Good reads for children with autism

Reading is a staple in the lives of many children, especially in the lives of children living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. The following is a list of books that are good reads for children with ASD because they involve features such as repetition, predictability, interaction or rhyming.

“Point to Happy: A Book for Kids on the Autism Spectrum”– This book is great for recognition and comprehension and includes a large hand pointer that readers can use to help identify facial expressions depicted in the book’s photographs.

“How to Talk to an Autistic Kid”– Written by Daniel Stefanski, a boy living with ASD, this book helps other children understand his condition and to teach them how to be friends with autistic children. Stefanski was adopted from an orphanage in Bulgaria and grew up in Indiana, he is also a “Star Wars” fan and animal shelter volunteer.

“Russell’s World: A Story for Kids About Autism” – This book describes the behaviors and struggles of a child with ASD in a way that will resonate with many readers, whether they are siblings, classmates or curious onlookers.

“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”– This book is predictable, in a good way. If you give a mouse a glass full of milk, he is going to want a cookie, of course. Each page follows this whimsical format and kids find comfort in knowing what comes next.

“Fluffy Bunny” – This book, by Piers Harper, is soft to the touch. Great for interaction and repetition, this book features a bunny that hops from one family to another until he finds one that fits. There is no rhyming, but there is repetition in the plot.

“My Little Yellow Taxi” – Truly interactive, this book shows children what it’s like to drive a taxi cab. Children get to check the tire pressure, pump the gas and use the steering wheel. On the page with the dashboard, children actually get to put a key in the ignition. Children with ASD often struggle with pretend play, but this book uses the familiar format of a story book to encourage pretending.

“Put me in the Zoo”– This book is great for rhyming and colors. About a polka-dot leopard, the book is brilliantly illustrated with vivid, concrete colors – excellent for perfecting recognition skills.

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