21 Books to Help you Better Understand Autism

21 Books to Help you Better Understand Autism

*This page contains affiliate links, there is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family. Please see our disclosure statement for further details. 

21 Books to Help you Better Understand Autism

21 Books to Help you Better Understand Autism Pin

Our family has read many books over the years to help us better understand Autism and various perspectives to help us better be able to help my brother through his journey through life. We wanted to create a resource with various books that we have found helpful and highly recommended.

The Reason I jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen Year old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida

 

The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing, Genius, and Autism by Kristine Barnett

 

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

 

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes you Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition by Ellen Notbohm

 

Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant

 

In a Different Key: the Story of Autism by John Donvan & Caren Zucker

 

Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism by Arthur & Carly Fleishmann

 

A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: How to Meet the Challenges and Help your Child Thrive by Sally Ozonoff, Geraldine Dawson, & James C. McPartland

 

The Anti-Romantic Child: A Memoir of Unexpected Joy by Priscilla Gilman

 

Autism Every Day: Over 150 Strategies Lived and Learned by a Professional Autism Consultant with 3 Sons on the Spectrum by Alyson Beytien

 

Somewhere Over the Sea: A Father’s Letter to his Autistic Son by Halfdan W. Freihow

 

The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed by Temple Grandin

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (revised): The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism by Chantal Sicile-Kira

 

The Obsessive Joy of Autism by Julia Bascom

The Obsessive Joy of Autism

Kids Beyond Limits: The Anat Baniel Method for Awakening the Brain and Transforming the Life of your Child with Special Needs by Anat Baniel

The Social Skills Picture Book: Teaching Play, Emotion, and Communication to Children with Autism by Jed Baker

The Social Skills Picture Book for High School and Beyond by Jed Baker

I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autism by Pat Thomas

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs: An Autism Spectrum Guide to the Confusing World of Idioms, Metaphors, and Everyday Expressions by Michael Barton

Motivate to Communicate!: 300 Games and Activities for your Child with Autism by Simone Griffin

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

 We wanted to create a comprehensive list that can provide you with a wide variety of options to help you learn more Autism and learn the world through their perspective and eyes. Our family has loved getting to read these books and we hope you will too. Please share with us books that you have enjoyed and if there are any that you feel should be added!

Has your child just received the Autism Diagnosis? Are you feeling overwhelmed with all of the information? We wanted to create a comprehensive FREE resource for you with tons of Autism and Special Needs Resources. This blog post is part of our resource where we provide you with information on tons of areas such as websites, books, podcasts, blogs, support groups, transitions into adulthood and MORE! If you would like this FREE download please provide us with your name and email address below to grab your FREE copy! Autism Free Resources Preview

Please reach out to us if you have any questions or areas that we can help you with! We are here to support you!

13 Children’s Books About Disabilities

13 Children’s Books About Disabilities

*This page contains affiliate links, there is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family. Please read our disclosure statement for more information. 

13 Children’s Books About Disabilities 

13 books about disabilities pin

Are you looking for children’s books that provide insight and understanding about various disabilities? I feel that the best way to help our children learn compassion and understanding is by talking to them about various disabilities and sharing stories to help them understand.

We have compiled a round up of various books that we have come across that share insight about children with various disabilities. We have not personally read them all, but they were all highly recommended.

My Brother Sammy is Special by by Becky Edwards

 In this book Sammy has autism and his brother gets frustrated that he can’t always play with him because he doesn’t like the same things he does and wants a brother more like him. But by the end of the book the older brother realizes that he should not demand everything on his own terms and that Sammy’s way of doing things may not be so bad after all. Grades K–3.

Just Because by Rebecca Elliott

 This is a heartwarming picture book about being perfectly loved, no matter what. The younger brother goes on to describe all of the fun he has with his big sister who he loves so much and delights in telling us all about the fun things they do together. As the books goes on he realizes his sister has special needs and he accepts this as he does, all the wonderful things about her. Ages 4-8.

