Autism Spectrum Disorder is a topic widely written on. The disorder, however, is a mystery. Many parents, researchers and authors try to understand and unravel the mystery. Many books yield insight, others encourage parents to bond. Here are just 10 books I recommend to read if you are interested in learning more about the topic.
1. A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards, Ann Bauer:
Edward is a toddler and 4 years old. His development is slow, and is coupled with a painful withdrawal from the world. Both parents struggle to sustain marriage. The mother Rachel seeks assistance from her brother Mickey to better assist Edward. Mickey suffered from the same disorder but faced trying times in an age where special education was not viewed positively. This book is an excellent read. Bauer does an excellent job at defining autism. It shows that she has done her research.
2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Mark Haddon:
This is a murder mystery told by a teenager with autism, Christopher John Francis Boone. Christopher has a unique ability. He can name all the countries in the world and their capitals, hates the colour yellow, loves animals and knows all the prime numbers up to 7057. Christopher faces troubling times as he uncovers the mystery of what happened to the next door neighbour’s dog. As he unravels what happened, he learns something personal that could change his life.
3. Daniel Isn’t Talking: A Novel, Marti Leimbach:
This is a story of a young boy with severe autism. Unlike Mark Haddon’s book, the story is told from the mother’s point of view. The mother’s courage to help her son become playful, able to speak and as normal as possible is touching. She finds a play therapist who has a knack for helping children like Daniel.
4. Asperger Syndrome, the Universe and Everything Kenneth Hall:
Kenneth is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 8. A bright student, he faces challenges, behaviour wise and academically. He uses a laptop to express himself and to communicate with others. In this children’s book, Kenneth retells his own story of his struggles and joys. Many other students with Asperger’s may find this book inspiring.
5. Friends in Deed: Julie’s Journey, Elizabeth Ferguson:
In Julie’s Journey, a single mother retells her struggle dealing with the problems she faces raising a 10-year-old son with challenging behaviours and autism. The message is clear here. It encourages parents to bond together. Parents are not alone.
6. Friends in Deed: Mary’s Mission, Elizabeth Ferguson:
This is a sequel to Julie’s Journey and comes from a different perspective. Mary also struggles to provide support for her severely disabled son. Faith allows her better understand the situation and offer assistance to family and friend.
7. Tilt, Elizabeth Burns:
This is an excellent novel that should be read closely. A mother is faced with trying times as her daughter Maeve is diagnosed with autism. She’s always dreamed about a perfect family. Now this ideal family has been shattered. No one can help her reconstruct her and her daughter’s world as tragedy evolves. The struggle in this story is one of many and provides insight for other parents facing the same challenges.
8. Owning Jacob, Simon Beckett:
Ben has just suffered a loss of his wife. He now has the sole responsibility of raising her son, Jacob who has Autism. As Ben cleans out his wife’s closet, he finds some information. He seeks to find the truth which becomes a deadly obsession. The novel is an excellent read, about a parent with dedication. It also shows us what we should not do when faced with harsh times.
9. Jamie’s Watch, C. Eric Ott:
This book is set in a different light and view from other stories. This story is told from the perspective of the father. It is an excellent read as it delves into the mystery and yet frightening disability of autism.
10. The Boy With Penny Eyes, Al Sarrantonio:
This story revolves around Bill Porter, a boy with autism. He never smiles or laughs. He usually stares calmly at the world. There are no signs of affection. This book is an excellent read and provides thorough insight into autism. It shows that the author did his research.