Books and Videos on Autism Spectrum Disorders
Topics: A New Diagnosis, Diet and Biomedical, Autism and Asperger's
Our reviews of the best books and videos on autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome, grouped by categories. For more topics, click here or see the list box in the left column.
For Families Getting a Diagnosis
Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism. Speech therapist Dr. Barry Prizant takes a new look at understanding autism and what makes a therapy successful.
The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism. New book by a "very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, 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."
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew. Ellen Notbohm, a columnist and mother of sons with autism and ADHD, tries to empower parents, encourage them to trust their instincts, and find balance in their lives. An uplifting book, with practical advice on everything from handling your child's meltdowns to dealing with sensory overload. Updated and expanded edition.
Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Other ASDs. Long title but a very worthwhile book for parents starting their autism journey. Chantal Sicile-Kira walks you through the diagnosis, treatment options and coping strategies, from her dual perspective as a former case manager for people with disabilities and as a parent of an adult son with autism.
Could It Be Autism?: A Parent's Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps. Nancy Wiseman of First Signs tells you how to find out if your child is developmentally delayed as early as four months of age. The book provides checklists, discusses screening tests, and, if your child has autism, tells you how to design an effective treatment program to help him reach his potential. Wiseman says taking action early is better than waiting to see if autism develops. We agree.
- Also by Wiseman: The First Year: Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed Child.
Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism or Other Developmental Issues by Maria Wheeler. Children with autism and PDD can be especially hard to toilet train. This popular guide has many tips and examples of how to teach youngsters, through repetition, rewards, picture schedules and reducing sensory problems.
No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Managing and Preventing Out-Of-Control Behavior. Meltdowns — crying, kicking, tantrumming — are hard on any parent, especially so if a child has autism or Asperger's. Clinical psychologist Jed Baker teaches a four-step program for preventing and managing your child's meltdowns. His program is based on behavioral principles. He directs the Social Skills Training Project in Maplewood, NJ.
Diets and Biomedical Treatments
The Autism Revolution: Whole-Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be by Dr. Martha Herbert, the Harvard Medical School researcher. She says autism is NOT a fixed, unchanging condition. She believes a child’s "physical symptoms—the anxiety, sensory overload, sleeplessness, frequent illnesses or seizures"—are clues to what is behind the condition. See her comments on dietary, educational and biomedical treatments and her easy-to-understand explanations of the science.
Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism 2011-2012 by Ken Siri and Tony Lyons. A collection of chapters by more than 80 practitioners of different biomedical, alternative and educational therapies.
The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet. A popular book by two Autism Research Institute practitioners, developmental pediatrician Pamela Compart M.D. and nutritionist Dana Laake. Advice for feeding picky eaters, and a good explanation of how and why the diet can work. Recipes include information on calories, protein, fiber, etc., per serving. Updated edition contains 100 new recipes plus information on packing GFCF school lunches.
- New from Dr. Compart and Ms. Laake: The ADHD and Autism Nutritional Supplement Handbook: The Cutting-Edge Biomedical Approach to Treating the Underlying Deficiencies and Symptoms of ADHD and Autism.
Special Diets for Special Kids, Volumes 1 and 2 Combined. In this new release with CD, Lisa Lewis Ph.D. combines two of her popular and pioneering books on the GFCF diet into one volume, while adding more than 200 updated recipes and information on the diet's "positive effects" for kids with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, allergies and Celiac Disease. Has recipes for banana pancakes, yeast-free sorghum bread, chicken nuggets, mock macaroni and cheese, cakes, pumpkin pie, latkes, and foods kids will eat. Volume 3 is called Special Diets for Special People.
The Autism and ADHD Diet: A Step-by-Step Guide to Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) and Other Interventions by Barrie Silberberg, mother of a boy with Asperger's Syndrome. Her son's behavioral symptoms improved dramatically after starting a diet free of gluten, casein, artificial dyes and preservatives.
Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy Delicious Meals by Silvana Nardone, editor of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. Excellent gluten-free, milk-free recipes developed with kids in mind, like S'mores pancakes with marshmallow sauce.
Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder: A Mother's Story of Research & Recovery by Karyn Seroussi. An excellent book for parents considering a gluten-free, casein-free diet for autism spectrum disorder. Seroussi's son recovered from autism by strictly adhering to this diet. She provides a thorough discussion of her son's problems with foods, intestinal yeast and vaccines.
Overviews of Autism, PDD and Asperger's Syndrome
1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger's by Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk. Practical tips and strategies for helping a child with learning problems, sensory integration, communication, behavior and social skills. Books by Notbohm, a columnist and autism parent, are a pleasure to read. Revised edition.
The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome by Dr. Tony Attwood. One of the best books on AS, Attwood relies on research and personal accounts of people with Asperger's to present a positive, enlightening picture. Includes information on sensory and coordination problems, and difficulties with empathy in people with Asperger's.
Parent Survival Manual: A Guide to Crisis Resolution in Autism and Related Developmental Disorders, edited by Eric Schopler, Ph.D., founder, Division TEACCH at University of North Carolina. The TEACCH method is used in many schools. Based on interviews with parents and behavioral experts, this book provides solutions to common problems involving aggression, communication, hygiene, social skills, eating, and sleep.
Dr. Temple Grandin, the most famous American with autism, tells her story in The Way I See It, A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's. Born at a time when autism was not widely understood, Grandin overcame obstacles to become a professor of animal science. She made the 2010 Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people who are heroes. Her latest book is The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum.
The OASIS Guide to Asperger Syndrome by Patricia Bashe and Barbara Kirby, the founder of the popular Asperger web site, OASIS.