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Lorna d'Entremont
BY Lorna d'Entremont

5 Books on Autism That Bring Hope, Practical Help & Happier Days

Parents all over the world will be able to relate and be moved by these wonderful autism books written by authors from Australia, Canada and the United States. Small world, right?

While these five autism books are very different from one another, their primary goal is the same: to make the lives of those who are on the spectrum and those that love them or work for or with them better.

The increasing numbers of individuals being diagnosed with autism and the challenges facing autistic adults in the future is very troubling. It does not matter what you do in life, each day you cross paths with an individual who has autism.

In the U.S., there are approximately 50,000 young people on the autism spectrum transitioning to adulthood every year. Autism is not just a family matter; autism affects all members of society directly or indirectly.

Employees or employers, university classmates or professors, patients or doctors, customers or clerks may be on the autism spectrum. Many autistic adults are able to weave their just place in our communities, but many more could do so if our communities had support services for autistic adults in place and a more informed populace.

The following books that have strategies for families raising a child with autism, some have information for the general public so they can learn about autism and be more understanding and compassionate towards autistic individuals and their caregivers, others are for the professionals who work with those on the autism spectrum.

As a parent you will feel empowered, as a teacher you will have greater insight into the needs of the child and their families.

1. Dealing With Autism – How I Successfully Raised My Child and How You Can Too

dealing with autism

By: Randa Habelrih

Dealing With Autism describes the stages parents go through when they learn their child has autism. It explains the worries about their child not fitting in and being bullied.  This is not a “How To” book; it is a “You Can” book.

As the proud mother of a child with autism who graduated high school, Randa teaches how you can make a difference in the world today by understanding and including autistic individuals in our schools and communities.

It is a book for those who are ‘new’ on the autism scene. It is written by a mother who has traveled down this path and she wants your road ahead not to appear so daunting. The author lets you know that it will be all right and there are many treatments available which do make a huge difference to the outcome of your precious child.

Read complete review.

2. Different Drummer: One Man’s Music and Its Impact on ADD, Anxiety, and Autism

different drummer

By: Jeff Strong

The target audience for Different Drummer is anyone interested in how musical rhythm can impact the brain and behavior, especially those with ADD, anxiety issues or autism. Different Drummer chronicles the author’s path as he navigates ancient drumming practices, conducts clinical research, and develops the music that establishes him as a pioneer in the world of auditory brain stimulation.

Mr. Strong’s inquisitive mind and careful research reveal how fast, complex drumming can offer long-term benefits for children and adults with neurological disorders. If you have ever wondered why the drum holds a prominent role in cultures around the world or why music can influence the brain and behavior, Different Drummer offers a compelling look at the life-changing and therapeutic tool of music to help people with a variety of challenges including: Aggressive behavior, Anxiety, Attention/focus/hyperactivity,  Behavioral issues, Cognitive issues, Language/communication, Mood issues, Self-stimulatory behaviors, Sensory processing, Sleep problems, Social interaction, Tic behavior, etc.

Read complete review.

3. Living Autism Day-by-Day: Daily Reflections and Strategies to Give You Hope and Courage

Living Autism Day-by-Day: Daily Reflections and Strategies to Give You Hope and Courage -by Pamela Bryson-Weaver

By: Pamela Bryson-Weaver

Two of Pamela Bryson-Weaver’s three children have special needs; John, her youngest son, has autism and Joshua has Tourettes and ADHD; therefore, if you are raising or working with a child with special needs she knows what it is like.

In her book she shares with others struggling with autism her uplifting thoughts, helpful resources, and even the blessings of autism in her day-by-day almanac. Each day of the year has a page that starts with a quotation, and a reflection about autism.

Then you find simple actions to help you live autism day-by-day followed by a lined space to add your own notes, thoughts, and ideas. This book may be read all at once and then re-read day-by-day. The second time hopefully you will take the time to journal in your feelings as this has proven to be very therapeutic.

