Autism Awareness

Autism Awareness

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today. Learn more about ASD with these and other resources.


Compiled by:
Elizabeth G.
Autism in Heels: The Untold Story of a Female Life on the Spectrum

Jennifer Cook O'Toole
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This intimate memoir reveals the woman inside one of autism’s most prominent figures, Jennifer O'Toole. At the age of thirty-five, Jennifer was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, and for the first time in her life things made sense. Now, Jennifer exposes the constant struggle between carefully crafted persona and authentic existence, editing the autism script with wit, candor, passion, and power. Because autism "looks a bit different in pink," most girls and women who fit the profile are not identified, facing years of avoidable anxiety, eating disorders, volatile relationships, self-harm, and stunted independence. Jennifer has been there, too. From her own struggles and self-discovery, she has built an empire of empowerment, inspiring women the world over to realize they aren't mistakes. They are misunderstood miracles.


Autism and Tomorrow: The Complete Guide to Helping Your Child Thrive in the Real World

Karen L. Simmons, Bill Davis
616.85882 Sim

Autism and Tomorrow is a comprehensive resource that addresses many parents' questions pertaining to their child with autism, such as financial planning, long-term care, employment options, and employer relationships, community resources, education, bullying, puberty, doctor visits, sex, nutrition, fitness, family relationships, and more. Karen L. Simmons, the founder and CEO of Autism Today, and Bill Davis, author of Breaking Autism's Barriers, offer sound, expert advice derived from their own experiences. Both Simmons and Davis are parents of children with autism; consequently, Autism and Tomorrow is as much an autobiography as it is a reference book. Both authors draw inspiration directly from their own lives and apply their expertise to the general study of the subject. By doing so, Simmons and Davis hope to help other parents, caretakers, relatives, and friends improve both their knowledge of autism, and as a result, the lives of those affected by it.


Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women

Sarah Bargiela
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Autism in women and girls is still not widely understood, and is often misrepresented or even overlooked. This graphic novel offers an engaging and accessible insight into the lives and minds of autistic women, using real-life case studies.


Fall down 7 times get up 8: a Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism

Naoki Higashida
616.8588 Hig

Naoki Higashida wrote The Reason I Jump as a 13-year-old boy. Now, he shares his thoughts and experiences as a 24-year old young man with severe autism. In short, powerful chapters, he explores education, identity, family, society and personal growth. He also allows readers to experience profound moments we take for granted, like the thought-steps necessary for him to register that it's raining outside. This book is part memoir, part critique of a world that sees disabilities ahead of disabled people. It is a self-portrait-in-progress of a young man who happens to have autism, and who wants to help us understand it better.


In a Different Key: the Story of Autism

John Donvan
616.85882 Don

Nearly seventy-five years ago, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi became the first child diagnosed with autism. Beginning with his family's odyssey, In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of this often misunderstood condition, and of the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it. Unfolding over decades, it is a beautifully rendered history of ordinary people determined to secure a place in the world for those with autism--by liberating children from dank institutions, campaigning for their right to go to school, challenging expert opinion on what it means to have autism, and persuading society to accept those who are different. This is also a story of fierce controversies--from the question of whether there is truly an autism "epidemic," and whether vaccines played a part in it; to scandals involving "facilitated communication," one of many treatments that have proved to be blind alleys; to stark disagreements about whether scientists should pursue a cure for autism. There are dark turns too: we learn about experimenters feeding LSD to children with autism, or shocking them with electricity to change their behavior. This book takes us on a journey from an era when families were shamed and children were condemned to institutions to one in which a cadre of people with autism push not simply for inclusion, but for a new understanding of autism: as difference rather than disability.


Odd Girl Out: My Extraordinary Autistic Life

Laura James
616.8588 Jam

Laura James knew she was different. She struggled to cope in a world that often made no sense to her, as though her brain had its own operating system. It wasn't until she reached her forties that she found out why: suddenly and surprisingly, she was diagnosed with autism. With a touching and searing honesty, Laura challenges everything we think we know about what it means to be autistic. Married with four children and a successful journalist, Laura examines the ways in which autism has shaped her career, her approach to motherhood, and her closest relationships.


The Official Autism 101 Manual

Karen L. Simmons
616.85882 Off

When you need answers to your questions about anything related to autism, including early diagnosis, therapies, the buzz about vaccinations, social skills, self-esteem, planning for the future, coping skills, music therapy, or solving reading problems, this master collection gives you practical and proven answers. The Official Autism 101 Manual is the most comprehensive book ever written on the subject of autism. With forty-four contributors―such as Temple Grandin, Bernard Rimland, Pat Wyman, Tony Attwood, Darold Treffert, and more―you learn from dozens of caring experts and supporters who bring you the best the autism community has to offer. Gold IPPY Award winner for Book of the Year, medicine category.


The Power of Different: The Link Between Disorder and Genius

Gail Saltz
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A powerful and inspiring examination of the connection between potential for great talent and conditions commonly thought to be "disabilities".


Same But Different

Holly Robinson Peete
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Through the alternating stories of twins Callie and Charlie, their fictional counterparts, teenagers Ryan Elizabeth Peete and RJ Peete discuss what it is like for RJ as a teenager with autism and Ryan as a teenager with an autistic sibling.



Janine Toole
616.858832 Too

This series of social skills worksheets is designed for busy parents and professionals who need easy-to-use and effective materials to work with learners who have Autism, Asperger’s and similar social skill challenges. The Conversation Skills workbook provides step-by-step activities that develop strong communication skills. Students learn how to choose and introduce appropriate topics, add on-topic comments and questions, and show interest with body language and gaze. No more topic bombs. No more interrogations. No more special-interest talk that goes on and on.



Janine Toole
616.858832 Too

This series of social skills worksheets is designed for busy parents and professionals who need easy-to-use and effective materials to work with learners who have Autism, Asperger’s and similar social skill challenges. This workbook, Social Detective Skills, provides step-by-step activities that develop strong social radar skills so that your learner will be able to determine the social expectations in any situation. By following through the workbook, your student will learn: We all have social expectations about how other people will act. We need to be aware of social expectations in order to be socially successful. Your student will develop the skills to: Determine the social expectations of any situation. Monitor other people’s signals of their expectations. Deal with conflicting expectations. React appropriately when there is a problem. These skills are developed incrementally, with lots of practice, allowing your learner to make meaningful progress week by week.


United in Autism: Finding Strength Inside the Spectrum

Julie Hornok
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A diagnosis of autism can rock a family's world. The toll it takes on everyone involved can be one of isolation; a child who doesn't respond to the world around them, a parent who gives dedication, patience and love often with no expressible love given back. It's a messy equation with huge emotional and financial costs. As a mother of a daughter with autism, Julie Hornok has experienced her fair share of these parenting challenges, and now brings together thirty inspiring and heartfelt stories from parents raising children from all places on the spectrum and from all corners of the world. These mothers and fathers have experienced some of the worst of what this disorder can do, but in seeking help, they found it... and more. Now they pay it forward by sharing their accounts and giving back to the autism community. United in Autism: Finding Strength inside the Spectrum offers understanding, comfort and hope as well as global allies and strength to those who feel alone.