Book Recommendations

The Team at the Toby Henderson Trust have made recommendations and suggestions of books that they have found really useful.   Take a look below and let us know if you have any other books that you would recommend.


Understanding Autism

Ten things book

Ten things every child with Autism wishes you knew (Revised in 2019) by Ellen Notbohm

 Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Revised and Updated: Ellen Notbohm, Veronica Zysk: Books

book reason why i jumo

The reason I jump by Naoki Higashida (good for older children & parents/carers)
This groundbreaking book, written by Naoki when he was only thirteen, provides some answers. Severely autistic and non-verbal, Naoki learnt to communicate by using a ‘cardboard keyboard’ – and what he has to say gives a rare insight into an autistically-wired mind.

The Reason I Jump: one boy’s voice from the silence of autism: Higashida, Naoki, Mitchell, David, Yoshida, Keiko: 9781444776775: Books

YouTube read aloud (audiobook):

book a diff kind of brill

A different kind of brilliant by Louise Cummins (aimed at 3 -11yrs)

Written by a Mom to help teach her son with autism to embrace his differences and recognize he is a different kind of brilliant.

A Different Kind of Brilliant: Cummins, Louise E: Books

YouTube read aloud:

I see things differently by Pat Thomas  (Aimed at 4 – 8yrs sibling/classmates/family members)

This reassuring picture book explains what autism is in simple terms, helping children with siblings or classmates with autism understand what everyday life feels like from a child with autism’s perspective.

Autism: I See Things Differently (A First Look At): Thomas, Pat, Keay, Claire: 9780750289481: Books

YouTube read aloud:

book can you see me

Can you see me?

By Libby Scott (Aimed at 9yrs +)

With diary entries written by eleven-year-old Libby Scott, based on her own experiences of autism, this pioneering book, has been widely praised for its realistic portrayal of autism.

The superhero brain by Christel Land (For young children)

This story speaks to children who have autism and explains to them what it means in a way that leaves them feeling empowered and able to make their dreams come true. 

This book is available in a format for either a girl or a boy. Both links below.

Boy – The Superhero Brain: Explaining autism to empower kids (boy): Land, Christel: 9781542887212: Books 

Girl – The Superhero Brain: Explaining autism to empower kids (girl): Land, Christel: 9781979870009: Books 

The secret life of Rose: Inside an autistic head by Rose Smitten (Aimed at 10+yrs, parents/carers, professionals & family members)

This book will introduce you to life with autism, help you understand those in your life who are autistic from the perspective of an 11 year old autistic girl and her Mum; an autism specialist.

book mumy is autistic

My Mummy is autistic by Heath Grace (Good for 6 -12yrs)

 Five-year-old Heath illustrates his understanding of his autistic mother Joanna, giving insight into the different ways in which autistic and neurotypical people understand language.

The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime by Mark Haddon (older children, teens, adults)

Fictional novel – The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger’s Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns, and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered, he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.

YouTube read aloud (audiobook):

book abilities in me

The abilities in me – Autism by Gemma Keir

 Explore the day in the life of a young girl and boy with autism through bright, colourful illustrations and text. Perfect for teachers, parents and children alike, this book will bring awareness of the condition and teach children how to be supportive and be kind. This picture book is aimed for children between the ages of 3-8 years. 

The abilities in me: Autism: Keir, Gemma, Walker-Parker, Adam: 9781095358221: Books

autism how to raise a happy child

Autism – How to raise a happy autistic child by Jessie Hewitson (for parents).   

It combines her own experiences with tips from autistic adults, other parents – including author David Mitchell – as well as advice from autism professionals and academics such as Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. Autism looks at the condition as a difference rather than a disorder and includes guidance.

book a different sort of normal

A different sort of normal by Abigail Balfe.

The beautiful true story of one girl’s journey growing up autistic – and the challenges she faced in the ‘normal’ world

book autism and me

Autism and Me by Haia Ironside

The activities in this book explore what it means to be autistic. It is full of fun activities including colouring, drawing and DIY.


Wonderboy by James Matthewson

Through poetry and the written word, James has documented an experience that will be all too familiar to many young people throughout the world. The overwhelming desire to fit in, to be ‘normal’ and to attempt to navigate a challenging mainstream school system is ingrained in the moving words that make up Wonderboy.

