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Reading aloud to your child with Autism



Recommended books by experts

reading, autism, child, parents

Parents know all too well that reading aloud is one of the most important things they can do to help their child with vocabulary, learning about relationships and feelings, and that it also works their imagination. But when your child has autism, sometimes it’s not always easy to find books that will engage their child and help them discover their own place in the world.

Here are a few books considered to be the “best about the autism spectrum that can provide a bit of comfort and understanding through a good story,” from Applied Behavior Analysis Programs, an organization that provides real world information to those who wish to work in the special education field.

Hello Roar, Little Dinosaur (Learning Development Aids, 2012)
Hazel Reeves

Ages 3-8
“Hello Roar, Little Dinosaur” is part of a 
series about a little dinosaur to which children with high-functioning autism are sure to relate. Like children on the autism spectrum, little Roar thinks about things in a different way, but she also realizes that that is what makes her special. Each Roar book features Roar using her unique abilities on an adventure alongside a family member or friend.

What it is to Be Me! (Fairdale Publishing, 2005)
Angela Wine

Ages 4 Up
“What it is to Be Me!” is written from the perspective of Danny, the author’s son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Danny uses humor and keen insight to show readers of all ages what it means to have Asperger’s, complete with all of the challenges and victories.

Why Does Izzy Cover Her Ears? (Autism Asperger Publishing Company, 2009)
Jennifer Veenendall

Ages 4-8
Izzy is a fun and feisty first grader who is often misunderstood because of her seemingly odd behavior. This vibrantly illustrated book tells the story of how Izzy attempts to cope with sensory overload in surroundings that are new to her, while simultaneously promoting the acceptance of peers with sensory modulation difficulties.

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism (Magination Press, 2015)
Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer

Ages 5-8
Zane the zebra has autism, and he is worried that his friends and classmates will make fun of his stripes, which make him different. As Zane learns that having autism is one of the many things that actually makes him special, young readers will relate to Zane and realize that they, too, have plenty to be proud of.

READ MORE: Sensational toys for sensory kids

Andy and His Yellow Frisbee (Woodbine House, 1996)
Mary Thompson

Ages 5-8
When a new girl at school notices Andy playing alone with his yellow frisbee, Andy’s protective older sister, Rosie, becomes afraid that the girl will upset Andy. Through Rosie’s explanations of autism, young readers learn about the challenges faced by those on the autism spectrum. At the end of the book, the author also includes a helpful and insightful list autism facts.

Autism Is…? (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012)
Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan

Ages 5-8
When young Logan hears his grandmother tell her friend that Logan has autism, he wonders what she means? “Autism Is….?” is Logan’s grandmother’s answer, and children on the autism spectrum are sure to appreciate her easy-to-understand, child-friendly explanation of the facts. The book is part of a 
series featuring Logan and aimed at young readers on the spectrum, and other books include “Feelings Are…?”, “Manners Are….?”, “School Rules Are…?”, “Danger Is….?”, and a wide range of other topics helpful to those with autism.

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006)
Kathy Hoopmann

Ages 7 and Up
Not only does this delightful book include fun color photographs of cats and kittens, it also offers a humorous glimpse at some of the difficulties and joys of raising a child on the autism spectrum. Hoopmann draws insightful parallels between children with Asperger Syndrome and household cats, including sensitive hearing, picky eating habits, and a dislike of being touched.

Can I Tell You About Asperger’s Syndrome? (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003)
Jude Welton

Ages 7-15
“Can I Tell You About Asperger’s Syndrome?” is narrated by Adam, a young boy on the autism spectrum. Through easily  understood explanations and interesting illustrations, Adam teaches readers what Asperger’s Syndrome is, the different challenges faced by those with Asperger’s, and how young people can understand and appreciate their peers on the spectrum.

The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee (Chronicle Books; Reprint edition, 2015)
Barry Jonsberg

Ages 9-12
Barry Jonsberg’s  novel “The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee” tells the story of a 12-year old girl on the autism spectrum. Candice has plenty of quirks, and her lovable nature is sure to make any young reader happy to jump on board her adventure.




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