Thursday 27 September 2018

Three books for parents of newly diagnosed autistic kids

My Best Autism Parenting Books Recommendations

I was pretty sure that our eldest was autistic before he was diagnosed. But it was still an odd feeling to hear it confirmed.  The paediatrician seemed to be expecting tears or questions and it made me feel nervous - it made the diagnosis feel like an occasion.

Our son had already started and been reviewed by several therapists including a speech and language therapist and an occupational therapist. I'd read basics about the condition. But I wanted.. needed to know more.  Books are one of the places I turned and I've read quite a few since.  

I've consumed ones with autistic characters, and would rate ones with autistic kid characters as some of my favourites.  But these books below are ones that I'd recommend to a parent with a newly diagnosed autistic child.

Autism parenting book - More Than Words

More Than Words

In one of my son's first speech and language sessions, the therapist pulled this book out of her back to reference it.  A day later I'd ordered it on Amazon and then I consumed it within another day. More Than Words was written by a speech-language pathologist and is a guide to understanding and promoting the social and communication development of young children with ASD.

I saw my son in many descriptions and depictions in the book.  It's easy to use and provided a basis for turning every encounter with my son into an opportunity for communication.  I still pick it up now as a reference book as it's great at breaking down behaviours too.

Autism Parenting Book - Talking Autism: Parenting your unique child

Talking Autism: Parenting your unique child

Talking Autism was written by Victoria Hatton, a mum to a child with special educational needs who also happens to have worked with autistic children for over 20 years.  It's a great breakdown and covers everything from that moment when you think 'Might my child be autistic?' through to sorting out their education and strategies for life.

Help with EHCPs, meltdowns, sensory overloads, dealing with friendships and much more are discussed in an easy to understand way that inspires positivity in working with your autistic child. There is also great information on Pathological Demand Avoidance which is otherwise often poorly discussed.

If you are after a comprehensive guide on parenting a child with autism whose overall aim is to help you this book is the one for you. Victoria also has many other great resources on her website, including details of the supportive community she runs, called #UniqueAndSuccessful.

Book for autism parenting: The Reason I Jump

The Reason I Jump / Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight

The Reason I Jump  is the only book I've listed that was actually written by an autistic person.  Naoki Higashida is a non-verbal, autistic, Japanese author, who was just 13 years old when he wrote the book as a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind works. The chapters are short explanations often for his thinking or reasoning behind his actions - like for example why he feels the need to jump.

This book is less about helping with an autistic child, more about understanding where they may be coming from.  And that in itself is invaluable.  

Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight is his equally informative book into his perspective as an autistic young adult.  Sharing his ideas on things such as school, family relationships, travelling and the difficulties of talking. Like The Reason I Jump, he covers his behaviour and reactions to things such as  as a sudden change of plan, or the mental steps he has to take simply to register that it is raining.

Both books give an insight that can otherwise seem foreign and although you may not always be able to enter the world of some autistic children, it can give you an opportunity to see and learn through one - Naoki Higashida.

Have you read any helpful books recently - I'd love to know more.


  1. Great recommendations, I haven't read The Reason I Jump but it sounds like it would be really interesting and eye opening. My most recent book is one I have to recommend for all parents of special needs children. Space of Love by Gayle Nobel. This book takes the good the bad and the ugly in a heart felt tribute. I really loved it and the author is someone who knows this journey well, I appreciated that part. You can read more about her here,


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