Friday, 1 November 2013

Reading List for helping Siblings understand Autism

  Autism is a journey. We may not have a map, but there are guide books!

Where possible I've embedded a link in the title of the book. This list is by no means complete. It is a list I have compiled over the last 2 decades living in an autism household. If you know of a great book or resource, please feel free to post it in the comments below!

Books For Children: 

  • My Friend with Autism; Bishop, B. A colouring book. Wonderful way for siblings to gain some understanding while having fun!
  • Looking After Louis Ely, L. and Dunbar, P. Great book! Has a description of Autism at the beginning for adults reading the book. Story is beautiful and well done. Kids love it. Teaches acceptance and inclusion 
  • Amazingly ….. Alphie! Understanding & Accepting Different Ways of Being. Espin, Roz and Ransom, Beverly; Alphie is a computer that is wired differently and has trouble fitting in. Great for Asperger households. for ages 8 and up, but younger children ''get it'' too.
  •  My Brother is Different Gorrord, L. & Carver, B.Recommended by Temple Grandin. Need I say more?
  • My Best Friend Will  Lowell, Jamie and Tuchel, TaraFABULOUS Photo Journal of neuro-typical 11 year old Jamie and her best friend Willie, who has Autism. Exceptional book just to have on your coffee table for adults and young children alike, but aimed at the 10ish age group. POWERFUL and STUNNING book.
  • Joey and Sam, Katz, Illana & Ritvo, Edward: Story illustrates similarities and differences between two brothers, one of whom has autism. For children grades K-5.
  • Captain Tommy. Messner, Abby Ward. Fictional story for children grades 1-4.
  •  Everybody Is Different. Bleach, Fiona: great for siblings aged 8-16. (listed in teen section as well)
  • Ian's Walk,  A Story About Autism; Lears, Laurie and Ritz, Karen: This book was a favourite in my home.''Julie can't wait to go to the park and feed the ducks with her big sister. Her little brother, Ian, who has autism, wants to go, too. Ian doesn't have the same reactions to all the sights and sounds that his sisters have, and Julie thinks he looks silly''. Wonderful book to read to smaller children, or for older children to read on their own.
  • Views From Our Shoes. Meyer, Donald ,  the thoughts and feelings of siblings who have a brother or sister with special needs. For ages 9-12.
  • Ethan and Phoebe: A Child's Book About Autism ; Moore, Deborah Ann, Picture book for children aged 4-8.
  • Tobin Learns to Make Friends; Murrell, Diane; Picture book. The story of a red engine who longs for but doesn't know how to make friends. Good for both autistic children and their siblings. Great bedtime book.
  • All About My Brother. Peralta, Sarah, LOVE this book. Written by 8-year-old Sarah, sister of a nonverbal younger brother with autism. For children ages 6-10.
  • I Love My Brother. Sullivan, Connor and Danielle A picture book written by 4-year-old Connor (with help from Mom) about his 2-year-old brother Sean, who has autism. For preschool and kindergarten children. I know teachers who use this book often in their classes
  • Andy and His Yellow Frisbee. Thompson, M. A simple description of autism, and what its like to be a sibling of a person with autism. Very well done, adults learn from this book too. For readers in grades K-5.

Books For Teens:

Books for Adults: 

  • Siblings of Children with Autism: A guide for families, Harris, Sandra L.  Advice and strategies for dealing with issues that are difficult for siblings.
  • Sibling Stories: Reflections on Life with a Brother or Sister on the Autism Spectrum. Feiges, Lynne Stern & Weiss, Mary Jane: For parents and caregivers. A combination of narrative and first-person excerpts from interviews with 20 siblings, coping strategies and professional advice re: the sibling relationship.
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Haddon, M Fictional book written in the first person narrative of someone who has autism. I have read this book myself MANY times. Great read, autism or not. (you'll find it in the teen listings above as well)
  • Asperger Syndrome in the Family-Redefining Normal Holliday-Willey, L Excellent book.The author herself has Aspergers, as does one of her children. Very funny. Gives you a wonderful new perspective on your own situation. 
  • Keys to Parenting the Child with Autism Targ Brill, M Excellent book,sort of a 'What to Expect When' book. A must have in an autism household, but for the purposes of this list, there is an exceptional chapter on 'brothers and sisters' I personally believe this book should be handed out when your Doctor gives you the diagnosis.
  • The Reason I Jump- The Inner Voice of a Thirteen Year Old Boy With Autism Haven't read it yet myself as it just came out this year, but people I respect who are both closely related to  someone with autism (Sib and Cuz) as well as work with people on the spectrum have both recommended it highly! ''it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.''
  • Love, Anthony Not truly a sibling book, but highly recommended
  •  Sibshops:Workshops for Siblings of Children with Special Needs; Excellent resource. My own children attended many sibshops. very helpful.
  • The Rosie Poject Simsion, Graeme What better way to understand your sibling than through a fun piece of comedic fiction.  review from The Globe and Mail "The feel-good hit of 2013,The Rosie Projectis a classic screwball romance about a handsome but awkward genetics professor and the woman who is totally wrong for him.A first-date dud, socially awkward and overly fond of quick-dry clothes, genetics professor Don Tillman has given up on love, until a chance encounter gives him an idea.He will design a questionnaire-a sixteen-page, scientifically researched questionnaire-to uncover the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker or a late-arriver. Rosie is all these things. She is also fiery and intelligent, strangely beguiling, and looking for her biological father a search that a DNA expert might just be able to help her with.
    The Rosie Project is a romantic comedy like no other. It is arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, and it will make you want to drink cocktails." First in a series. 
This is in no way a complete list, but its a start. Autism is a journey, we may not have a map, but there are guide books!

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