Autism Dads Social Club Book Reviews

As parents of children on the spectrum, we are keenly interested in books written by autistic individuals and professionals. The following are a few books that have inspired us. We acknowledge the complexity and diversity of autism and do not suggest that any author speaks for all autistic individuals.


My Favorite Mistakes: Lessons I've Learned Through Accountability by de Andrae Hinton

Written by an author who reflects on his own experiences as a father of an autistic and visually impaired son, the book delves into the idea that mistakes can be valuable learning opportunities if approached with the right mindset. This book explores the concept of accountability and its role in personal growth and development, as well as navigating raising a child on the autism spectrum. The author shares personal anecdotes and insights into how taking ownership of one's actions, rather than placing blame on external factors, can lead to positive change and growth. Through examples from his own life, he illustrates the power of accountability in overcoming challenges, building resilience, and achieving success.

Overall, My Favorite Mistakes encourages readers to embrace accountability as a tool for self-improvement and to view mistakes as stepping stones toward personal and professional fulfillment.


Navigating Autism: 9 Mindsets for Helping Kids on the Spectrum by Temple Grandin, PhD

Grandin is a world-renowned advocate, researcher, and leading voice in the autism community.  In this book, she offers practical strategies and insightful perspectives for supporting children with autism. Drawing upon her own experiences as an individual with autism and her expertise, Grandin presents a roadmap for parents, educators, and caregivers to navigate the complexities of autism and foster meaningful growth and development. She emphasizes the importance of understanding and valuing different ways of thinking and learning, highlighting the strengths and talents that individuals with autism possess. Through her "thinking in pictures" mindset, Grandin encourages readers to embrace visual thinking as a valuable tool for problem-solving and creativity. She advocates for individualized approaches to education, therapy, and support, tailoring strategies to the specific strengths, interests, and challenges of each unique autistic child. Grandin also encourages caregivers to gently expose children to new experiences, challenges, and social interactions, providing necessary support and accommodations. By fostering a gradual and supportive environment for stretching comfort zones, children can develop resilience, independence, and self-confidence. Lastly, Grandin encourages the development of life skills, such as organization, time management, and problem-solving, to enhance independence and self-advocacy. By focusing on building practical skills, caregivers can equip children with the tools they need for success in various domains of life.


The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida, Tom Picasso, et al.

This work was originally published in Japan in 2007 and later translated into English. Higashida provides a poignant and personal account of his experiences as a non-verbal autistic individual. He offers a window into his sensory experiences, discussing sensory overload, communication challenges, and repetitive behaviors. For instance, he writes: "Imagine you're in a room where all the walls, the ceiling, and the floor are made entirely of mirrors… Wherever you turn, you're confronted with a bewildering and disorienting world." This vivid imagery allows readers to grasp the challenging nature of stimuli for those on the autism spectrum. This book encourages empathy and open-mindedness towards autistic individuals who are often misunderstood. Higashida explains that seemingly repetitive or nonsensical behaviors can be a way of conveying thoughts, feelings, and needs. He also is transparent regarding his disdain for feeling socially isolated and his yearning for meaningful connections with others.                                                                                      


How Can I Talk If My Lips Don’t Move?: Inside My Autistic Mind  by Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay

Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay, a young man diagnosed with severe autism, grew up in India but moved to the United States with his mother when he was thirteen. At twenty-one years of age, he has authored three books. In this memoir, he shares his inner thoughts, experiences, and struggles. He offers profound insights into the world of nonverbal individuals. Through the technique of facilitated communication, Tito expresses his inner world with remarkable clarity and eloquence despite his limited verbal communication.  His writing is poetic, introspective, and evocative. He offers insights into the sensory experiences, intense emotions, and cognitive abilities of nonverbal individuals. His memoir emphasizes that nonverbal individuals with autism have rich inner lives and thoughts, even if their ability to express themselves verbally is limited. The book highlights the importance of recognizing and validating alternative forms of communication. By embracing these methods and presuming competence, we can create opportunities for nonverbal individuals to be heard and understood. Tito also provides vivid descriptions of his sensory experiences and sensitivities and helps explain the need for increased accommodations and respect for autistic individuals’ sensory preferences. Tito received special support from his family, especially his mother, Soma Mukhopadhyay who taught him to read and write. The book encourages readers to challenge assumptions and preconceived notions of nonverbal autism and communication, provide appropriate support, and create inclusive environments.


Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant, PhD

Drawing upon his extensive experience as a clinical scholar and researcher, Prizant sheds light on the needs and strengths of individuals with autism. He offers a person-centered and compassionate approach to autism and challenges the medicalized and deficit-oriented perspective often associated with autism. He explains, “The reactions of autistic people are really just human reactions—on the part of people who are more vulnerable, more sensitive, more easily confused, and who have more problems communicating their difficulties and seeking support.” He explained how many people with autism who have communication challenges are often misunderstood. He emphasizes the importance of shifting the focus from behaviors to striving to understand the underlying reasons behind them. He also stresses recognizing and nurturing the unique abilities and interests of individuals on the spectrum to foster self-esteem and well-being.


Different, Not Less: A Neurodivergent’s Guide to Embracing Your True Self and Finding Your Happily Ever After by Chloé Hayden

Hayden, an autistic motivational speaker, combines personal anecdotes, inspiring stories, and practical advice to challenge societal perceptions of autism and encourage acceptance. Her work serves as a powerful reminder that differences should be celebrated rather than stigmatized. Sharing her personal experiences and the stories of others, she highlights the immense potential and resilience of individuals with autism. Her passion for creating a more inclusive society shines through the pages, as she addresses common misconceptions and advocates for the rights and dignity of autistic individuals. Hayden urges readers to recognize that being different is not synonymous with being less. She writes, "We are all puzzle pieces, but it's the diversity of the puzzle that makes it beautiful." This powerful metaphor serves as a reminder that every individual, regardless of their neurodivergence, has unique contributions to offer. Hayden emphasizes the importance of shifting the narrative around autism from one of deficits and limitations to recognizing and celebrating the unique strengths and talents that autistic individuals possess. Hayden encourages readers to challenge stereotypes, educate others about autism, and create spaces where individuals with autism are valued and supported. 



If you have references for books that have motivated you on your journey, please email us at [email protected]