Best Books for Children With Autism

Which are the best books for children with autism, our absolute favorites?  Read on to find out about some great winners.

Almost all of the books on this page could be considered classics because they’ve been around for a long time.  I even grew up reading many of them.  And most if not all of them are still in print.  Apparently, sales of these books aren’t slowing down in the least.

Books by P. D. Eastman

Go, Dog, Go, by P. D. Eastman

This is one of the old classics.  So simple to read, yet so inviting to children.  

Apparently, P.D. Eastman had a hand in illustrating other books.  One of them was...

Robert the Rose Horse, by Joan Heilbroner, illustrated by P. D. Eastman

These were some of my favorites when I was a kid, so when I saw them I grabbed them up immediately.  

When reading Robert the Rose Horse to C, I would read, “ ‘His eyes began to itch, his nose began to itch.  THEN’ “...  

And I’d ask, “What did Robert say?”

C’s answer:  “Kerchoo!”

When you read a story this good, it invites interaction with your child, which is important therapy for children with autism.  

Dr. Seuss Books

Green Eggs and Ham

I would be crazy not to mention Dr. Seuss books.  Green Eggs and Ham is a favorite with us, and another one I remember from many years ago.  

And here’s the test for a great, memorable, interactive book for children, especially for those with autism.  Just as in Robert the Rose Horse above, I was able to get a response about the story, even though we hadn’t read the book for a couple weeks.

Me:  “I would not like them here or there, I would not like them...”

C:  “Anywhere.”

See how you can read a fun book like this and ask your child simple questions about the story? Favorites like this can motivate your child to interact with you while you read.

Horton Hears a Who

Who doesn’t love this amazing classic story?  C has picked this out quite a few times.  I'd say that’s a good test for a book. 

He also seemed particularly interested in the large picture of Whoville, the one that shows all the machines and knick-knacks that broke when the big, bad eagle dropped Whoville into the middle of the field. 

That gave me a chance to talk about what was in the picture and what was happening in the picture.

More Books for Children With Autism

Put Me in the Zoo, by Robert Lopshire

This is another example of a simple story with simple sentences.

Example:  “See!  I can put them in a box.”

Then I can ask, “Where can he put them?”

So simple and so easy for kids to understand.  And it’s so easy for me ask questions that he will understand.

My First Big Talkabout Book, with illustrations by Harry Wingfield, Martin Aitchison and Eric Winter

This one is a real winner because you can open it up and come up with so many great questions to ask your child. 

You can discuss so much and teach so many things just by talking about the pictures.  It’s a treasure of language therapy all in one book. 

For lack of space, I’m not going to say much about the rest of these ideal books for children with autism.  But rest assured, if they’ve made this list, that means they are excellent, every one of them. 

You may have some of these already, but if you don’t, getting a copy of each of these would be a great addition to your child's book collection.

The Digging-est Dog, by Al Perkins, illustrated by Eric Gurney

Katy No-Pocket, by Emmy Payne, illustrated by H.A. Rey (the same guy who wrote Curious George)

Marcel the Pastry Chef, by Marianna Mayer, illustrated by Gerald McDermott

A Visit to the Zoo, by Sylvia Root Tester

The Very Quiet Cricket, by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle

Eric Carle has written more books than this, but these are the two we have.  A recent author, but excellent all the same.

There's More...

The New York Public Library has compiled a list of 100 Great Children's Books that are likely to be worth checking out.

Of course there are many, many books for children with autism that didn’t make this list on this page.  I could go further and list more favorites, and I think I shall.  Click over to the next page to find more gems.

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