Best Books for High Functioning Autism (15+ List)

In this blog, we are going to describe some of the best books for high functioning autism. Each of these will give readers an in-depth understanding of autism. Most of the items on this list talk specifically about high-functioning autism.

What are the Best Books for High Functioning Autism?

The best books for high functioning are listed below:

Top Books that Address High Functioning Autism

High functioning autism is a non-clinical term that is used for people with autistic spectrum disorder if they maintain functionality. Despite their diagnosis, these are individuals who read, write, speak, and manage life skills without much assistance.

Though their condition allows them to have some level of autonomy in their lives, it is not free of challenges. They still struggle with diminished social skills, inability to communicate well, hypersensitivity, and stereotypic behaviours.

Here is a list of books that addresses the concerns of people with high functioning autism. These will help readers learn about this condition and how to implement effective strategies to improve their quality of life. 

Atypical by Jesse A. Saperstein

Saperstein is an autism advocate and popular motivational speaker. He is also considered one of the most respected leaders in the anti-bullying movement of his generation. This book is a collection of poignant, funny, and truly unique observations from his life. 

It talks about his journey from his ASD diagnosis to where he is today. This memoir will help others deal with social awkwardness, self-doubt, and difficulty handling emotions.

Aspergirls by Rudy Simone

Rudy Simone is another individual with Asperger’s syndrome who has written a book to help others with this diagnosis. She wrote this book to empower girls with this condition because their gender makes the journey even harder. 

It’ll guide readers through every aspect of both personal and professional life. Aspergirls won the gold medal in the Sexuality/Relationships Category of the 2011 IPPY Awards. It also received an honorary mention in the 2010 BOTYA Awards Women’s Issues Category.

Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant

This is a groundbreaking book on the subject and is written by one of the world’s leading experts on autism. It offers a new and compelling paradigm for ASD therapy that doesn’t focus on fixing a person by eliminating symptoms. 

Rather, this approach seeks to understand the individual’s experience and what underlies the behavior. Readers will cherish the inspiration and practical advice drawn from Dr. Prizant’s four-decade career.

More Than Words by Fern Sussman

This is a step-by-step guide for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other social communication difficulties. It shows them how to turn everyday activities with their child into opportunities for interaction and communication. 

This information is presented in a user-friendly way unlike most self-help books. It has been updated to reflect the most current view on naturalistic models of communication. The book is full of beautiful illustrations that attract both parents and children.

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm

Notbohm uses humour and compassion to describe ten characteristics that help illuminate—not define—children with autism. Her expertise on the subject comes from years of parenting children with ASD and ADHD. 

She has contributed to numerous publications, classrooms, conferences, and websites around the world. The book discusses communication issues, social processing skills, and the critical roles adult perspectives play in guiding the child. Combined with a vast appendix and bonus section, this edition is truly a handy tool for anyone interested in autism.

The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood

Here is a definitive handbook that is essential reading for anyone with or related to someone with ASD. It brings together a wealth of information on all aspects of the syndrome for children through to adults. 

Attwood uses case studies and personal accounts from his extensive clinical experience to compile the knowledge. Topics covered are causes, diagnosis, impact, theory of mind, social perception, long-term relationships, bullying, mental health, communication, cognition, and more.

1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s by Ellen Notbohm

Winner of multiple awards, this book is a treasured resource in the autism community. This second edition is an expanded version that includes more than 600 fresh ideas than the original one. 

It provides parents and educators with over 1800 ideas, try-it-now tips, eye-opening advice, and grassroots strategies. Find solutions, explanations, and ideas that help you navigate better when guiding a young one with autism spectrum disorder.

In a Different Key by Donvan & Zucker

The full title of this text is In a Different Key: The Story of Autism. It is an extraordinary narrative history of autism and was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. 

It begins with the odyssey of the family of Donald Triplett, the first child diagnosed with autism. It goes on to describe this often misunderstood condition and the challenges faced by the families of those who have it. Readers will be moved by this era full of struggles and will find solace in the fact that their troubles are shared.

Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin

This book was originally published in 1995 and combined the dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person. It provides a uniquely fascinating view on autism and neurodiversity. 

Grandin introduced a groundbreaking model which analyzes people based on their patterns of thought. Reading this book will help people look at others with this diagnosis in a more insightful and compassionate way. For people with the diagnosis, this book will put to words what they experience on a daily basis.

High-Functioning Autism and Difficult Moments by Myles & Aspy

Life with high functioning autism is quite challenging and there may be many difficult moments in it that cause meltdowns. This book will prevent any such consequence and help you deal with these challenges better. 

