5 Great Autism Books for Parents

What better time than Autism Awareness month to take a moment to read through scores of fantastic books for parents of children with autism.  Here are five great ones – each coming at the topic from different perspectives.

1. The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism –  What you really need to know about autism: from autistics, parents and professionals – Edited by Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Jennifer Byde Myers, Liz Ditz, Emily Willingham and Carol Greenberg.

  • The Reference Guide for Parents: Written by veteran autism moms with practical, educated, dogma-free advice on topics ranging from what to do after diagnosis, to how to think about picky eaters, medications, sensory issues, therapies and schools.
  • Shannon Des Roches Rosa and Jennifer Byde Myers are incredibly knowledgeable about nearly every topic associated with autism.  They provided us with expert guidance that was instrumental to the formation of MyAutismTeam and the constructive culture we work hard to promote.  Their book and their blog is a terrific resource for parents.
  • “This is the book we wish we’d been given when autism first became part of our lives”, explain the authors.

2. Autism Understanding and Acceptance – Written by Stuart Duncan

  • Educating Others in Your Life About Autism: Stuart Duncan is the father of two children.  His oldest son has autism and Stuart has made it his mission to help people truly understand and accept others impacted by autism.
  • “What I would really like to do is reach parents that don’t yet have a child with autism,” explains Stuart.   To that end, he encourages readers to make copies of the e-book and share it with friends and family that may need a little more understanding of autism and how it affects others.

3. A Regular Guy: Growing Up With Autism – Written by Laura Shumaker

  • Memoir of a Mom: This is a memoir written by a remarkable mother about raising her son Matthew and navigating the waters of autism from the toddler years through to adulthood.
  • Laura explains Matthew’s desire to be a “regular guy” in a way that inspires empathy and true understanding.  As in her regular blog, she unselfishly shares her personal struggles and challenges as a mother and offers great advice on how to stay sane through all the ups and downs.
  • Laura has been a great advisor to us at MyAutismTeam and through her personal experience she has become one of the experts on handling the transition to adulthood with autism.

4. Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism – Written by Arthur Fleischmann Carly Fleischmann

  • (Full disclosure: Simon & Schuster, publishers of Carly’s Voice, are promoting the book on MyAutismTeam, but that’s not why it’s on our list.)
  • The Inner Life of a Non-Verbal Individual: This is the book that shows us that non-verbal individuals with autism can and do have active, rich intellects.
  • Carly was diagnosed at aged 2 with severe autism and an oral condition that prevented her from speaking.  Doctors told her parents she’d never have the intellectual capabilities beyond that of a small child.   Then at age 10 Carly started typing and proved everyone wrong.
  • Her father, Arthur Fleischmann says, “Don’t ever give up – even when you think you’re not making progress” and adds “Your child has an inner voice and likely understands far more than you think they do.”

5.  The Autism Revolution: Whole-Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be – Written by Martha Herbert, MD, PhD with Karen Weintraub

  • New Approaches to Treatment: After years of treating patients with autism and analyzing data and outcomes from multiple scientific disciplines, Dr. Martha Herbert, a pediatric neurologist at Mass General Hospital asserts that autism is a condition impacting the whole body, not just the brain.  She rejects the notion that autism is a “genetically determined, lifelong brain impairment” and focuses on treating all the symptoms associated with autism.
  • “This book offers a hopeful (though definitely not Pollyanna) view of autism and concrete steps parent can take to help their kids,”  explains co-author and Boston Globe science writer, Karen Weintraub.  By treating the physical side of autism, including sleep, digestive, and immune problems, the authors point out, “seemingly minor changes can make a major difference” in the lives of individuals with autism.

Many of the authors are part of the MyAutismTeam community.  They are incredibly approachable folks to boot!   Here are their usernames on MyAutismTeam.






Don’t be shy, post a comment on their wall if you have a question or want to leave them a comment.

– Eric

3 thoughts on “5 Great Autism Books for Parents

  1. My Asperger’s daughter age 19, cannot cope with relationships. As soon as she thinks she likes someone, if they make a move, she retreats immediately. She also seems to have no sex drive. I know this worries her but she finds it very hard to talk about. Have you come across this at all? There is very little in any of the books I have read, even those specifically for girls.

  2. I am an Aspie female a couple years older than your daughter. I think she needs to be taught how to react appropriately when someone flirts with her. She may also be asexual, some on the spectrum are. If she finds it difficult to discuss with you, she might want to talk to another woman she trusts, or a (female) counselor.

    I have also had success discussing my issues online with other people on the spectrum. Check out the Autism Women’s Network (you’ll need to google it, I forget their site address).

  3. A book that may help you, written by Shana Nichols “Girls Growing Up On The Autism Spectrum.” Addresses sexuality…issues gils face as they develop.

    I have read studies on delayed adolescence in girls with autism spectrum disorder. The connection between mind and body profound, the feelings of attraction and the signals of the body may get lost or unidentified with no connection with each other. An autistic person may become frustrated because they can’t identify what they are feeling or even become scared. This may cause them to want to retreat.

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