8 Excellent Children’s Books about Autism

8 Excellent Children’s Books about Autism

Erin Yilmaz
4 minute read


The 8 illustrated children's books on this list have been selected for promoting empathy and understanding of children with autism, or for helping autistic children deal with and manage common issues related to autism.

Click here to view our collection of children's books about autism.



#1 Meet the Overs and the Unders

Discovering whether someone is over- or under-responsive helps determine what sensory tools will best meet their sensory needs to help them feel more comfortable and confident.  

In Meet the Overs and the Unders, your child will be introduced to two different families, the Overs and the Unders, as they explore the eight different sensory systems and their over- or under-reactions to different sensory input.


#2 When My Worries Get Too Big

Written to help children who are overburdened with worry and anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most frequent challenges experienced by children. Stress can lead to a loss of control, resulting in meltdowns. Prolonged anxiety can also seriously impact success in academic achievement and cause children to avoid social and extracurricular activities. This best-selling children's classic is filled with opportunities for children who experience anxiety to participate in developing their own self-calming strategies. 


#3 The ASD Zoo of Kalamazoo

The ASD Zoo of Kalamazoo, is an illustrated, rhyming children’s book that connects the characteristics of various zoo animals to the major social skills characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder. The book demonstrates how some animals exhibit specific characteristics, unique behaviors and special needs, capitalizing on their strengths. The goal of this book is for children to recognize their characteristics and learn how to use them for greater success in home, school, and community. 


#4 Why Does Izzy Cover Her Ears

Meet Izzy, a feisty first grader, whose behavior is often misunderstood as she tries to cope with sensory overload. This brightly illustrated book creates an environment that is accepting of students with sensory difficulties, including those on the autism spectrum. 

#5 My Book Full of Feelings

Based on the newest research on the predictive brain and ASD, this highly engaging workbook, My Book Full of Feelings is an ideal way to help teach children with autism spectrum disorder to identify, assess the intensity of, and respond appropriately to their emotions. Children learn to identify situations that are big deals, medium deals, and small deals and the emotions that match these situations.

Also included is a downloadable communication pad for tracking and sharing information between home and school - an important component of effective programming. This educational book is a great tool for all children, including those with autism spectrum disorder.


# 6 Arnie and His School Tools

Arnie and His School Tools: Simple Sensory Solutions to Build Success is an illustrated children's book about an exuberant little boy who had difficulty paying attention in class and doing his school work until he is given the tools to accommodate his sensory needs. Written from Arnie's point of view, the book uses simple language to describe some of the sensory tools and strategies he uses at school and home to help him achieve a more optimal level of alertness and performance. Arnie and His School Tools creates an environment that is accepting of students with sensory difficulties, including many on the autism spectrum.


#7 A Week of Switching, Shifting, and Stretching

This picture book assists children on the autism spectrum, and any child for that matter, to improve their executive function skills. Specifically, A Week of Switching, Shifting, and Stretching How to Make My Thinking More Flexible guides children to examine their black-and-white thinking in order to start adaptive thinking. Using repeated rhymes and illustrations, the child begins to recognize that the more flexible their thinking, the better they can cope with the challenges that life presents, ultimately leading to fewer meltdowns.


# 8 Trainman

As highlighted in this prestigious New England Book Festival honorable mention book, intense, all-consuming interest in a special topic is one of the core characteristics of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. While often viewed as a barrier to social interactions with others, special interests can be "turned around" to become strengths, resulting in very positive social outcomes, even friendships. Beyond the potential for friendships, special interests have also been found to increase self-esteem and success in academic areas.

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