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As a parent of a child with autism, it can be difficult to know where to turn for guidance and support. Fortunately, many excellent books are available that can provide insight and understanding into the challenges of raising a child with autism.
Parenting A Child With Autism
Parenting a child with autism can be challenging, but it can also be an enriching experience. Parenting children with autism requires patience, understanding, and a willingness to learn. Some common struggles that parents of children with autism may face include difficulty with communication, sensory processing issues, and behavioral challenges. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social interaction. Children with autism may struggle to communicate their needs and feelings, which can lead to frustration and tantrums. Sensory processing issues can make everyday experiences overwhelming, such as going to the grocery store or attending a crowded event.
10 Books Every Autism Parent Needs
Many resources are available for parents of children with autism, including books that offer insights and strategies for managing these challenges. Here are ten books written by respected thought leaders and autism advocates to help you along your way.
Books For Parents
1. The Out-of-Sync Child
Author: Carol Stock Kranowitz
This book was well ahead of its time. I actually used it as a resource for my thesis more than 20 years ago, and it still holds up.
The Out-of-Sync Child provides parents, caregivers, and teachers with valuable information and practical strategies for understanding and supporting children with sensory processing disorder (SPD). SPD is a condition that affects how the brain processes information from the senses, resulting in challenges with everyday activities. Carol Stock Kranowitz is an expert in SPD and has over 25 years of experience working with children with SPD. Her expertise and insights make The Out-of-Sync Child a valuable resource for anyone looking to better understand and support children with SPD.
The Out-of-Sync Child is helpful because it:
The book covers various aspects of SPD, including its causes, symptoms, and how it affects children’s daily lives.
It provides numerous practical strategies and activities that help children with SPD.
The Out-of-Sync Child empowers parents and caregivers with knowledge and understanding of SPD. By reading this book, they can better advocate for their children and help them navigate the challenges of SPD.
The book’s compassionate and informative tone can help children with SPD feel understood and validated. In addition, it provides language to describe their experiences and helps them feel less alone.
2. No More Meltdowns
Author: Jed Baker
“No More Meltdowns” provides parents, caregivers, and educators with practical strategies for preventing and managing meltdowns in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Here are some reasons why this book can be helpful:
It offers a comprehensive overview of what meltdowns are and why they occur in children with ASD.
The book suggests strategies for managing meltdowns when they occur, including techniques for de-escalating the situation and teaching children coping skills. It provides a positive and proactive approach to managing meltdowns, rather than simply reacting to them.
It emphasizes the importance of understanding and respecting the sensory and communication differences of children with ASD.
The book includes real-life examples and case studies that illustrate the strategies in action.
3. Hard Landings: Looking Into the Future for a Child With Autism
Author: Cammie McGovern
Hard Landings is a memoir that chronicles the author’s journey as a mother of a child with autism. The book details the challenges faced by the family and their struggles to navigate the complex world of autism.
Some of the reasons why this book may be helpful are:
The book offers a first-hand account of the challenges, joys, and complexities of raising a child with autism, which can be valuable for parents, caregivers, and educators.
It provides practical advice on how to advocate for a child with autism, navigate the healthcare system, and find appropriate educational resources.
The book addresses the emotional toll that raising a child with autism can take on a family and offers insight and support for coping with the stress and anxiety that can come with the territory.
It raises awareness about autism and helps readers gain a deeper understanding of the condition, which can help reduce stigma and improve inclusion for individuals with autism.
4. Better Behavior Now
Author: Mark Durand
“Better Behavior Now” offers practical and effective strategies for managing challenging behaviors in children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. The book is based on evidence-based behavioral principles. It focuses on positive behavior support to promote adaptive behaviors and reduce problem behaviors.
Some of the reasons why this book is helpful are:
It provides a step-by-step guide on how to develop behavior support plans, including functional behavior assessments, goal-setting, and intervention strategies. This can help caregivers and professionals implement effective behavior management strategies tailored to the individual’s needs.
It offers a range of tools and resources, such as behavior-tracking forms, data collection sheets, and visual aids that can help caregivers and professionals to monitor progress and make data-driven decisions.
It emphasizes the importance of using positive reinforcement and proactive strategies to promote desired behaviors, rather than relying on punishment or negative consequences.
It provides practical tips on managing challenging behaviors, such as self-injurious behavior, aggression, and elopement. This can be particularly helpful for caregivers and professionals who may feel overwhelmed or uncertain about handling these behaviors.
5. I Love You Rituals
Author: Becky A. Bailey
It describes a variety of simple rituals, such as playful games, songs, and stories, that can be easily incorporated into daily routines to help build connection and trust between caregivers and children. Some of the rituals focus on specific areas, such as encouraging self-esteem, fostering empathy and compassion, and promoting cooperation and teamwork.
Here are some reasons why “I Love You Rituals” can be helpful:
The rituals can help strengthen the bond between caregivers and children, leading to more positive and fulfilling relationships.
The activities can help children develop emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, empathy, and social skills.
The rituals can provide a fun and engaging way to reduce stress and tension, both for caregivers and children. They also provide a predictable and comforting structure to the day, which can be especially helpful for young children.
