remarkable discoveries, Grandin introduces the advances in neuroimaging and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her brain scan to show which anomalies might explain common symptoms. Templin sheds light on a very mind and how we can best make sure autistic individuals can thrive and succeed in life.

5. Odd girl out and autistic women in a Nero typical world

Author Laura James.

Bio – Laura received her autism diagnosis in her late 40’s, 226 pages.

Laura didn’t receive her Autism diagnosis until her late forties, and her book follows her journey in just one year in her life from diagnosis to acceptance. Reflecting on how it’s never too late for any of us to find our place in the world no matter how different we feel.

4. The magic of inclusion

Author – Julie fisher

Bio – Julie is an advocate, public speaker and the mother to Darcy a young man with Down syndrome.

This book is one of my favourites. I got to have a small contribution by answering some questions on inclusion, but Julie also talked about all the work I have done making parks accessible and safe. Julie has written two books as a parent to her son with down syndrome. The magic of inclusion is her second book. It brings to light how we as parents and carers see the world and people’s attitudes toward people in our lives that think a little differently. This book gives you the warm and fuzzies and the hope that we won’t have to fight so hard for inclusion one day.

Read More: Binge-worthy shows to watch this Summer featuring Autistic Adults.

3. Autistic blessing and bipolar me. A Frank and Brutally Honest Diary of a mother with Bipolar and Her Two Autistic Boys

Author – E.J. Plows.

Bio – Emma has Bipolar and 2 autistic sons, 115 pages.

This is my favourite book by far. I must have read it 20 times. We all want to be upbeat and see the positive, but that’s not always the case. This book doesn’t sugar-coat the bad days but acknowledges what we all live. My favourite quote from Emma is that we must find the beauty in the condition and all the positives it offers. Do yourself a favour ad pick up this book.

2. Different Not Less

Author – Chloe Hayden

Bio – Chloe Hayden is a 24-year-old actor, social media star and Autism and disability advocate.

Growing up, Chlo Hayden felt like she’d crash-landed on an alien planet where nothing made sense. Eye contact? Small talk? And why are you people so touch-oriented? She moved between 10 schools in 8 years, struggling to become a person she believed society would accept, and was eventually diagnosed with autism and ADHD. When a life-changing group of allies showed her that different did not mean less, she learned to celebrate her true voice and find her happily ever after.

1. How Do I Do This? : The Real and Raw Truth About Raising a Child with Special Needs – Interviews With Parents

Author – Meredith Swift.

Bio – Meredith is a mother and carer, 308 pages.

My daughter Sarah is 25. She is non-verbal autistic. When Sarah was first diagnosed, I felt devastated. The fear of the unknown as to what lay ahead was overwhelming. I was forced to travel a road I had never imagined I would be on, and which was often so hard that I could barely breathe. Yet on that road I met countless wonderful people who helped and supported me and Sarah, many of whom I have interviewed for this book.

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