100-ish Inclusive Children’s Books on Autism and Neurodiversity

Are you an educator looking for an inclusive children’s book to read with your class? Are you a parent searching for a book to help explain autistic traits to your children? Are you a therapist who wants to help your clients explore sensory differences?

The following titles were carefully selected in That Au-Some Book Club – a group dedicated to discussing books about autism and neurodiversity.

In the book club, we say that children’s books have a high IPW (impact per word-count). That’s because these books are read in group settings to our tiniest friends, who are just starting to figure out the world around them.

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 youth.

This list will help you take the guess work out of choosing a few fabulous books.

A few notes before you browse…

If you’re looking for something specific, I’m in the process of placing a few topics underneath each listing.

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 home or classroom library!

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.

Picture Books

The Autistic Boy in the Unruly Body by Gregory Tino, Illustrated by Patittoo*
(apraxia, autistic pride, self acceptance) *New Release*

Some Brains by Nelly Thomas, Illustrated by Cat MacInnes
(inclusion, neurodiversity, introducing autism, all types of representation)

Wiggles, Stomps, and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down by Lindsey Parker, Illustrated by Rebecca Burgess *
(sensory differences, anxiety, POC characters)

We Move Together by Kelly Fritsch Anne McGuire and Eduardo Trejos
(neurodiversity, inclusion, all kinds of representation)

Just Right for You by Melanie Heyworth, Illustrated by Celeste Josephine*
(autistic pride, introducing autism)

Sensory Seeking Sebastian by Christia DeShields, Illustrated by Marissa Nelson
(sensory differences, BIPOC characters)

Benji, the Bad Day, and Me by Sally J Pla et al. Illustrated by Ken Min *
(siblings, sensory differences)

Come Meet Drayden by Dana Young-Askew, illustrated by Cameron Wilson
(siblings, BIPOC characters)

Do You Want to Play? Making Friends with an Autistic Kid by Daniel Share-Strom, Maxine Share, Illustrated by Naghmeh Afshinjah *
(friendship, inclusion, respect)

Come On, Calm! by Kelsey Brown illustrated by Joseph Wrightson
(sensory differences, all types of diversity)

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, Illustrated by David Roberts
AR Book Level: 3.4 Points: 0.5
(curiosity, impulsiveness, BIPOC characters, compassionate parenting, STEM)

The Brain Forest by Onwards and Upwards Psychology

Born to Stand Out: A Story About A Chameleon Who Finds His True Colors by Nikki Rogers

Why Johnny Doesn’t Flap: NT is Ok by Clay Morton, illustrated by Alex Merry
(inclusion, introduction to autism, neurodiversity)

My Wandering Dreaming Mind by Merriam Saunders, Illustrated by Tammie Lyon (ND Author)
(ADHD, compassionate parenting)

I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont, Illustrated by David Catrow
(not disability-specific, POC character, self love, celebrates differences)

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by Rafael López
(not disability-specific, celebrates diversity)

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall, Illustrated by Michael Hall
AR Book Level: 1.6 Points: 0.5
(neurodiversity, compassion)

Too Sticky! :Sensory Issues with Autism by Jen Malia et al. Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff *
(sensory differences, STEM)

Juan Has the Jitters by Aneta Crus, Illustrated by Miki Yamamoto
(neurodiversity, inclusion, anxiety, sensory differences, BIPOC characters, STEM)

When Things Get Too Loud by Anne Alcott
(sensory differences)

A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey, Illustrated by Mika Song *
AR Book Level: 2.4 Points: 0.5
(friendship, inclusion, neurodiversity, POC characters)

Benny Doesn’t Like to Be Hugged by Zetta Elliott, Illustrated by Purple Wong
(sensory differences, advocacy, respect, compassion)

Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el, Illustrated by Tim Bowers
AR Book Level: 2.9 Points: 0.5
(inclusion, compassion, not disability-specific)

The Masterpiece: One Big Canvas by Jay Miletsky, Illustrated by Luis Peres
(neurodiversity, inclusion)

Suzi Spins by Emma Dalmayne and Illustrated by her son Raphelle *

The Molding of Clay by Jay Miletsky, Illustrated by Luis Peres
(compassion, advocacy, good book for critical adults)

The Perfect Fit by Naomi Jones, Illustrated by James Jones
(inclusion, self-esteem, friendship, diversity, STEM, not disability-specific)

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima, Illustrated by Jessie Sima
AR Book Level: 3.3 Points: 0.5
(inclusion, not disability-specific)

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
(inclusion, friendship, phonics, not disability-specific)

