Kids Books for Autism Acceptance Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month, a time to celebrate and promote understanding and acceptance of individuals on the autism spectrum. For children with autism, books can serve as powerful tools for learning, self-expression, and empowerment.

autism acceptance books for kids

In this blog post, we will explore the significance of kids’ books in fostering autism acceptance and inclusivity. We will delve into the benefits of reading for children with autism, recommend some must-read books, and provide tips for parents, educators, and caregivers on how to effectively engage children with autism through literature.

The Power of Reading for Children with Autism

Reading can be an incredibly valuable activity for children with autism. Here are some ways in which books can positively impact their lives:

Enhancing Communication Skills

Many children with autism struggle with verbal communication. Books provide a platform for improving language skills, vocabulary, and comprehension. Through exposure to diverse characters and storylines, children can learn to express themselves more effectively.

Promoting Social Skills

Books offer opportunities for children with autism to learn about social interactions and emotions. By reading stories that depict various social situations, they can develop empathy, understanding, and the ability to navigate social dynamics.

Stimulating Imagination

Imagination and creativity can flourish through reading. Books allow children with autism to explore new worlds, characters, and ideas, fostering their imaginative thinking and opening up new possibilities for self-expression.

Building Self-confidence

Identifying with characters who share similar struggles and experiences can boost self-esteem in children with autism. Seeing characters overcome challenges can inspire them to believe in their own abilities and strengths.

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25 Must-Read Books for Children with Autism

Here are some highly recommended (aka teacher favorites), books that promote autism acceptance and understanding.

Ian’s Walk: A Story About Autism

by Laurie Leary

Autistic Legends Alphabet

by Beck Feiner

The Reason I Jump

by Naoki Higashida

Uniquely Wired

by Julia Cook

The Beach is Loud

by Samantha Cotterill

Too Sticky! Sensory Issues with Autism

by Jen Malia

My Brother Charlie 

by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete 

A Friend Like Simon

by Kate Gaynot

In My World 

by Jillian Ma

My Autistic Mama

by Kati Hirschy

My Brother Otto

by Meg Raby

Grant the Jigsaw Giraffe

by Julie Manier

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism 

by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer

Do You Want to Play?: Making Friends with an Autistic Kid

by Daniel Share-Strom

I Will Light It Up Blue

by Kerry Magro

Autism: I See Things Differently

by Pat Thomas

The Autism-Friendly Guide to Periods

by Robyn Steward

The Awesome Autistic Go-To Guide: A Practical Handbook for Autistic Tweens and Teens

by Yenn Purkis and Tanya Masterman

Andy and His Yellow Frisbee 

by Mary Thompson

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures

by Julia Finley Mosca

Why Is He Doing That?

by Rachael M. Cuellar

Zippy’s Special Gift

by Therese Van Ryne


by Alexandra Hoffman

My Brother’s Keeper: A Story About Autism

by Dina Mountney

A Day with No Words

by Tiffany Hammond

Tips for Engaging Children with Autism through Books

To make the most of reading experiences, here are some helpful tips.

Create a Calm Reading Environment

Find a quiet space free from distractions where the child feels comfortable and relaxed. Minimize sensory stimuli such as bright lights or loud noises that may cause distress.

Use Visual Supports

Incorporate visual aids such as picture cards or storyboards to enhance understanding and engagement. Visual supports can help children with autism follow the storyline and connect with the characters more effectively.

Encourage Active Participation

Encourage the child to interact with the story by asking questions, making predictions, or relating the events to their own experiences. This promotes critical thinking and active engagement.

Choose Books with Diverse Characters

Select books that feature diverse characters, including those with disabilities or neurodivergent traits. Representation matters, and seeing themselves reflected in literature can empower children with autism.

Provide Multisensory Experiences

To further engage children with autism, consider incorporating multisensory experiences into reading sessions. For example, use tactile props or objects related to the story to enhance their sensory engagement.

Autism Acceptance Month is a time to celebrate the unique talents and strengths of individuals on the autism spectrum. By utilizing the power of books, we can foster understanding, empathy, and inclusivity in our communities. Through engaging stories and relatable characters, children with autism can find solace, inspiration, and a sense of belonging. Let us continue to support autism acceptance through the wonderful world of literature.




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