With 1,339 results on BarnesandNoble.com and 1,771 results on Amazon.com for books about Asperger’s Syndrome, it’s no wonder parents of Aspies are overwhelmed about which books to read. When my son Sam was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, I bought every book I could find. Here are my top six choices for books on Asperger’s Syndrome.
The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood
This book was the only one recommended to me by Sam’s doctor, and I’m glad he did. Tony Attwood is a clinical psychologist who has worked with over 2,000 people with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Because Attwood is a doctor, the book is a bit clinical, but it covers every possible aspect of Asperger’s Syndrome, from the definition of the disorder to specific traits to life after school. It even covers long-term relationships, which gave me hope that Sam will be able to marry someone and have children.
The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A.
This isn’t necessarily about Asperger’s Syndrome, but rather Sensory Processing Disorder. So many children with Asperger’s Syndrome also have sensory difficulties, so The Out-of-Sync Child is a must-have.
This book details common sensory issues, from being over-stimulated to being a sensory-seeker, provides examples in every day settings, offers suggestions on how to adapt the environment to your child’s sensory needs, and covers the gamut of sensory problems: tactile, vestibular, proprioceptive, visual, and auditory issues.
look me in the eye – my life with asperger’s by John Elder Robison
I’d heard so much about this book, and when I finally got it, I couldn’t put it down. It’s not an Asperger’s reference book by any means, but rather a memoir written by a man who went his whole life undiagnosed, until the age of 40 when he finally had a name and a reason for his unconventional way of thinking.
Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm
As the mother of a child with autism, Ellen Notbohm puts into words what her child cannot. Aspies typically don’t have a problem speaking, but putting thoughts and feelings into words are indeed a challenge. Common sense requests such as “Please focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can’t do” are among her ten statements.
Notbohm also authored a book, Ten Things Every Student With Autism Wishes You Knew, for teachers and paraprofessionals in the school system (which helped Sam’s aide tremendously), and the award-winning book 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, which is on my wish list.
Freaks, Geeks & Asperger Syndrome – A User Guide to Adolescence by Luke Jackson
Luke Jackson is a 13-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. His book takes a blunt and humorous look at the special challenges an Aspie faces once he or she reaches puberty. He covers subjects such as bullying at school, how often one should bathe, and how to talk to girls. It’s a must-read for parents with older Aspie children.
Can I Tell You About Aspergers Syndrome? by Jude Welton
This is my absolute favorite book on Asperger’s Syndrome, and I’ve made sure that every teacher Sam has had reads it. It’s written from the perspective of Adam, a young boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. It sites specific examples of how Adam’s AS can affect him during the day and what others can do to help him through his troubled times. There are terrific tips for teachers as well. I highly recommend buying this book for everyone who has a relationship with your Aspie.
Other Asperger’s Syndrome Books
I didn’t include her on my list because she’s so well known, but Temple Grandin, Ph.D., has several books on Asperger’s Syndrome. The three in my library are The Way I See It, Thinking In Pictures, and Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships (co-written with Sean Barron). I love hearing Temple Grandin speak, but to be perfectly honest, I have a hard time reading her books. However, she is a leading expert on Asperger’s Syndrome, and her books are well worth the effort.