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9 Books for Kids With Characters on the Autism Spectrum

You and your children probably know a person on the autism spectrum, it may be a family member, a close friend, or you. Books and stories can help children accept autism and learn that the autistic community is not a monolith. Autistic children are unique individuals with their own feelings, hopes, and emotions, just as allistic (non-autistic) children are.

While some of these books are written specifically for children on the autism spectrum, others are aimed towards siblings and friends. Regardless of the specific audience, each of these 9 books about the autism spectrum provide a level of comfort and understanding that can only be achieved through a good story.

1. The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

Ages 8-12
Every parent of an autistic child wishes to get inside the autistic mind, and this book helps to make that a reality. Thirteen-year old Naoki Higashida cannot physically speak out loud, but uses an alphabet grid to carefully construct the answers to common questions people have about those on the spectrum. Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks? Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking? Higashida’s book is charming and almost painfully honest. It was a New York Times bestseller, and spent 7 weeks on NPR’s Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller List. Read More.
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2. All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer

Ages 5-8
Zane the zebra has autism, and he is worried that his friends and classmates will make fun of his stripes, which make him different. As Zane learns that having autism is one of the many things that actually makes him special, young readers will relate to Zane and realize that they, too, have plenty to be proud of. Read More.
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3. The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee by Barry Jonsberg

Ages 9-12
Barry Jonsberg’s novel “The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee” tells the story of a 12-year old girl on the autism spectrum. Candice has plenty of quirks, and her lovable nature is sure to make any young reader happy to jump on board her adventure. Read More.
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