April is Autism Awareness month but even as the month comes to a close, autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) will continue to be a part of our society. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Autism Speaks, one child in children is diagnosed with ASD. Gina Catania, principal of The Children’s Institute in Verona, says that one of every 23 boys is diagnosed with autism.
Both TCI and the Verona Public Library offer a variety of resources on autism and ASD. Both have books available for children and adults, and TCI has a video series available for classroom support as well. I’ve found that books can be very helpful when talking about difficult or confusing subjects with my children, so if you find yourself looking for a way to start the conversation, here are some resources that are available right in our town.
A Symphony in the Brain : the evolution of the new brain wave biofeedback, by Jim Robbins. You can read a New York Times book review here (available at VPL).
Autism Spectrum Disorders: the complete guide to understanding autism, Asperger’s syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder and other ASD, by Chantal Sicile-Kira. There are reader reviews and other suggested books here on Goodreads.com (available at VPL).
The Horse Boy: a father’s story, by Rupert Isaacson (available at VPL).
Mother Warriors: a nation of parents healing autism against all odds, by Jenny McCarthy. There are reviews here on Goodreads.com (available at VPL).
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew, by Ellen Notbohm
Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism (Vintage), by Temple Grandin
My Brother is Different: A sibling’s guide to coping with Autism, by Barbara Morvay
Ian’s Walk: a story about autism, by Laurie Lears
Mockingbird, by Katherine Erskine (This book is not in the VPL library, but I read it with my daughter and it was amazing. You can read my take on it here, and view a video of Erskine on the National Book Web site.)
Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko (available at the VPL; I read this book with my son and it started some great conversations between us).
Inside Out, by Ann M. Martin
Young Adult Fiction:
Marcelo in the Real World. Francisco X. Stork
My Brother Sammy is Special, by Becky Edwards (available from the VPL)
Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes, by Jennifer Elder
Since We’re Friends:An Autism Picture Book, by Celeste Shally
Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome, by Clarabelle van Niekerk & Liezl Venter
Videos available from The Children’s Institute:
Intricate Minds: Understanding Classmates with Asperger’s Syndrome (appropriate for high school students)
Intricate Minds II: Understanding Classmates with Asperger’s Syndrome (appropriate for elementary schools)