Having a sibling with Autism brings its own joy as well as its own challenges. Many readers of The Sensory Spectrum often ask how to support their “neurotypical” children along with their child with Autism. Reading these Autism books for siblings is a wonderful way to start the conversation in supporting everyone’s needs in the family.
To make it easier for parents, I’ve broken down these Autism books for siblings into two categories: picture books and chapter books. Look for the appropriate section that fits your child. You can find these books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Autism Books for Siblings
For chapter books for older siblings, see the next section down!
Leah’s Voice: 2014 Dr. Temple Grandin Outstanding Literary Work of the Year Award. Leah’s Voice is a fictional story inspired by two sisters. It touches on the difficulties children encounter when they meet a child with special needs such as autism. Siblings may find it difficult to explain to their friends, or feel disappointed when their friends aren’t more understanding. Leah’s Voice tells the story of two sisters facing these challenges. Through her kindness and devotion, one sister teaches by example the importance of including everyone and showing acceptance.
What About Me?: A Book By and For An Autism Sibling: Having a sibling on the spectrum brings great joy. It also brings a flurry of emotions, challenges and questions. Written by a seven-year-old boy, “What About Me?” works through the day-to-day struggles and joys of being an autism sibling.
My Brother Charlie: From bestselling author and actress Holly Robinson Peete–a heartwarming story about a boy who happens to be autistic, based on Holly’s son, who has autism.
The Other Kid: Parents and sibling support group leaders can use this workbook as a tool to help children express all their wonders and worries. The book allows the child to read, think, draw and discuss their feelings in a way that reassures them that their feelings are normal and acceptable.
Brotherly Feelings: Me, My Emotions, and My Brother with Asperger’s Syndrome: It isn’t easy being eight years old and having an older brother whom other children often misunderstand. They don’t realize that when he doesn’t laugh at their jokes it’s because he doesn’t understand them. They don’t know that when he doesn’t speak to them or look at them it’s because he doesn’t know what to say or how to make eye contact. They don’t realize that he behaves this way because he has something called Asperger’s Syndrome.
Sometimes My Brother: Helping Kids Understand Autism Through a Sibling’s Eyes: Winner of an iParenting Media Award, this adorable picture book shows readers the challenges that children with autism face and the obstacles they overturn. It is lovingly written in the perspective of three-year-old Foster, who explains his experiences with his older brother, Gavin, who has autism. Vibrant photographs bring you right into their living room, school, and playground. Foster’s innocent approach is perfect for teaching others what autism is all about, and for letting other siblings of children with autism know that they are not alone. Angie Greenlaw, the boys’ mother, provides a how-to section at the end so families can create their own personalized books.
My Brother is Autistic (Let’s Talk About It Books): My Brother is Autistic describes a condition that affects many families. Medical experts are just beginning to understand varying degrees of autism and its impact on both the autistic child and his family. This book describes an autistic child from his brother’s point of view. It talks about ways autistic kids can be helped and how they can better relate to their family and surroundings.
Boy Alone: A Brother’s Memoir: Karl Taro Greenfield, the acclaimed journalist and author of China Syndrome, tells the story of his life growing up with his brother, chronicling the hopes, dreams, and realities of life with an autistic sibling.
Everybody Is Different: A Book for Young People Who Have Brothers or Sisters With Autism: Many young people have a hard time understanding the complexities of what autism Is and why people with autism engage in the behaviors that they do. This book gives answers to the many questions brothers and sisters of young people on the autism spectrum have about their siblings. In addition to explaining in basic terms the characteristics of autism, this little book is full of helpful suggestions for making family life more comfortable for everyone. The many illustrations make this a warm and accessible book for young people.
Autism Through a Sister’s Eyes: A Book for Children about High-Functioning Autism and Related Disorders: When young people have questions about a brother or sister with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, clear answers can be hard to find. Written by Eve Band, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, this book gives voice to ten-year-old Emily’s story: her questions about her brother, her search for answers about autism, and her exploration of her feelings as a sibling of a young man with autism. Told in her voice, Emily’s story is as uplifting as it is filled with valuable information for parents and siblings, or any individual whose life is touched by a person with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.
Autism, the Invisible Cord: A Sibling’s Diary: Silver Medal Winner, 2013 Mom’s Choice Awards. Autism, The Invisible Cord follows 14-year-old Jenny as she describes her day-to-day life with her younger autistic brother, Ezra. Ezra can be both her best friend as well as her biggest obstacle to living a normal life, and Jenny often finds herself stuck worrying about her younger brother. Through taking care of Ezra and a very special school project, Jenny ends up learning about her own character and strengths, and a way to shine despite everything else.
Siblings: The Autism Spectrum Through Our Eyes: Growing up with a sibling on the autistic spectrum can be difficult, and the needs of a child with autism often overwhelm a family, leaving neurotypical children feeling overshadowed. For the first time, the ‘neurotypical’ siblings get to have their say. They recount the good, the bad, and the downright annoying in a way that all young people in a similar situation will immediately recognise.
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