My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete

In this book,Charlie has autism and it goes on to talk about how his brain works in a special way and it’s harder for him to make friends. His big sister tells us, for everything that Charlie can’t do well, there are plenty more things that he’s good at. She goes on to tell us everything he is good at and shows a wonderful relationship between siblings. Grades  K–3.

Molly the Pony: A True Story by Pam Kaster

This book is about Molly the pony and shares the experiences she went through when she was rescued after Hurrican Katrina and her new ling on a farm with new animal friends. A dog at the farm attacks her and her front leg is injured badly and she undergoes amputation of her front leg which is a rare surgery for horses. She then relearns how to walk and embarks on this new mission in life. Grades K-3.

Knockin’ on Wood: Starring Peg Leg Bates by Lynne Barasch

This is an inspirational biography of Clayton -Peg Leg- Bates (1907-1998), an African American man who over came the hardship of losing a leg at age 12 and went on to become a world-renowned tap dancer. Grades K-3.

Rainbow Joe and Me by Maria Diaz Strom

This book talks about how Eloise learns a new way to see the world through her friend Rainbow Joe who is blind. He teaches her how he imagines and mixes colors. Eloise learns a whole new way to see the world. Grades K-3.

Different, Not Less: A Children’s Book About Autism by Dan Gibbons

This is a fantastic book talking about how children with autism can do amazing, incredible things!  This book can be used to teach your child about Autism Spectrum Disorder. The poem in the book was written by a father of a son with ASD. This book will give you an opportunity to explain the diagnosis to your child when you believe they are able to understand. Each page also has a hidden word. Red letters mixed in with the black letters spell uplifting words for those diagnosed with autism. Can your child find them? Grades K-3.

Silent Star: the Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy by Bill Wise


This book shares the story of William Hoy and how he loved baseball. Growing up in the 1860s and ’70s, he dreamed of one day playing in the major leagues. A far-off fantasy for many boys, fulfilling this dream was even more of a long shot for William, who was deaf. Age Range: 6 – 11 years.

The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon

This book shares the experiences of a child in kindergarten who has double vision and the strugggles she goes through with double vision. She then starts to wear a patch to help her with her vision and she becomes the pirate of kindergarten. With the help of her patch she is now able to read and cut! Age Range: 4-8 years. 

Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

This book does a wonderful job of explaining and showing how a teacher can help a child overcome dyslexia and helps her learn to read. This can be a great book for a child that has difficulty reading or for a teacher who has made a difference in a child’s life. Age Range: 5-8 years.

I Can Understand by Aviva M. Cantor


This book was inspired by the relationship of the authors older brother who had disabilities. Whenever children would see her brother they would ask why he looked different and her mother would respond, “He can’t talk, but he can understand.” This inspired her to write a book to help children have a better understanding of people with special needs. Through this book Joey is the narrator and gets the opportunity to speak for himself and the reader gets to learn his perspective.  This book lets others benefit from all that the author’s brother has taught her about acceptance, humanity, and unconditional love. Grades K-3.

Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have The Wiggle Fidgets by Barbara Esham

This book describes what it is like for kids in class who need to wiggle and move and how they can feel embarrassed by these behaviors. It provides some great techniques to help with these behaviors in the classroom and is very highly recommended. Age Range: 6 and up.

Dana Also Deserves a Playground by Yael Manor

This story aims to shed light, on the discrimination against disabled children in the playgrounds. It provides some of the struggles these children face on the play ground and how we can create a more inclusive play ground. Grades K-3.

We hope this list can provide you with a variety of stores to share with your children to help us provide a world with acceptance and understanding. Do you have a favorite book about disabilities that you would like us to add to this list? Please let us know what stories you like!

Has your child been recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and you are feeling overwhelmed? This blog post is part of our FREE Autism & Special Needs Resource PDF where we provide you with a wealth of resources from sites, blogs, podcasts, books, and even transition to adulthood resources. Please enter your name and email below to download our FREE resource.

