April is Autism Awareness Month, but these books can be used year round to educate and celebrate.
Books for Elementary School
How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville
I remember watching the HBO documentary about Temple Grandin and being struck by her “hug machine.” This beautiful book talks about the incredible invention of the ultimate coping tool.
Inside Asperger’s Looking Out and All Cats Are On The Autism Spectrum by Kathy Hoopman
I randomly discovered this books years ago and I’m so glad I did. They are a favorite on my bookshelf. Honest, funny, and insightful they truly “nail” what it’s like to live on the spectrum. The perfect way to build empathy.
My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Pete
A perfect book for any student who has a sibling on the spectrum. It celebrates the struggles and strengths that come with Autism.
The Girl Who Thought In Pictures by J. Mosca
I was once fortunate enough to hear Temple and her mother speak at a conference. I remember them talking about Temple’s struggles and strengths and in the course of the conversation compared Temple’s brain to a “Google Image Search.” The analogy stuck with me!
This book is a great way to explaining how those with Autism think “differently.”
Leah’s Voice by Lori DeMoria
A wonderful book for any student who has a new friend or sibling on the spectrum. This is the story of two sisters and the importance of inclusion.
Understanding Sam by L. Venter
Told in the 3rd person this book goes into many challenges those on the spectrum face- dislike of loud noises, trouble making friends, and the fear of change.
Books for Middle School and Beyond
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
The Danger Box by Blue Balliett
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s Kindle Edition John Elder Robison
Written by the brother of my favorite author, Augusten Burroughs, this memoir doesn’t hold back about life with autism. It talks about difficult struggles like connecting with others and trying to fit in. I would read with high school and beyond.
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Companion Video Ideas
For middle school: