Finding Books for Autistic Children

A good collection of books for autistic children is essential for learning to read. Read on to learn where to find great books without going broke.

We all know how important it is for our children to be reading.  Having colorful, fun and exciting books on the shelf can make them want to read.  But the cost of such a collection can really add up.  So it pays to find sources for children’s books besides the local bookstore.


I have to mention Amazon even though we all know they have just about everyone beat on low prices.  And Amazon is really convenient too.  They’ve obviously figured out how to keep people coming back to their online store.

Amazon has made it easy to shop for their low-priced books.  It's easy to download your child's favorite ebooks onto a favorite device, and you can find so many great books for free.  

I personally like my Kindle, and I have hundreds if not thousands of books on it.  It solves the space problem I would have if I bought a physical copy of all those books.  I don't even want to think about the clutter I'd have to deal with!

But if I had young children (my kids are older now), I'd probably stick with mostly physical print books. 

More on that in just a moment.

Library Sales

A lot of libraries raise extra money through their library sales.   If you call your local library or visit their website you can find out when they’ll be having their next sale.  They tend to have these sales only a few times a year, sometimes only once or twice a year. But some library sales are ongoing.

I’ve found all kinds of fantastic books for dirt cheap. Back when we lived in a bigger house I built up quite a collection, both for us and for our kids.  

Now that we live in a smaller two-bedroom condo, I don’t have the space to buy lots of books.  It’s been a while since I’ve been to a library sale, and I haven’t been keeping up with more recent prices.

But just a few short years ago I was able to find kids’ books for 25 cents. You may or may not be able to find them that cheap now, but that just goes to show that you'll be likely to find some deals there. And I’ve even found some great children’s games for around 25 cents at these sales, too.

Other Places to Find Books for Autistic Children

If you have a store that sells used books, you may be able to find some great deals there.  I would also check the thrift stores in your area.  I’ve found some great books at thrift stores that my kids really loved.

Some of these stores include Goodwill, St. Vincent De Paul, The Salvation Army, as well as those locally-owned thrift stores you can find in just about any major city.

An earlier question, however, has arisen which I must answer -- why not just get your child a Kindle and fill 'er up with all your child's favorite books for children?  It's cheap and takes up virtually no space, and the kids love it, right?

Why Kids Prefer Print Books.. And Why It's Better For Them

I have to admit, I thought mobile devices were the next best thing for children with autism back when my son went to speech therapy.  My son seemed to gravitate to the ipad, and the therapists responded by using the device for increasingly more activities.

And everywhere I look, both older and younger people are glued to their smartphones. 

But despite this trend, kids still tend to prefer reading printed books, says Margaret Kristin Merga, Lecturer and Researcher in Adolescent Literacy at Murdoch University and Saiyidi Mat Roni, Lecturer at Edith Cowan University.  And surprisingly, they add that the more children have access to these wireless wonders the less they end up reading. 

If that isn't enough reason to stock up on print books for autistic children, we can find an even more compelling motivation.

European studies have shown that the radiation from cell phones can actually damage the DNA in human cells. 

Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D. has come to conclusions that back up these findings.  In her December 31, 2016 article in Psychology Today entitled Autism and Screen Time:  Special Brains, Special Risks, she warns, "..a brain with autism has inherent characteristics that screen time exacerbates. In truth, these impacts occur in all of us, but children with autism will be both more prone to experiencing negative effects and less able to recover from them; their brains are more sensitive and less resilient."

I've elaborated further on the risks of giving our kids too much screen time in my article on mobile devices.

I'm not saying we should never let our kids play a video game or read an ebook.  If my kids were little, I'd simply buy lots of fun, attractive children's books and limit the screen time or use it only as an occasional reward.

Because ultimately, we all want to do what's best for our kids.

Fortunately, I've found what looks to be yet another good place to buy those print books. Better World Books offers free shipping, and it gives you another place to shop and compare prices on books for autistic children.

If I find any more great places to get kids' books, I'll add them to this page.

* Creative Commons License for "Friends of the Library Book Sale - Palo Verde Library" photo

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