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.
Ten things every child with Autism wishes you knew (Revised in 2019) by Ellen Notbohm
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.
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.
YouTube read aloud: https://youtu.be/y6g8QHWkKZU
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.
YouTube read aloud: https://youtu.be/5mZkWrD-KAg
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.
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.
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.
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: https://youtu.be/T7WlYQ7RMZw
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: https://youtu.be/D5ibh-RzwIU
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.
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.
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
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.
All Birds Have Anxiety by
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.
Feelings and Emotions
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.
The colour monster by Anna Llenas (For young children)
A gentle exploration of feelings for young and old alike.
YouTube read aloud: https://youtu.be/W6wIEp-M4tg
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.
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.
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy13wXb0X30
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu5HHT6CRRk
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIdPjMIYGrA
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.
YouTube read aloud: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFaxBF0QLo4
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu3Px7c1G_s
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: https://youtu.be/aTYlr-bhpfI
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.
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: https://youtu.be/jET6awrqOtw
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.
The Whole-Brain Child Workbook: Practical Exercises, Worksheets and Activities to Nurture Developing Minds by
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: Amazon.co.uk: Siegel, Daniel J, Payne Bryson, Tina: 9781936128747: Books
The Kids’ Guide to Staying Awesome and In Control: Simple Stuff to Help Children Regulate their Emotions and Senses by
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!
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.
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.
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: https://youtu.be/izcnqCIQvVc
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.
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.
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: https://youtu.be/iPvJvtfUELc
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.
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.
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: https://youtu.be/1VClo8kkLX4
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.
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.”
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: https://youtu.be/T9w5u8l7PdA
(useful for older children/Teens/parents/carers)
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.
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.
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.
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: https://youtu.be/xKblk-Z0iaI
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.
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: https://vimeo.com/149881892
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. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Understanding-Your-Childs-Sensory-Signals/
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.
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.
Wiggles, Stomps, and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down by
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!
All Dogs have ADHD by Kathy Hoopman (Young children +)
It explores a variety of traits that will be instantly recognisable to those who are familiar with ADHD. Charming colour photographs of dogs bring to life familiar ADHD characteristics such as being restless and excitable, getting easily distracted, and acting on impulse.
The ADHD sibling challenge by Barton S.Herskovitz (Siblings.)
Using stories and exercises, kids learn to identify and manage their feelings about the challenges of living with a sibling with ADHD. Kids learn new coping skills to navigate the family environment more effectively.
Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)
My daughter is not naughty by Jane Alison Sherwin (for parents & professionals)
Full of advice and support, and with a focus on understanding the child and how he or she sees the world, “this book will be of immeasurable value.”
Can I tell you about pathological demand avoidance syndrome? By Ruth Fidler & Phil Christie (A guide for 7+ children, parents, friends, professionals.)
Issy an 11-year-old girl with pathological demand avoidance syndrome (PDA), invites readers to learn about PDA from her perspective, helping them to understand how simple, everyday demands can cause her great anxiety and stress. Issy tells readers about all the ways she can be helped and supported by those around her.
Understanding pathological demand avoidance syndrome in children by Ruth Fidler (for parents & professionals)
This straightforward guide offers a complete overview of Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome (PDA) and gives practical advice for overcoming the difficulties it poses in a wide range of contexts from diagnosis through to adulthood.
Me and my PDA- A guide to pathological demand avoidance for young people by Glòria Durà-Vilà and Tamar Levi (A guide for 10+ children and parents)
This beautifully illustrated guide helps young people with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) to understand their diagnosis, develop self-awareness and implement their own personalised problem-solving strategies. Written in consultation with young people with PDA and their families, this book recognises the importance of handing control back to the young person, and that there is no one-size-fits-all PDA profile.
M is for Autism by The students in Limpsfield grange school (teen girls)
A school for girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder and communication and interaction difficulties, M’s story draws on the real life experiences of teens with autism.
The girl with the curly hair by Alis Rowe (Teen girls)
A book about the author’s experiences of growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Sisterhood of the spectrum by Jennifer Cook O’Toole (Teen girls)
Jennifer Cook O’Toole draws on her own, real-life experiences rather than preaching from textbooks, she covers everything you need (and want!) to know, from body shapes and love interests to bullying, friendships and how to discover and celebrate your unique, beautiful self. It will leave you empowered, informed and excited to be different.
The spectrum girls survival guide by Siena Castellon (Teen girls)
This essential go-to guide gives you all the advice and tools you’ll need to help you flourish and achieve what you want in life. From the answers to everyday questions such as ‘Am I using appropriate body language?’ and ‘Did I say the wrong thing?’, through to discussing the importance of understanding your emotions, looking after your physical and mental health and coping with anxiety and sensory overloads.
The Invisible string by Patrice Karst. (Young children)
Parents, educators, therapists, and social workers alike have declared The Invisible String the perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss, and grief.
Recommended and adopted by parenting blogs, bereavement support groups, hospice centres, foster care and social service agencies and educators.
YouTube read aloud: https://youtu.be/gJNwqtr8Oww
Let’s talk about when someone dies by Molly Potter (Young Children.)
This book uses clear, easy-to-understand language to answer complex questions about death and how a child might feel when someone dies.
Grandad’s Island by Benji Davies (Children)
Sure to provide comfort to young children struggling to understand loss, the tale is a sensitive and beautiful reminder that our loved ones live on in our memories long after they’re gone.
YouTube read aloud: https://youtu.be/SVWHACJW-XQ
Badgers parting gifts by Susan Varley (Children)
A multi award-winning picture book about losing a loved one. Features a helpful reading guide from Child Bereavement UK that provides tips for reading Badger’s Parting Gifts with children and helping them better understand grief.
YouTube read aloud: https://youtu.be/tRTRABhJTbo
Teen Grief – Caring for the grieving teenage heart by Gary Roe (For parents & those in a supporting role with teens)
This informative, practical handbook is replete with guidance, insight, and ideas for helping teens navigate the turbulent waters of loss.
I have a question about Death: Clear answers for all children including children with Autism by Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky.
The first book of its kind, I Have a Question about Death uses straightforward text and images to walk children through what it means when someone dies.