April is Autism Acceptance Month.
As an educator, you might be looking for a few good books to read with your class. There are hundreds – if not thousands – of titles to choose from! Unfortunately, not all books about autism spread the same message.
We want to make sure the books we choose promote inclusion and accessibility. We don’t want to share books that stigmatize, pathologize, or infantilize our autistic students.
I know teachers are busy and might not have time to sift through every title. This list will help you take the guess work out of choosing a few fabulous books!
These titles were carefully selected in That Au-Some Book Club – a group dedicated to discussing books about autism and neurodiversity.
Some of the titles are autism-specific while others promote inclusion and diversity in a broader sense. All of them would be fantastic additions to your classroom or school library, and perfect for reading aloud with your class!
Notes: Titles with (*) behind the listing indicate the author is autistic. The absence of a (*) does not mean the author is not autistic.
I included Accelerated Reading information for the books I could find.
This list is not all-inclusive. There are plenty of other titles that promote inclusivity and neurodiversity. These are the titles I stand behind as the author of this article.
I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. I earn a (very) small commission from the links provided.
Wiggles, Stomps, and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down by Lindsey Parker, Illustrated by Rebecca Burgess *Preorder now! This book is fantastic and comes out in April. *
Do You Want to Play? Making Friends with an Autistic Kid by Daniel Share-Strom, Maxine Share, Illustrated by Naghmeh Afshinjah *
Sensory Seeking Sebastian by Christia DeShields, Illustrated by Marissa Nelson
Benji, the Bad Day, and Me by Sally J Pla et al. Illustrated by Ken Min *
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, Illustrated by David Roberts
AR Book Level: 3.4 Points: 0.5
My Wandering Dreaming Mind by Merriam Saunders, Illustrated by Tammie Lyon (ND Author)
Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall, Illustrated by Michael Hall
AR Book Level: 1.6 Points: 0.5
Too Sticky! :Sensory Issues with Autism by Jen Malia et al. Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff *
Come Meet Drayden by Dana Young-Askew, illustrated by Cameron Wilson
My Whirling, Twirling Motor by Merriam Saunders, Illustrated by Tammie Lyon (ND Author)
A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey, Illustrated by Mika Song *
AR Book Level: 2.4 Points: 0.5
Suzi Spins by Emma Dalmayne and Illustrated by her son Raphelle *
Benny Doesn’t Like to Be Hugged by Zetta Elliott, Illustrated by Purple Wong
Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el, Illustrated by Tim Bowers
AR Book Level: 2.9 Points: 0.5
The Masterpiece: One Big Canvas by Jay Miletsky, Illustrated by Luis Peres
The Molding of Clay by Jay Miletsky, Illustrated by Luis Peres
The Perfect Fit by Naomi Jones, Illustrated by James Jones
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima, Illustrated by Jessie Sima
AR Book Level: 3.3 Points: 0.5
A Tiger Called Thomas by Charlotte Zolotow and Diana Cain Bluthenthal
AR Book Level: 3.1 Points: 0.5
Swing by Michael Hall, Illustrated by Michael Hall
The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates and Juniper Bates illustrated by Amy June Bates
AR Book Level: 1.4 Points: 0.5
Be Who You Are by Todd Parr, Illustrated by Todd Parr
It’s Okay to be Different by Todd Parr, Illustrated by Todd Parr
AR Book Level: 1.7 Points: 0.5
Rosalee the Seeker by Nicole Filippone *
The Little Senses Series by Samantha Cotterill, Illustrated by Samantha Cotterill*
The Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family by Sarah Kapit (novel) * New Book!
Get a Grip, Vicky Cohen! by Sarah Kapit *
AR Book Level: 4.6 Points: 8
Trouble with a Tiny T by Merriam Saunders ND Author
The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla *
AR Book Level: 4.8 Points: 9
Stanley Will Probably be Fine by Sally J. Pla *
AR Book Level: 4.2 Points: 7
A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll *
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
AR Book Level: 4.6 Points: 3
Moojag and the Auticode Secret by N.E. McMorran*
Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos *
AR Book Level: 5.0 Points: 7
Can You See Me? by Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott *
AR Book Level: 5.6 Points: 11
Do You Know Me? by Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott (sequel ) *
Underdogs Series by Chris Bonnello
In Two Worlds by Ido Kedar *
Nonfiction Titles Including Biographies
Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty *
Leaders Around Me: Autobiographies of Autistics who Type, Point, and Spell to Communicate edited by Edlyn Vallejo Peña, PhD *
Anatomy of Autism: A Pocket Guide for Educators, Parents, and Students by Diego Pena *
The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida *
AR Book Level: 5.8 Points: 3.0
Fall down Seven Times Get Up Eight by Naoki Higashida *
The Spectrum Girl’s Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic by Siena Castellon *
Odd Girl Out by Laura James *
Ido in Autismland by Ido Kedar *
The Awesome Autistic Go-To Guide: A Practical Handbook for Autistic Teens and Tweens by Yenn Purkis and Tanya Masterman *
The Autism-Friendly Guide to Periods by Robyn Steward *
a resource for older elementary students
Must-Reads for Educators of Neurodivergent Students
Inclusive Education for Autistic Children: Helping Children and Young People to Learn and Flourish in the Classroom by Dr. Rebecca Wood*
Beyond Behaviors by Mona Delahooke PhD
War on Autism: On the Cultural Logic of Normative Violence by Anne McGuire
Understanding and Evaluating Autism Theory by Nick Chown
Communication Alternatives in Autism: Perspectives on Typing and Spelling Approaches…by Edlyn Vallejo Peña *
Lost At School: Why Our Kids With Behavioral Challenges Are Falling Through The Cracks And How We Can Help Them by Dr. Ross Greene Ph. D
Avoiding Anxiety in Autistic Children: A Guide for Autistic Wellbeing by Dr. Luke Beardon (ND Author)
Cooking Up Some Delicious Resources!
Helping Kids Communicate Without Speaking: Sign Language, Visual Schedules, AAC, and more!
Helping Nonspeaking Kids Transition to Spelling, Typing, and Pointing – A Resource List
Accessible Academics Course: Adapting Grade Level Curriculum to Nonspeaking Students
Beyond Behaviors Course: Effective Science-Based Tools to Transform Childhood Behaviors – Professional Development Credits Available!
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