The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates and Juniper Bates illustrated by Amy June Bates
AR Book Level: 1.4 Points: 0.5
(inclusion, compassion, not disability-specific)

Be Who You Are by Todd Parr, Illustrated by Todd Parr
(inclusion, compassion, not disability-specific)

It’s Okay to be Different by Todd Parr, Illustrated by Todd Parr
AR Book Level: 1.7 Points: 0.5
(inclusion, compassion, not disability-specific)

Rosalee the Seeker by Nicole Filippone *
(sensory differences)

Alexander the Avoider by Nicole Filippone *
(sensory differences)

The Little Senses Series by Samantha Cotterill, Illustrated by Samantha Cotterill*
(sensory differences)

Noah Chases the Wind by Michelle Worthington illustrated by Joseph Cowman

The Boy with Big, Big Feelings by Brittney Winn Lee illustrated by Jacob Souva
(anxiety, compassion)

The Girl with Big, Big Questions by Brittney Winn Lee illustrated by Jacob Souva

The Boy Who Lost His Stims by Nathan McConnell *

Don’t Hug Doug: He Doesn’t Like It by Carrie Finison illustrated by Daniel Wiseman


The Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family by Sarah Kapit* 
(AAC user representation)

Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen! by Sarah Kapit *
AR Book Level: 4.6 Points: 8

The Infinite by Patience Agbabi
(BIPOC representation)

The Time-Thief by Patience Agbabi
(BIPOC representation)

Geek Girl Series by Holly Smale*

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas*

Afrotistic by Kala Allen Omeiza*

Anybody Here Seen Frenchie? by Leslie Connor
AR Book Level: 3.7 Points: 8
(nonspeaker representation)

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
AR Book Level: 4.3 Points: 8
(not autism specific, cross-disability, AAC representation)

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 *

Trouble at Table Five (a series) by Tom Watson

M in the Middle: Secret Crushes, Mega-Colossal Anxiety and the People’s Republic of Autism by the students of Limpsfield Grange*

M is for Autism: The Teenage Girl’s Guide to Autism, and Everyone Else’s by the students of Limpsfield Grange*

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 ) *

Ways to Be Me by Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott* (trilogy)

Underdogs Series by Chris Bonnello*

In Two Worlds by Ido Kedar *

More Titles to Explore

Nonfiction Titles Including Biographies

The Awesome Autistic Go-To Guide: A Practical Handbook for Autistic Teens and Tweens by Yenn Purkis and Tanya Masterman *
(A great book for self-exploration!)

The Awesome Autistic Guide to Trans Teens by Yenn Purkis and Sam Rose*

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 *

What’s J Say: A Collection of Poems by Justice Killebrew*

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 *

Queerly Autistic: The Ultimate Guide for Lgbtqia+ Teens on the Spectrum by Erin Ekins*

Odd Girl Out by Laura James *

Ido in Autismland by Ido Kedar *

The Autism-Friendly Guide to Periods by Robyn Steward *
a resource for older elementary students

The Secret Life of Rose: Inside an Autistic Head by Rose Smitten*

The Awesome Autistic Guide for Trans Teens by Yenn Purkis and Glenn Masterman
(releases in June 2022)

Shake It Up: How to be Young Autistic & Make an Impact by Quincy Hansen*
(releases in July 2022)

More Titles to Explore

Must-Reads for Parents and Educators

I Will Die On This Hill: Autistic Adults, Autism Parents, and the Children Who Deserve a Better World by Jules Edwards, Meghan Ashburn, et al. Illustrated by Nathan McConnell* Available for Pre-order now!

Inclusive Education for Autistic Children: Helping Children and Young People to Learn and Flourish in the Classroom by Dr. Rebecca Wood*

Autism and in Childhood: for Parents and Carers of the Newly Diagnosed by Luke Beardon (ND Author)

Sincerely, Your Autistic Child by AWN * Edited by Emily Paige Ballou, Sharon daVanport, and Morénike Giwa Onaiwu
On Audible

We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation by Eric Garcia*
On Audible

Uniquely Human: a Different Way of Seeing Autism by Dr. Barry M Prizant (Updated and Expanded Edition)
On Audible

Beyond Behaviors by Mona Delahooke PhD – (not autism-specific)
On Audible

Raising Human Beings by Ross Greene (not autism-specific)
On Audible

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)

More Titles to Explore

Cooking Up Some Delicious Resources!

Autism Resources for Elementary School Teachers – Some of my favorite resources all in one spot!

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!

Dove Orchids – Mentoring, coaching, and consulting for parents and educators

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