Autism, Identity & me by Rebecca Duffus (Twin pack)

This empowering workbook and guide will help children and young people (10+) to develop a positive understanding of their autistic identity, whilst the guide provides key adults with the tools needed to support their journey and initiate important conversations.

Amazing me amazing you by Christine McGuiness

In this first children’s book from autism ambassador, Christine McGuinness shows just how important it is to embrace diversity and inclusivity while highlighting just how much it means to accept one another, just as we are with all the uniqueness that makes us special.


book when worries get too big

When my worries are too big by Kari Dunn Buron (for young children)

Engaging and easy to read, this illustrated children s book is filled with opportunities for children to participate in developing their own self-calming strategies.

YouTube read aloud:

A huge bag of worries by Virginia Ironside (For young children)

A reassuring picture book encouraging children to open up about their fears and anxieties to help manage their feelings. The perfect book to soothe worries during stressful times.

YouTube read aloud:

book what to do worry too much

What to do when you worry too much by Dawn Huebner (6-12yrs)

 interactive self-help book designed to guide 6-12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioural techniques most often used in the treatment of generalized anxiety.

Starving the anxiety Gremlin by Kate Collins-Donnelly (Age 5-9yrs)

this CBT workbook uses fun and imaginative activities to teach children how to manage their anxiety by changing how they think and act – getting rid of their Anxiety Gremlins for good!

The worry workbook by Imogen Harrison (ages 7-13yrs)

 helps by explaining what worry is, offering creative ways to calm and distract yourself when worry strikes.

book whats worrying you

What’s worrying you? By Molly Potter (Ages 5-7yrs)

a book all about helping children understand their worries, and what to do when they feel overwhelmed by their thoughts and feelings.

book of mindfulness

The little book of mindfulness by Tiddy Rowan (older children & adults)

Tiddy, a practitioner for over 30 years, has gathered together a seminal collection of over 150 techniques, tips, exercises, advice, meditations and further resources that will enable people at every level to follow the breath, still the mind and relax the body, whilst generating and boosting a feeling of well-being and contentment that will permeate every aspect of everyday life.

The Boy with Big, Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee 

This book is relatable for any child — especially kids experiencing anxiety, extreme emotions, autism, or who have been diagnosed as a Highly Sensitive Person. Beautifully illustrated and written in rhyming verse, children and adults explore the whole spectrum of feelings and readers navigate the emotional challenges they face throughout the day.

The Boy with Big, Big Feelings (The Big, Big) : Britney Winn Lee: Books



book birds have anxiety

All Birds Have Anxiety bKathy Hoopmann

Life as a bird can be stressful! From worrying about airplanes, windows, and getting enough worms to eat, it is clear that birds can be anxious beings. Through a light-touch, quizzical depiction of bird behaviour, All Birds Have Anxiety uses colourful images and astute explanations to explore with gentle humour what it means to live with anxiety day-to-day, and how to begin to deal with it.

All Birds Have Anxiety: Kathy Hoopmann: 9781785921827: Books

Avoiding Anxiety in Autistic Children by Dr Luke Beardon


Dr Luke Beardon has put together an optimistic, upbeat and readable guide that will be essential reading for any parent to an autistic child, whether they are of preschool age or teenagers. this practical book gives insight into the nature of the anxiety experienced by autistic people, as well as covering every likely situation in which your child might feel anxious or worried.

Feelings and Emotions

book incedible 5 point scale new

The incredible 5 point scale by Kari Dunn Buron (Ages 7-13yrs)

This clearly written book is an expanded and revised 2nd edition that shows children how to work at problem behaviour and move on to alternative positive behaviours. Assisting Students in understanding social Interactions and controlling their emotional responses.

book colour monster

The colour monster by Anna Llenas (For young children)

A gentle exploration of feelings for young and old alike.

YouTube read aloud:

book flooded

Flooded by Allison Edwards (for parents/carers & professionals)

This book explains how parents, teachers, and counsellors can identify when children have entered The Flood Zone. Offering suggestions for teaching children (and adults!) how to regain control of their emotions.

book its ok to cry

It’s ok to cry by Molly Potter (Young children)

 Includes colourful illustrations, child-friendly strategies and vocabulary for managing feelings, and helpful notes for parents, carers and practitioners.

book way i feel

The way I feel by Janan Cain (Ages 3-8yrs)

 The Way I Feel uses strong, colourful, and expressive images which go along with simple verses to help children connect the word and the emotion.

