If you are a new parent to the world of autism spectrum disorder, let me be among the first to bid you welcome. This diagnosis is not an easy one to deal with at first but it will get better. It may not seem like it right now, but in time, you’ll start seeing some bright spots. I’m not suggesting that you go out and celebrate your child’s newfound diagnosis, but for right now- take a deep breath, count to ten, have some coffee (with some Bailey’s if you need it), and relax. You’ve got this. My daughter was diagnosed in 2004 and one of the first things that I turned to were books. Then I looked for support groups and internet resources but for me, nothing beat a good book. I want to share my personal recommendations for top ten books about autism for new parents and loved ones.
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Top Ten Books About Autism: For New Parents
I am a lover of books, and after my daughter was diagnosed with Autism, books were my first go-to resource. This world on the Autism Spectrum Disorder can be overwhelming, but know that there is hope and help. This will be the first of a few top ten books about autism posts, as I also wish to share recommendations that are specific to my situation and ones that I feel were significant in helping me cope. Later on, you can expect to see Top Ten Books About Autism: For Parents of Girls and Top Ten Books About Autism: Personal Stories.
Please note that this list is no particular order, and there are numerous that I could also include. I just wanted to share the top ten books about autism that helped me the most after my daughter’s diagnosis.
This book was one of the first that I bought in an attempt to hopefully understand my daughter. I was more concerned with the length of the book (wanting something that I could read in between crying sessions) than the actual content, so it was a pleasant surprise that the content surpassed my expectations. Right off the bat, this is one of the first books that I recommend to parents who are starting on the autism journey.
This book was also one of the first that I bought (I believe in a handful of four from a local bookstore) and I have bought the updated edition as well. I highly recommend this book for the clear cut way it’s written and the explanation of terms without being too medical and formal. For parents who are a bit overwhelmed at first (and that applies to most of us), I think that this is a must buy. And not just for parents, but for loved ones, family friends, etc.
As you’ll see above, I recommend quite a few books by Dr. Temple Grandin and honestly, I would recommend everything that she’s written. I’ll have another top ten books about autism list concerning memoirs/personal stories but I felt that Dr. Grandin deserved to be on this list. To read about the spectrum from her point of view- an accomplished adult who just so happens to be on the Autism spectrum; her story is inspiring and her insight is enlightening. In this book, in particular, Dr. Grandin goes into the inner workings of how an individual with autism thinks and how they process information.
This is Dr. Grandin’s first book and my first experience with her work. My mom is actually the one who bought this for me and I’m so grateful that she did. Since my daughter is non-verbal, this helped me to really understand the importance of visuals in her every day life (from using PECS at home to creating visual schedules to help her with her routine).
After reading “Thinking in Pictures”, I knew that I had to buy this book as well and I wasn’t disappointed with my purchase. Dr. Grandin delivers another solid and very informative book.
Potty training can be a difficult task to begin with, but potty training with autism involved can be especially daunting. But, don’t let that intimidate you. This book has been especially helpful with my daughter. This book offers real life, effective strategies and with patience, and persistence- potty training can be another life skill that you can check off.
This was more of an impulse buy than a planned buy as I hadn’t really heard much about the book before seeing it on the shelf. I was immediately intrigued by the fact that the author had three children on the spectrum, so I figured she would be a reliable source of information. And I was right. This book is highly recommended.
I bought this book because I wanted to supplement, in a sense, with other therapies that my daughter was receiving. I figured that if I could do stuff with her at home, it would only help her in the long run. Floor Time is just one of many designed therapies used to help individuals with Autism and something that I’ll definitely get into at a later time. I enjoyed that this book could be used by both professionals and parents, since I fall into the latter category.
I bought this book after becoming quite irritated with certain celebrities using the word ‘cure’ and ‘autism’ in the same sentence. There is no known proven cure. Yes, symptoms can be lessened but autism is with you for your life. The autism-vaccine debate is one that I try to stay away from, as it just generates a lot of heated conversation that can also get quite ugly. I don’t know about you, but I have more important things to do than get heated about what causes autism. I’d rather focus on helping treat it.
This was another of the first books that I bought in hopes of better understanding the journey I was about to embark on.. or rather, the world that I was suddenly thrust into. And another that I would highly recommend. The information is clear and organized, something that I found very useful as a distraught parent.
So, there you have it- my top ten books about autism for new parents. I would also recommend these to family members or anyone who might know someone who is a parent or caregiver of an individual with autism. These books, while not all encompassing, are helpful and useful.
Do you have a go-to book that helped you get through your child’s diagnosis?
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