Autism Free Resources Preview

180+ Amazing Autism and Special Needs Resources

180+ Amazing Autism and Special Needs Resources

180 Amazing Autism and Special Needs Resources for Families, children, and adults Freebie

Are you Feeling Overwhelmed?

Do you feel overwhelmed and tired, and just struggling to feel like you are making an impact with your child or adult with autism or special needs?

Today we wanted to share an amazing FREE resource we have created to help you feel a little less overwhelmed and more like you can take action on how you can find resources to help your family.

We get it, it can be hard to go through the every day tasks, especially when you are transitioning onto a new stage in life where you have to consistently learn new ideas and techniques to help your child succeed in life. We wanted to create the ultimate bundle of resources for you and your family to feel more confident in your stage of life and decrease that feeling of overwhelm.

This FREE Resource has over 180+ ideas from Autism websites, books, support groups, blogs by families and professionals, transitions into adulthood resources, podcasts, self-care tips, organization, ebooks, planners, calendars, & MORE!!

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What resources will you get from this download?

  • Autism Sites
  • Autism Books
  • Sensory Processing Books
  • Children with Disabilities Books
  • Transition into Adulthood Resources
  • Self-Care and Parenting Resources
  • Facebook Support Groups
  • Pinterest Group Boards with loads of Special needs content
  • Autism and Special Needs Blogs
  • Occupational Therapy Blogs
  • Speech Therapy Blogs
  • Helpful EBooks
  • Calendars
  • Planners
  • Podcasts
  • Help Around the Home Resources
  • Online Resources
  • Blogging Resources to start your own blog

We also share our blogging tips and resources if you are someone that is looking for help with blogging as a way to make extra income for your family or for a way for your adult child to create an at home online business!

We hope you find this FREE resource helpful as you are going through each stage of life whether you just got the diagnosis or you are looking for ways to continue to advocate for your child or adult. We are here to HELP!

Please leave a comment about what you think about the resources or if you know of any more to add! We would love to hear your feedback!

Tips to Improve Showering and Bathing for Children with Sensory Processing Difficulties

Tips to Improve Showering and Bathing for Children with Sensory Processing Difficulties

*This post contains affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but if you purchase something through our links this will greatly help our family. Please read more about our disclosure here.

Showering and Bathing Tips for Children with Sensory Processing Difficulties

My brother has always had a difficult time with taking baths and showers because he hated having water get on his face or in his eyes. Don’t get me wrong he loved being in the water, but as soon as he would be splashed in the face in the pool or we would have to go to wash his hair in the bath, a flood of anxiety and fear would come over him. He has had this difficulty ever since he was little and he is still learning to decrease his anxiety with water on his face. It wasn’t until this year that he has now been able to wash his face and hair more independently (14 years later). We wanted to share the tips and tricks that we have used to help my brother decrease his anxiety with water getting on his face to allow him to be more independent with these skills.

Tips to Decrease Anxiety with Water Getting on the Face for a Child with Sensory Processing Difficulties

What we did first was recognize this was a fear for my brother and we were always patient and understanding with him. Something that my mother has been working on this past year with my brother is working on identifying what his fears are and understanding that fear is an emotion. These emotions can come from what you are thinking, and they have been working on changing his thinking to a positive thought to help him create a solution. So for example, before taking a shower or washing his face at the sink they would state positive statements about putting water on his face. They would say, “I will be able to get my face wet or I am calm and I can do this.”

These were ways that we were slowly able to decrease fear for my brother with getting water on his face.

He was very motivated to go swimming, so during the summer we were constantly at the pool, going to water parks, or playing outside in the sprinkler. He was usually having so much fun during these activities that when he would get water on his face we would always make sure we had a beach towel near by or he would wear a swim shirt that he could use to help wipe off the water on his face to help decrease his anxiety. We were constantly exposing him to activities that were motivating to him where he would be exposed to water on his body.

Other fun ways we would expose him to water were through water balloon fights and using a bubble machine outside with bubbles popping around him. Again, we would always have a towel near by him, but during the activities he was happy and excited having fun!

When we were swimming in the pool, we would constantly be trying to teach him how to hold his breath or blow out of his nose when he would go under water. As well as closing his eyes under water. We would play games to help motivate him to make it more fun. We would always demonstrate for him so he could see how to do it. We would try to make it motivating and be super excited over the top if just the littlest bit of his face touch the water such as his chin. We would give tons and tons of praise and encouragement.

It took us many many years for him to be more comfortable with getting his face wet in the pool, but we never gave up. Even today he still does not prefer to go underwater and we are still working on learning how to swim, but every year we are making progress. We learn to celebrate every little victory along the way.

Now this year, we have been working really hard with being independent with showering and washing our face. Now that we are going through puberty we also get to work on these skills to help us prevent breakouts. We started a new acne medicine for our face this year, so that has also helped increase the motivation for my brother to want to learn the skill so he can decrease the acne. My mother has learned to be so patient with him in helping him learn these skills.

These are ways that we have helped him learn to wash his face on his own:

  • He used a face mist blower (something he liked) to help him get used to the feeling of water on his face.
  • He would wash his face at the sink with just a wet wash cloth (my mother would have to do it first, then she would have him slowly increase his ability to use the wash cloth himself)
  • They slowly increased splashing water on his face by getting his hands wet and having him touch his face then slowly add more water over time.
  • Finally, they had him get in the shower and use a wash cloth in the shower to wash his face.
  • NOTE: He would always have a dry wash cloth or towel right next to him so that he could dry his face off if it was too much for him.
  • This was a very long process and took a lot of patience and practice. We think it went better for him this year because he was motivated to get rid of the acne on his face.

These are ways that we helped him learn to shower more independently:

  • In the beginning my mom would be in the bathroom and available for him if he needed anything, this helped to decrease the anxiety.
  • We first talked about the importance of why we need to take a shower and how we need to smell good when we are around other people. This was the first year that he has ever mentioned that he wants to get married (over the past two years my sister and I both got married and he realized that he would need to get married if he wants to carry our families last name). So my mom would make sure to talk about how if he wants to get a girl friend he needs to smell nice and this has been motivating to him.
  • When they were at the dermatologist, my mother had the doctor explain the importance of showering and washing our face to him, which had a bigger impact on him then my mom telling him that. He seems to do well with taking advice from doctors.
  • While my brother was taking the shower there was always a towel available hanging over the edge of the shower.
  • To wash his hair, my mom would use a large cup and place a was cloth over his face and he would tilt his head back and let my mom wash his hair for him. They would slowly transition away from this by having him participate more with washing his hair and having him do more of it on his own, such as having him put the shampoo in or slowly pour some water on his head.
  • Washing his hair is something he has always had a really hard time with and he still needs help at times from my mom to help him, but he is doing so much more of it on his own! He will be doing it on his own in no time!
  • Also they learned that he does better with taking a shower night before going to bed as the warm water helps him go to sleep. Try to figure out the best time of day that works for your child.

Here are some other strategies that we have used over the years to help decrease anxiety as well:

  • Installing a “rain” shower head
  • Installing a handheld shower nozzle to give him a sense of control
  • Sometimes we would just take a bath
  • Warm up the bathroom ahead of time to make the temperature change less dramatic
  • Play music while in the shower or bath for fun and a distraction
  • Have fun bath toys in the shower or bath tub
  • Mr. Bubbles foam soap for fun in the bath
  • Using a schedule and sticking to it. When we figured out a night time routine worked well we have been sticking with it.
  • We would sometimes use baby wipes to help clean off at times
  • We have heard dry shampoo can be helpful
  • When we used a wash cloth or shampooing his hair we tried to use slow deep pressure. Slow deep pressure is more organizing than light touch.
  • Finding soap products that they like (some kids prefer scents and some prefer no scents) Allow them to participate in picking out the soaps to give them more independence.
  • Use motivators whenever possible. We were constantly trying to figure out what motivated my brother to help make it more fun and turn it into a goal that he wanted to meet!