It gives you tried-and-true solutions to minimise and circumvent the often frightening circumstances that surround the cycle of meltdowns. These tips are not just for the individual with the diagnosis but also for the people around them.

Life, Animated by Ron Suskind

This is the story of a father of a son with autism spectrum disorder. It talks about how the two were able to use Disney movies to regain the child’s ability to speak. Suskind is a Pulitzer-winning author who describes his family’s compelling journey through autism. His son, Owen, couldn’t speak for years. 

Then, he memorised dozens of these animated movies to develop a language to express love and loss, kinship, brotherhood. A truly remarkable story, this is a must-read for the entire autism community.

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NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

This book uncovers the secret history of autism and provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle. He reveals the untold story of Hans Asperger, the Austrian pediatrician after which high functioning autism gets its name. Readers will also learn about the growing movement of ‘neurodiversity’ activists. 

Silberman explains why they seek respect, accommodations in the workplace and education, and the right to self-determination for those with cognitive differences. This New York Times bestseller won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2015.

Autism Adulthood: Strategies and Insights for a Fulfilling Life by Susan Senator

This guide tackles the challenges of adult life on the autism spectrum on the more severe end of the spectrum. These are individuals who cannot communicate for themselves. The author honestly discusses the complex decisions that await all parents and caregivers. 

She describes her interviews with parents, caregivers, researchers, and professionals. She also adds her own observations and conclusions based on her long-term familiarity and understanding of autism. Read this to expose yourself to a vivid and thought-provoking picture of many people grappling with grown-up, real-life autism.

A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder by Sally Ozonoff

This guide for parents uses real-world examples and stories to illustrate ways to help kids with ASD. It teaches parents the facts they need about high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including Asperger syndrome. 

Reading this will give you sufficient information to train your children. You can help your child relate more comfortably to peers, learn the rules of appropriate behavior, and succeed in school. This second edition clearly explains the implications of the DSM-5 diagnostic changes.

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

This one-of-a-kind memoir demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Originally written in Japanese, it talks about a 13-year-old boy with ASD who is exceptionally self aware. 

Reading this book will give caregivers insight on how the autistic mind works. This knowledge is so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again. In People Magazine, Whoopi Goldberg reviewed this book as “Amazing times a million.”

Asperger’s From the Inside Out by Michael John Carley

Here is an incredible story about a father who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at thirty-six. What’s amazing is that he found out when his young son received the same diagnosis. 

This book describes the confusion and trauma that surrounded their lives due to these unusual circumstances. Today, the author is the Executive Director of the world’s largest Asperger’s organisation. His book offers insights into living an independent and productive life.

Conclusion

In this blog, we described some of the best books for high functioning autism. Each of these will give readers an in-depth understanding of autism. Most of the items on this list talk specifically about high-functioning autism.

The books mentioned here were Atypical by Jesse A. Saperstein, Aspergirls by Rudy Simone, Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant , More Than Words by Fern Sussman, Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm, and The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood.

Other books described were 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s by Ellen Notbohm, In a Different Key by Donvan & Zucker, and Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin.

Finally, we also talked about High-Functioning Autism and Difficult Moments by Myles & Aspy, Life, Animated by Ron Suskind, NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman, Autism Adulthood: Strategies and Insights for a Fulfilling Life by Susan Senator, A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder by Sally Ozonoff, The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida, and Asperger’s From the Inside Out by Michael John Carley

FAQs (Best Books for High Functioning Autism)

How do you discipline a child with high functioning autism?

Though this can be a challenging task, it isn’t impossible. Try the following tips:

  • Learn everything you can about your child’s condition
  • Adapt your expectations to suit this condition
  • Consistency is key
  • Maintain a routine
  • Use simple and clear instructions
  • Rewards and consequences to reinforce good behaviour
  • Always praise desired behaviour
  • Believe in your child

What jobs are good for high functioning autism?

If you or someone you love has high functioning autism, try these career paths:

  • Engineering and automation
  • Manufacturing
  • Scientific research
  • IT and software development
  • Animal science
  • Accounting
  • Shipping and logistics
  • Art and design

Can a child outgrow high functioning autism?

Recent studies have shown that between 3-25% of children reportedly lose their ASD diagnosis. They may enter the normal range of cognitive, adaptive and social skills. However, the claim of recovery from autism does not necessarily entail the claim of fully normal cognitive, social, and emotional function.

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