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Best Children’s Books about Autism

When selecting a book to read with your child, you’ll want to keep their own interests and developmental level in mind. You’ll want to choose a book with characters and topics they will enjoy, as well as a story they can understand and follow. Additionally, these could be great books to share with siblings to build empathy. Here are some of our top recommendations for books to read featuring neurodiverse characters!

Alex Hurtado
Neurodiversity Advocate

December 7, 2023

Here are some of our top recommendations for books to read with your child on the autism spectrum, all featuring neurodiverse characters! 

10 Best Books to Read with Your Neurodiverse Child 

Wiggles, Stomps and Squeezes’ Calm My Jitters Down by Lindsey Rowe Parker & Rebecca Burgess

Wiggles, Stomps, and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down, is told from the point of view of the mother of a little boy on the autism spectrum. The book teaches readers about the unique ways kids on the spectrum process their sensory input.

A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey & Mika Song

Based on the real-life experience of author Bailey’s son on the spectrum, A Friend for Henry is about a young boy who wants to make friends but has trouble understanding other kids.

My Friend With Autism by Beverly Bishop

My Friend With Autism is a picture book narrated by a character who has a friend with autism. This book addresses topics related to autism like sensory sensitivity, communication differences, and ways of playing. 

The Girl Who Thought In Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca

This book tells the story of the very influential autism advocate Dr. Temple Grandin. The Girl Who Thought In Pictures follows Dr. Grandin from her diagnosis to adulthood, as she grows to become one of the biggest voices in modern science. 

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

All My Stripes tells the story of Zane, a zebra with autism, who worries that his differences make him stand out from his peers. With the help of his mother, Zane learns that autism is only one of many qualities that make him special.

Benny Doesn’t Like to Be Hugged by Zetta Elliot & Purple Wong

Told from the perspective of Benny’s neurotypical best friend, Benny Doesn’t Like to Be Hugged is all about loving your friends for their uniqueness. The story is told in rhyming verse making it easy to follow for young kids. 

Why Johnny Doesn’t Flap: NT is Okay! By Clay Morton, Gail Morton & Alex Merry

While many children’s books about autism are told from the neurotypical point of view, Why Johnny Doesn’t Flap is told from the perspective of Johnny’s best friend who has autism. The narrator compares his neurodivergent behaviors with those of Johnny’s and explores that the idea of “normal” is all perspective. 

The Beach is Loud by Samantha Cotterill

The Beach is Loud tells the story of a little boy with autism and his day at the beach with his dad. This picture book explores sound sensitivities and shares how the boy struggles with all the sounds at the beach. 

Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book by Celeste Shally 

Since We’re Friends is a book all about friendship. This book tells the story of Matt who has autism, and his best friend. Matt’s best friend understands him and works with him to help turn any frustration Matt may experience throughout the day into excitement.

A Day With No Words by Tiffany Hammond 

Written by a mother with autism, raising two boys on the autism spectrum, A Day With No Words follows a mother and son duo on a day when they only use a tablet to communicate. 

Reviewed by:

Laura Barnes

Laura has 14 years of BCBA experience that involves leading clinical teams and designing seminars and workshops for clinicians and families. She serves as the Senior Clinical Director of Atlas and is dedicated to learning from all and disseminating all that she learns.

Authored by:

Alex Hurtado
Neurodiversity Advocate

Alex partners closely with neurodiverse families, clinical experts, and advocates to bring you helpful guides.