YouTube read aloud:

book when im feeling angry

When I’m feeling angry by Tracey Moroney (for young children)

Feeling angry can make you feel like you’re going to explode! What do you do when your child feels angry.

YouTube read aloud:

book when im feeling scared

When I’m feeling Scared by Tracey Moroney (for young children)

Feeling scared can make you feel like you want to run and hide in a safe place. What do parents do when their child feels scared? Each book features a page of parents’ notes written by a child psychologist.

YouTube read aloud:

book when im feeling happy

When I’m feeling happy by Tracey Moroney (for young children)

Feeling happy can make you feel bouncy and full of joy! How can a parent help their child feel happy? Helping young children develop skills to identify and manage their feelings leads to an increase in confidence, self-esteem, and an optimistic and hopeful state of mind–creating a healthy emotional foundation.

YouTube read aloud:

book when im feeling lonely

When I’m feeling lonely by Tracey Moroney (for young children)

Feeling lonely can make you feel like there is no one else like you. Helping young children develop skills to identify and manage their feelings leads to an increase in confidence, self-esteem, and a healthy emotional foundation.

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book when im feeling jealous

When I’m feeling jealous by Tracey Moroney (for young children)

shares examples of ways to express these feelings in a way that is both appropriate and acceptable to themselves and others. Feeling jealous can make you feel like you are not as important as others . . . but you are!

YouTube read aloud:

book my great big feelings

My Great Big Feelings – A story for sensitive children by C M Tolentino.  

For highly sensitive children and those with sensory processing difficulties.   This book  is comforting and empowering. Sensitivities covered in story include: noises, tags/ uncomfortable clothing, lights, feeling other’s emotions, food textures and temperatures, stressful/ overwhelming feelings in general.

My Great Big Feelings: A Story for Sensitive Children eBook : Tolentino, C. M.: Books

Social Skills

book mouth volcana

My mouth is a volcano by Julia Cook (Age 4+)

An empathetic approach to the habit of interrupting. This story helps teach children the value of respecting others by listening and waiting for their turn to speak.

YouTube read aloud:

book will you be friend

Will you be my friend? By Molly Potter (Young children)

 This book is both humorous and charming, and prompts children to discuss the idea of friendship with parents and peers.

Mental Health

What’s going on inside my head? By Molly Potter (Young children)

Perfect for starting conversations with children about their mental and emotional health.

YouTube read aloud:

book things i want you to know

Things I want you to know when everything feels terrible (All ages)

Just fill in the blanks, and it transforms into the only book of its kind: a personalised, meaningful book (gift) for someone who is having a tough time. Nice way to show someone you care.

Things I Want You To Know When Everything Feels Terrible – Fill In The Love Journal | Spiffy (

book the whole brain child workbook

The Whole-Brain Child Workbook: Practical Exercises, Worksheets and Activities to Nurture Developing Minds bDaniel J Siegel.

A Personalized Workbook to Help You Deepen, Reflect On, and Apply Whole-Brain Principles.

The Whole-Brain Child Workbook: Practical Exercises, Worksheets and Activitis to Nurture Developing Minds: Practical Exercises, Worksheets and Activities to Nurture Developing Minds: Siegel, Daniel J, Payne Bryson, Tina: 9781936128747: Books

book kids guide to staying awesome

The Kids’ Guide to Staying Awesome and In Control: Simple Stuff to Help Children Regulate their Emotions and Senses by Lauren Brukner.

Packed with simple ideas to regulate the emotions and senses, this book will help children tackle difficult feelings head-on and feel awesome and in control!

The Kids’ Guide to Staying Awesome and In Control: Simple Stuff to Help Children Regulate their Emotions and Senses : Lauren Brukner: Books

Book boy mole fox horse

The boy, the mole, the fox & the horse by Charlie Mackesy

A book of hope for uncertain times. Enter the world of Charlie’s four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons and exploring the thoughts and feelings that unite us all.

book a better day

A better day by DR Alex George

A Better Day is a positive, accessible and practical toolkit guiding young readers in how they can care for their mental health with confidence.

Visual Support

book stories that explain

Stories that explain by Lynn McCann (For parents, carers & professionals)

A one-stop support guide to helping children understand social situations through stories. The book gives a concise explanation of the use of stories, why they are important, and advice on how to write/edit stories, including tips on how to present them. Comes with  accompanying CD.

Book my social stories

My social stories book by Carol Gray (for parents, carers & professionals.)