It has 448 pages and is the perfect size to handle well and it is very well made to withstand years of use. It has a handy index to quickly find information and at the end it has lists of educational and professional resources.

Living Autism Day-by-Day has already won many awards:

  • 2015 International Book Awards
  • Finalist 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards
  • National Medalists BPA 2015 Benjamin Franklin Awards™
  • Silver Winner National Indie Excellence® Awards
  • 2015 Finalist Moms Choice Award

Read complete review.

4. Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism

uniquely human

By: Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP with Tom Fields-Meyer

A practical guidebook for families and educators that gives a compassionate perspective on autism. It helps you to see an autistic child in not broken. Yes, some say this must-read book for anyone who lives with and loves a person with autism makes tomorrow look a whole lot brighter for everyone.

Uniquely Human is engaging with real-life case studies to bring their point across. Many feel this book will hasten the necessary changes in the way we see, understand and provide services to persons with autism.

Reviewers agree that Uniquely Human should be read by all who offer services to individuals with significant disabilities, not just those with autism. Dr Prizant’s profoundly positive book is filled with practical advice for lowering stress, making the best of a child’s strengths and interests, and embracing and celebrating differences.

Unlike most books on autism that focus on one person, or are more technical in nature, what the author shares  comes from what he has learned from thousands of children and older persons with autism and their families over his four-decade career.

Read complete review.

5. I am AspienWoman: Unique Characteristics, Traits, Gifts of Adult Females on Autism Spectrum

I am AspienWoman: Unique Characteristics, Traits, Gifts of Adult Females on Autism Spectrum -by Tania A. Marshall, M.Sc.

By: Tania A. Marshall, M.Sc.

I Am AspienWoman is a very positive book. For autistic women who have never felt comfortable in their own skin or have never been able to blend in thinking they were so very different from everyone else, they will find they are not alone…and only that is a great help.

Many diagnosed or misdiagnosed women always struggle with stress, emotions, overwhelm, overload and overthinking. Some crumble time and time again questioning their identity and looking for the answer to “WHO am I?” The author wrote, “Having lived their lives as chameleons and practicing social echolalia like award-winning actresses, there is a price to pay.”

Ms. Marshall’s book is crammed with self-care strategies and ways to rebuild the broken spirit of these women on the autism spectrum. One suggestion I love was the following: “Developing a list of personal strengths, talents and gifts is vital to healthy self-esteem and self-identity and it is never too late to begin. Think of some qualities, personality traits, skills, talents that you like about yourself and begin your list.” How encouraging to know if one starts focusing on their strengths, they can be unstoppable!

I am AspienWoman is a feast to the eyes! Stunning photos, creative photos, spectacular colors, and content that makes you want to read it slowly so you can digest the deep message of the author and contributors. This book is one for your living room coffee table not for your den book shelf because it can be picked up and savored time and time again and each time you will be left with a new interpretation, a gem of a revelation, an unforgettable tidbit of information.

Read complete review.

We cannot solve tomorrow’s problems with yesterday’s solutions. Educators, employers and decision makers must be prepared for adults with autism who have learning differences, phobias and anxieties, sensitivities to the environment, different work habits, and yet they can be a valuable addition to their classrooms or workplaces.

Acceptance of autistic employees is on the rise as more people are educated on the merits of autism in the workplace. These five autism books will help make a difference in the lives of many autistic individuals and their families.

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Lorna d'Entremont

Written on December 16, 2015 by:

Lorna d’Entremont has a Master of Education and has taught thirty years in French elementary classrooms in Nova Scotia. When she retired from teaching, she joined her daughter as co-owner of SentioLife Solutions,Ltd. the makers of the sensory, oral-motor tools SentioChews and KidCompanions Chewelry. She blogs about issues that concern parents of children with special needs and also writes reviews for their Special Needs Book Review site. She is a wife, mom of three, and grandmother of five granddaughters.
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