It can be difficult to find books and information designed for autistic kids. Most children's books about autism are meant for the autistic child's non-autistic peers. Autistic children deserve to know about their diagnosis. By telling them they are autistic, they can better understand themselves, advocate for themselves, take pride in their strengths, and connect with other autistic people. Autistic adults that did not know they were autistic until adulthood often report mental health issues, internalized ableism, and struggles in various aspects of their lives without understanding why those struggles happen. When adults learn they are autistic and find validation within the autistic community, it is often life-changing (you can read about my own experiences here).
Autistic experiences differ from those of neurotypicals, so it is important to support autistic children in learning about, understanding, and embracing their neurology.
The list below contains all of the resources I have found so far that introduce autistic kids to autism and neurodiversity in a positive way. These resources were either created by autistic people or they are neurodiversity-friendly. I will update as I find new materials.
Amazing Things Happen by Alexander Amelines
Welcome to the Autistic Community by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Autistic Pride Day by Reframing Autism
Embracing a Positive Autistic Identity by Reframing Autism
**One child inaccurately calls himself narcissistic (because he loves himself and doesn’t hate himself); some kids refer to autism as a disorder (it isn't a disorder), but overall I liked the video.
Documentary: Bouncing Words, I Am Cadence
ONLINE ARTICLES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
An Affectionate Letter to All Autistic Children by Frank Ludwig
Susie Spins by Emma Dalmayne
Why Johnny Doesn’t Flap: NT is OK! by Clay Morton and Gail Morton
Welcome to the Autistic Community (Autistic Self Advocacy Network)
My Awesome Autism by Nikki Saunders
**I personally don't love this one, as it only uses person-first language (most autistic people prefer identity-first). But, it may be helpful with young children.
Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes by Jennifer Elder
The Awesome Autistic Go-To Guide: A Practical Handbook for Autistic Teens and Tweens by Yenn Purkis and Tanya Masterman
Some Brains: A Book Celebrating Neurodiversity by Nelly Thomas
Just Right for You: A Story About Autism by Melanie Heyworth and I Am Cadence
Do You Want to Play? Making Friends with an Autistic Kid by Daniel Share-Strom
TIPS FOR PARENTS
Talking to Children About Autism by Reframing Autism
Kaylen Randall, MS, CCC-SLP received her degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is an openly autistic SLP in Pensacola, FL. Kaylen specializes in aphasia, literacy, developmental language delays, and neurodiversity-aligned support for autistic individuals. Additional information about Kaylen and her practice can be found at www.facebook.com/KaylenRandallSLP.