for the love of books: encouragement for autism families

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1. Mockingbird A Young Adult novel written about a girl named Caitlin with Aspergers. I felt her processing and emotions were captured so accurately. The author has a child on the spectrum. 

2. Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism Written by an anthropologist with a daughter on the spectrum. It reaches into the global and historical components of Autism. Another favorite.

3. Temple Grandin So this isn't a book. But if you prefer a movie over books watch this. And then read Temple's books. And watch her Ted talk: the world needs all kinds of minds

4.Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full Those of us with a child on the spectrum know the days are long. I see beauty in a lot of it, but also admit the unpredictability of our day drains me. Recharge. I'm half way through with this and already recommend it. 

5. Give them Grace Not an autism book but I appreciate the outlook of parenting in this book. Gospel-centered and grace-filled and differentiates itself from moralism. 

6. Be Different The first Aspergian/Autism book I read that I enjoyed. Written by an adult with Aspergers, Robison enabled me to see the way my child thinks. One of my favorite non-fiction books. 

And a few more good ones that didn't make it to the photo list: Dancing with Max, Going Public, and Ido in Autismland.

My background is in design: I am not a doctor or a therapist or a teacher. But I believe in gaining as many resources as possible to encourage your child and family.  I devoured books on autism since our son's diagnosis a few years ago and found that some were beautifully written and some were frankly terrible. There are several different autism schools of thought including the fix-it parents who try their best to "cure" their kids, and the blame-it parents that instantly tell me vaccinations caused my child's unique processing. I am in the acceptance group: I want to know how to best help my child excel in life.

And a few quick lines of advice: don't over-schedule therapies to the point where there is no time for play. Encourage friendships for your child. And make time for your own. Some of my favorite events the past few years were coffee dates with friends. If you are a friend or a family member of someone on the spectrum: offer date nights. Factors related to autism are stressful and babysitters are hard to find. Our dear friends watched the kids in the afternoon a few times this year and I cherish that time with my husband. Most of all get to know autism. Don't fear it, and learn more from trusted sources.

Do you have a loved one on the spectrum? Have any book recommendations? I would love to try them.