6. Easy to Love Difficult to Discipline
Author: Becky A. Bailey
“Easy to Love Difficult to Discipline” focuses on positive discipline techniques for children. The book outlines seven powers of self-control that parents and educators can use to respond to challenging behavior in children. These powers include composure, encouragement, assertiveness, choices, empathy, positive intent, and consequences. It also provides practical strategies and techniques for implementing these powers in everyday situations.
Here are some reasons why “Easy to Love Difficult to Discipline” can be helpful:
The book promotes a positive and proactive approach to discipline that focuses on building relationships, promoting self-control, and creating a safe and supportive learning environment for children.
It highlights the importance of self-awareness and self-control in parenting and provides strategies for developing these skills.
The book provides practical techniques and strategies for managing difficult behavior in children, such as redirecting behavior, using positive language, and setting clear expectations.
It is grounded in research on child development, brain science, and social-emotional learning, making it a reliable source of information for parents and educators.
Books For Parents to Read With Their Children
7. Social Stories Comic Book
Author: Carol Gray
The Social Stories Comic Book is a visual tool designed to help children with autism spectrum disorders better understand and navigate social situations. Each story in the comic book follows a character with ASD as they encounter and navigate a social situation. The stories use clear and concise language, along with illustrations, to help children with ASD understand the emotions, thoughts, and behaviors of both themselves and others.
The Social Stories Comic Book is helpful for several reasons.
The visual nature of the comic book can be more engaging and easier to understand for children with ASD who may struggle with traditional text-based resources.
The stories are written specifically for children with ASD, taking into account their unique social and communication challenges.
These stories can help children with ASD develop important social skills, such as understanding social cues, managing emotions, and communicating effectively with others.
8. Jarvis Clutch: Social Spy
Authors: M. Levine, J. Clutch, E. Shems
Jarvis Clutch: Social Spy is a fictional character created by author Mel Levine, and the book is a part of the Jarvis Clutch series. The story follows the adventures of Jarvis Clutch, a high school student who uses his intelligence and technology to become a social spy and help his fellow students.
Some of the reasons why the book is helpful are:
Jarvis Clutch: Social Spy is a helpful book for parents of children with autism because it provides practical strategies for helping children with social communication difficulties.
The book uses storytelling and relatable characters to teach social skills and communication techniques to children with autism. It also includes activities and exercises that parents can use to reinforce the lessons and help their child practice the learned skills.
Jarvis is also an empathetic character who understands the social dynamics of his school and helps others navigate difficult situations. This promotes empathy and encourages readers to be more understanding of others.
The book’s approach is practical, easy to understand, and has been proven to be effective in helping autistic children develop social communication skills. It is an excellent resource for parents who want to better understand their child’s needs and learn how to support their child’s social and emotional growth.
9. Social Skills Picture Book
Author: Jed Baker
The Social Skills Picture Book is a visual guide designed to help children with ASD learn and practice social skills in everyday situations. The book is divided into six sections that cover common social situations, such as greetings, playtime, making friends, expressing emotions, and handling difficult situations. Each section includes pictures of various social scenarios and simple captions that provide step-by-step guidance on navigating the situation effectively.
Here are some reasons why The Social Skills Picture Book can be helpful:
The book uses visual aids, often helpful for children with ASD, to demonstrate social scenarios and behaviors. This can help the child understand the expectations and norms of social interactions clearly and concisely.
It also provides concrete examples of social situations that children may encounter in real life, such as playing with a friend, joining a group activity, or expressing emotions appropriately. This can help the child feel more confident and prepared when facing these situations.
The book includes practice exercises at the end of each section, which allows children to apply what they have learned in a fun and interactive way.
The book focuses on positive reinforcement and encourages children to use their social skills constructively. This can help build self-esteem and foster a more positive outlook on social interactions.
10. Robbie’s World and his Spectrum of Adventure
Author: Debra Mcivor
Robbie’s World tells the story of Robbie, a boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and his experiences in a world that can be overwhelming and confusing to him. The book also introduces the concept of the Spectrum of Adventure. This represents the range of emotions that Robbie experiences, from his most comfortable and familiar state (green) to his most uncomfortable and overwhelming state (red).
The Spectrum of Adventure is helpful for several reasons:
It provides a way for children with ASD to understand and communicate their feelings concretely and visually, which can be particularly challenging for those who struggle with social and emotional communication.
The book helps neurotypical children and adults to understand the experiences of people with ASD and to recognize that their emotions and reactions may be different from their own.
It also promotes empathy and inclusion by encouraging readers to recognize and accept individual differences.
Knowledge Is Power
As a parent of a child with autism, it’s essential to have resources at your fingertips that can help make the journey a little easier. These 10 books are just a few of the many resources available to parents of kids with autism. At Circle Care, we offer a wide range of resources, including blogs, webinars, and parent coaching services.
If you are looking for more ideas for activities you and your child with autism can do together, many resources are available. Visit Circle Care Services and sign up for our email list. With the right resources and activities, you can create lasting connections with your autistic child and provide a nurturing environment for them to thrive.