We hope that these tips and suggestions can be helpful for you and your family to help make bathing a better routine for everyone. As a family we are always working on this skill and taking it day by day and celebrating every little victory. We would love to learn if you have more suggestions that have worked for your family!

Please let these suggestions remind you that you are not alone and together we can grow and learn from each other.

 

Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop

Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia!

Want to join in on next month’s Voices of Special Needs Hop? Click here!


5 Ways to Better Understand Autism

5 Ways to Better Understand Autism

  • This post contains affiliate links, there is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family.

5 ways to better understand Autism

I believe that God has a plan for us and that we are to love everyone…Now you are probably thinking how does God fit into all of this? Well I believe that God has me here on this Earth for a bigger picture and that I am here to help others show love and acceptance to others.

Why is it so hard for us to understand something that is different from us? Why can we be so judgmental?  Why is it easier to be sad or mean instead of nice or happy?

Everyone is Unique

There are a lot of why questions in life and every one of us has a unique answer to those questions. Everyone is UNIQUE. We all go through different experiences in this life that shape who we are as a person. Now you are probably wondering when is she going to start taking about Autism? First I want to paint the picture that every person has unique and different personalities. We can look different, think differently, like different things such as foods, and we all have different skills that we are either good at or bad at.

Every person is unique, just like every person with Autism is unique. No one person is alike, has different meaning for each person and if you have met one person with Autism, you have met only one person with Autism. Please do not base your opinions based on one experience you have had with someone with Autism.

These are views that I have learned along the way as a sister, a professional, and as someone who is wanting to learn more about the Autism world, so that I can learn their perspective and be able to understand their viewpoint better.

When talking to your children or loved ones about Autism come from a loving and positive viewpoint.

Here are some ways to help us understand Autism

  1. We all see the world differently, but the world can look very different for someone with Autism. The brain is wired differently and different connections can work well or may have more difficulty working.
  2. The senses may be wired differently as well. Sound, touch, taste, smell, or movement can feel much different for someone with Autism. We all have different sensory preferences such as the foods we like or the activities we enjoy. Respect everyone’s sensory preferences and differences.
  3. Communication may be difficult and social interactions may be very hard for someone with Autism. Find ways to include someone with Autism in an activity in a way that they can handle the situation. In order to do this, you first need to get to know the person and understand their likes and dislikes.
  4. The special wiring in their brain can make something that we may think as easy be very hard for them, or something that we may think as being hard, can be easy to them.
  5. Someone may develop behaviors to help them cope with stressful or chaotic feelings due to being overwhelmed with an experience due to the their senses. When the brain and senses don’t communicate well the brain can become overwhelmed. These behaviors can look odd to us, but it can help them feel calm inside. The person may not be able to say out loud how they are feeling. From the outside they could look like they are fine, but on the inside they could be feeling chaos.

How we can learn to understand their point of view

  1. Take the time to get to know the individual. Find out what they like and don’t like.
  2. Find a way to be able to communicate with them. Do they talk verbally or use a communication device?
  3. See if there is something that you can do together that you both would like to do.
  4. If someone is talking mean about someone with Autism, stand up for the person and say something positive about them.
  5. I have heard many times that people with Autism just want to feel understood. In order to do this we need to take the time to learn the world from their perspective and not be quick to judge or place opinions.

I loved this quote from the video Amazing Things Happen, “People with Autism are not ill or broken, they have a unique view of the world.” If we take the time to learn and share the world from their point of view, we may be able to see the amazing things they can do.

If you are looking for a video to be able to share with your children or loved ones about Autism, I highly recommend this video from Amazing Things Happen! Amazing Things Happen is the creation of independent animation director Alex Amelines. Here is the link to the Facebook page for Amazing Things Happen.

If you found this post or video helpful please leave a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts!

If you are looking for further resources to help you better understand Autism, here are a list of books that may be helpful!

Do you have a child with Autism and need help to find support? This post talks about 24 amazing online support groups and blogs for families! 

Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop

Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia! Want to join in on next month’s Voices of Special Needs Hop? Click here!

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