Contains over 150 Stories, and is illustrated throughout with line drawings, which form a visual counterpart to the text. A helpful introduction explains to parents and carers how to get the most out of the book.


book what is poo

What is poo? By Katie Daynes (aimed at 3-6yrs)

Very First Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers. What is poo? Does everyone do it? And where does it all go? Children can lift the flaps to find the answers in this surprisingly charming book.

YouTube read aloud:

book my pup poo magician

My puppy’s a poo magician by Melissa YAPP (Young children)

A story to help families start the conversation about the silent, confusing issues of constipation, stool withholding and encopresis.

My Puppy’s A Poo Magician: A story about a puppy who is scared to poo: YAPP, Mrs Melissa: 9798722001801: Books

Autistic Teens

book the loving push

The loving push by Temple Grandin (for parents, carers & professionals)

Anyone who cares about a child or teen on the autism spectrum need this essential roadmap to prepare our youth for being successful adults in today’s world.

book raining cats and dogs

It’s raining cats and dogs by Michael Barton (Older children & Teens)

A witty Autism Spectrum Guide to the Confusing World of Idioms, Metaphors and Everyday Expressions.

YouTube read aloud:

book whats happening girls

What’s happening to me – Girls Edition by Susan Meredith (Older children & Teens)

This sensitive, informative guide to puberty for girls tackles everything from body image to mood swings, hormones and first bras.

book whats happening boys

What’s happening to me – Boys Edition by Susan Meredith (Older children & Teens)

sensitive guide to male puberty. It tackles key subjects from the physical changes that occur at this time to the emotional upheaval this can cause.

book all cats on spectrum

All cats are on the Autism Spectrum by Kathy Hoopman (Older children & Teens)

This updated edition of the bestselling All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome provides an engaging, humorous, gentle introduction to autism.

YouTube read aloud:


book awesome autistic

The Awesome Autistic Go-To Guide: A Practical Handbook for Autistic Teens and Tweens by Yenn Purkis, Tanya Masterman (aimed at 10-14 yrs)

This book explores what it feels like to be a young person on the autism spectrum and looks at all the brilliant things people on the autism spectrum can do and  celebrates the strengths of understanding the world in a different way. 

The Awesome Autistic Go-To Guide: A Practical Handbook for Autistic Teens and Tweens : Purkis, Yenn, Masterman, Tanya, Purkis, Yenn and Masterman, Tanya: Books

book freaks geeks

Freaks, Geeks and Aspergers Syndrome by Luke Jackson (Teens.)

A book written in 2002 by a 13yr old by called Luke drawing from his own experiences and gaining information from his teenage brother and sisters, he wrote this enlightening, honest and witty book in an attempt to address difficult topics such as bullying, friendships, when and how to tell others about AS, school problems, dating, relationships and morality. Luke’s main reason for writing was because – “So many books are written about us, but none are written directly to adolescents with Asperger Syndrome. I thought I would write one in the hope that we could all learn together.”

book autism friendly periods

The Autism friendly guide to periods by Robyn Steward (Older children & Teens)

the book reduces the anxiety girls face in asking for help. It offers direct advice on what periods look and feel like and how to manage hygiene and pain. It also breaks up information using flaps and step-by-step photos of how to change pads and tampons, it discusses alternatives to tampons and pads, and gives information about possible sensory issues for people with autism.

YouTube Vlog about the book with Author:

(useful for older  children/Teens/parents/carers)

growing up book for boys

The Growing Up Book for Boys: What Boys on the Autism Spectrum Need to Know!  by Davida Hartman

The pre-teen and teenage years are a confusing time when bodies start acting with a will of their own, friendships change and crushes start to develop.  This book tells boys all they need to know!

The Growing Up Book for Boys: What Boys on the Autism Spectrum Need to Know!: Davida Hartman: 9781849055758: Books

growing up guiide for girls

The Growing Up Guide for Girls: What Girls on the Autism Spectrum Need to Know! by Davida Hartman

The pre-teen and teenage years are a bumpy time when bodies change, emotions are high and peers are developing at different paces.   This book explains the facts about body changes,  what makes a real friend, and what it means to have a crush on somebody.

The Growing Up Guide for Girls: What Girls on the Autism Spectrum Need to Know!: Davida Hartman: 9781849055741: Books

book championing your autistic teen

Championing your autistic teen at secondary school by Debby Elley

From choosing the right school for your child (and spotting the tell-tale signs of the wrong one), to preparing both your child and the new school for the transition, to overcoming barriers and building a positive, collaborative and effective relationship between home and school.

book nurturing your autistic y person

Nurturing your autistic young person: A parents handbook to supporting a newly diagnosed teen/pre-teen by Cathey Wassell

Designed to help parents become fully informed and ensure a nurturing and positive environment for our autistic young people, this is a guide with a focus on difference – not deficit.


book superhero heart

The superhero heart by Christel Land (Younger children)

This story speaks to children who are close to a child with autism and explains how we are all different to each other, and how the sibling has special powers, which help them in the trickier moments where the child might feel rejection or find it hard to deal with a meltdown. This book is available in a format for either a girl or a boy. Both links below.



book what about me

What about me? by Brennan & Mandy Farmer (Aimed at 4-8yr olds)

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.

book everybody is different

Everybody is different by Fiona Bleach (Aimed at 9-12yr olds)

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.

book my brother sammy

My brother Sammy by Becky Edwards (For young children)

This moving book portrays life with an autistic child in the family. It does not promise any simple solution but reminds us all that understanding and compromise are vital ingredients in a good relationship.

YouTube read aloud:

Autism in my family – A journal for siblings by Sandra Tucker

This interactive workbook is designed for siblings to autistic children. Introducing the experience of autism in simple language, children can complete activities that identify differences and strengthen relationships. This book is focussed on understanding and supporting a sibling while developing individual emotions and identity.

book a siblings guide to autism

A Siblings guide to autism by Irene Kim

16-year-old Irene Kim writes A Sibling’s Guide to Autism in hopes that she can be the older sister that she never had—for Skylar and for any other sibling out there who wants to be understood.

book autism invisible cord

Autism The Invisible Cord by Barbara Cain

Meet Jenny — a teen who confides in her diary about what it is like to live with Ezra, her younger brother who is autistic, and her life with the most “wacky, exasperating, infuriating, amazing younger brother!”

Me and my sister by Rose Robbins

A celebration of the highs and lows of having a much loved but differently abled brother or sister.


Grandparents guide to Autism spectrum disorder by Nancy Mucklow

This book serves as a practical guide to turning grandparents’ concern, confusion, and initial sadness for their grandchild with ASD into a relationship of acceptance, confidence and realistic expectations.

Sensory Processing

book max and me

Max and Me by Ines Lawlor (For parents/children & professionals)

Offers an explanation of how sensory information is processed using the analogy of a ‘modulator’, who living in the brain has the job of receiving messages from the senses and then deciding the best thing for the body to do. Once Max gets to know his modulator and how to work together with him, things start to go better for him. The workbook format is designed to allow children to reflect on the story and working together with an adult, get to know their own ‘modulator’.

YouTube read aloud:

book understand sensory signals

Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals: A Practical Daily Use Handbook by Angie Voss (For Parents and professionals.)

Sensory tools and strategies made simple for home, school, and in the community! Handbook includes over 210 of the most common sensory signals and cues your child may be giving you.

book self regulation

Self Regulation Interventions and Strategies. Keeping the Body, Mind & Emotions on Task in Children with Autism, ADHD or Sensory Disorders by Teresa Garland

Keeping children bodies, minds and emotions on task just got easier with this new book .  Featuring more than 200 practical and proven interventions, strategies and adaptation for helping children gain more control over their lives. Each chapter provides rich background and theoretical material to help the reader better understand the issues our children face.

Self-Regulation Interventions and Strategies: Keeping the Body, Mind & Emotions on Task in Children with Autism, ADHD or Sensory Disorders: Garland, Teresa: 9781936128778: Books

book out of sync child

The Out-Of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder by  Carol Stock Kranowitz

This groundbreaking book explains Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)–and presents a drug-free approach that offers hope for parents.

The Out-Of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder: Carol Stock Kranowitz: 8601400349991: Books

bpook wiggles stomps squeezes

Wiggles, Stomps, and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down by Lindsey Rowe Parker

The vibration in her feet when she runs, the tap-tap-tap of her fork on the table at mealtime, the trickle of cool water running over her hands-these are the things that calm her jitters down. This book is for anyone who has ever felt the need for a wiggle, stomp, or squeeze!

Wiggles, Stomps, and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down : Lindsey Rowe Parker: Books

YouTube read aloud: