Autobiographies on the Autism Spectrum


Autobiographies From the Autism Spectrum
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These titles are autobiographical writings by individuals on the autism spectrum, with a few titles by parents and others. These stories provide a perspective into the lives of some of those who experience and understand the world in ways that are out of the mainstream. Many of these authors discuss the challenges they have faced, and also discuss the ways in which they solved those problems. These titles are listed in alphabetical order. At the bottom of this page are some authors who have written multiple titles.

Call Number
Title, Author, Publisher and Description

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AI Reserve
3618.9289820092
Hall

Asperger syndrome, the universe and everything / Kenneth Hall ; forewords by Ken P. Kerr and Gill Rowley. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, c2001.
Description: “Kenneth Hall was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at the age of eight. His early school years had been difficult, as although he is bright and articulate, his behaviour could be challenging and easily misread. After his diagnosis, the Local Education Board intervened and provided him with a laptop computer, to encourage him to express himself. This book is the result. [The author] is in a unique position to describe some of the inner experiences and perceptions of autism in childhood. He has a warm and positive attitude to Asperger Syndrome which other children will find inspiring. Insights, struggles and joys are recounted vividly in a frank and humorous way. His book is for anyone interested in understanding more about autism, including parents, siblings, teachers and professionals.”–Publisher’s website.

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616.89820092
Shore

Beyond the wall : personal experiences with autism and Asperger syndrome / Stephen M. Shore ; [foreword by Temple Grandin]. Autism Asperger Pub., 2003.
Description: “This honest, courageous book, written by a person with high-functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome, offers so much more than the traditional autobiography. Drawing on personal and professional experience, Stephen Shore combines three voices to create a touching and, at the same time, highly informative book for professionals as well as individuals who have Asperger Syndrome. Get a unique perspective on AS across the years!”–publisher’s website.

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362.196858820092
Tammet

Born on a blue day : inside the extraordinary mind of an autistic savant : a memoir / Daniel Tammet. Free Press, 2007.
Description: An autobiography of a man who sees numbers as shapes, colors and textures. He can learn a language in a week. Tammet has Savant Syndrome, a rare form of Asperger Syndrome, and has a need for order. He is very self-aware and able to communicate what it feels like to live in this way.

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AI Reserve
616.8982
Birch

Congratulations! It’s Asperger’s syndrome / Jen Birch. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003.
Description: Jen grew up knowing something was different about her. Doctors and the psychiatric system were unable to help. At the age of 43, Jen attended a university lecture, which gave the facts about Asperger Syndrome-a condition on the mild end of the Autistic Spectrum. Recognising herself, she obtained an official diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. Talking positively about how her life has changed since the ‘revelation’, Jen aims to use this new-found knowledge to inform others about the syndrome and how, once its pros and cons are understood, one can more fully realise one’s potential.

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EBOOK

A different kind of boy [electronic resource] : a father’s memoir on raising a gifted child with autism / Daniel Mont. Jessica Kingsley, 2002.
Description: “A little nine-year-old boy looks down at the gymnasium floor. The room is filled with children who like and respect him, but he has no real friends. He can barely name anyone in his class, and has trouble with the simplest things – recognizing people, pretending, and knowing when people are happy or angry or sad. Much of his life has been filled with anxiety. He is out of step with the world, which to him is mostly a whirlwind that must be actively decoded and put into order. And yet he was only one of seven fourth graders in the United States to ace the National Math Olympiad. In fifth grade he finished second in a national math talent search. That boy is autistic. He is also loving, brilliant and resilient. In this book, his father writes about the joys, fears, frustration, exhilaration, and exhaustion involved in raising his son. He writes about the impact on his family, the travails of navigating the educational system, and the lessons he has learned about life, what it means to connect with other people, and how one builds a life that suits oneself. And, oh, yes, math. Lots about math.”–Publisher’s website.

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AI Reserve
618.92858820092
Brenne

Effervescence : a true-life tale of autism and of courage / Simone Brenneman. AuthorHouse, c2010.
Imagine a beautiful little girl, with long curly, wild red hair, spinning in circles, completely delighted by all that she feels! She wears a long, blue dress, a replica of the one Cinderella wore to the ball. As you watch her, you get the sense that she isn’t dreaming of Cinderella; in her heart and in her body, she is Cinderella. Now picture the same little girl, lying on her tummy, spinning on a merry-go-round, dipping her beautiful, long red hair in the puddle of mud that encircles the merry-go-round. When it comes to a stop, she savors the wonderful sensation of the cold mud running down her face. She then submerges her entire body in the puddle, as happy as can be and entirely oblivious to the stares of the people around her. Now picture that same little girl, in her comfortable home, surrounded by a family who love and adore her. Her mom asks “What kind of cereal would you like?” Instantly, her beautiful face is filled with intense emotion and she screams, more like a wild animal than a child, for five minutes, or it may continue for two hours. The only thing that might interrupt the screaming is her stopping, occasionally, to frantically bite her wrist, hard enough to leave teeth marks. Now take a peak at the same child at age twelve, entering her classroom each day. Her teacher marvels to herself, as she watches this young girl navigate skillfully, smoothly and seemingly naturally throughout the classroom. There is no way a “typical” grade-seven student could write and draw like this!” Her name is Genevieve and this is her true-life tale. It follows her amazing 18-year journey, a journey that has been and contiues to be remarkable!

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AI Reserve
618.92858820092
Purkis

Finding a different kind of normal : misadventures with Asperger syndrome / Jeanette Purkis ; foreword by Donna Williams. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006.
Description: “Jeanette Purkis spent her early life reacting violently against her feelings of embarassment, anger and confusion about her ‘difference’ from other people. She was unaware until well into adulthood that everything she found difficult, including her lack of success in forming relationships, could be a result of having Asperger Syndrome.” “Used to being a misfit from a very young age, Jeanette found that being a member of a group in which she had a label – Jeanette the Communist; Jeanette, Enemy of the State; Jeanette the convict; Jeanette the drug addict – gave her a sense of order she could depend on, particularly in prison, where each day had a set routine and the inmates accepted her because of her rebel attitude. Finally diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at the age of 20, the author only began to accept her diagnosis some years later when she felt for the first time that she might learn to cope with being herself.”

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AI Reserve
618.928588320092
Likens

Finding Kansas : living and decoding Asperger’s syndrome / Aaron Likens. Penguin, c2012.
Description: A man with Asperger’s syndrome describes what it’s like to live with the syndrome and advocates for other people with the condition to help find their “Kansas,” or place where they feel comfortable and at home.

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618.9289820092
Jackso

Freaks, geeks and Asperger syndrome : a user guide to adolescence / Luke Jackson ; foreword by Tony Attwood. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, c2002.
Description: Adolescence and the teenage years are a minefield of emotions, transitions and decisions, and when a child has Asperger syndrome, the result is often explosive. Luke’s book gives guidance on bullying, friendships, when and how to tell others about AS, problems at school, dating and relationships, and morality.

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AI Reserve
371.90474
Moss

A freshman survival guide for college students with autism spectrum disorders : the stuff nobody tells you about / Haley Moss ; foreword by Susan J. Moreno. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2014.
Description: Provides those with autism advice on surviving the freshman year of college, covering such topics as living away from home, preparing for classes and exams, making friends, coping in social situations, and managing stress.

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362.196830092
Cohen

Front of the class : how Tourette syndrome made me the teacher I never had / Roger N. Meyer. Brad Cohen with Lisa Wysocky. St. Martin’s Griffin, c2008.
Description: Presents the story of a man with Tourette syndrome and reveals how the disease has shaped his life, offering advice on how to cope with the condition.
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AI Reserve
616.8527
McElwain
The game of my life : a true story of challenge, triumph, and growing up autistic / Jason “J-Mac” McElwain with Daniel Paisner. New American Library, c2009.
Description: On February 15, 2006, the Greece Athena Trojans high school basketball team took the court for the final game of the regular season. With 4:19 left on the clock, and the Trojans nursing a comfortable lead, the coach sent Jason McElwain–an autistic student and the team manager–to the scorer’s table. He scored twenty points, including a school record six three-pointers. J-Mac, as McElwain became known, was carried off the court on his teammates’ shoulders, and a videotape of the game quickly found its way onto national television, making J-Mac a household name. An inspiration to people everywhere, Jason McElwain’s amazing accomplishment was broadcast on CNN, ESPN, and local newscasts across the country, moving President Bush to tears with his courage and determination. This is one of the few books written by an autistic author–a chronicle of how J-Mac overcame a lifetime of adversity.–From publisher description.

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AI Reserve
616.8588320092
Saperstein

Getting a life with Asperger’s : lessons learned on the bumpy road to adulthood / Jesse A. Saperstein. Penguin Group, 2014.
Description: “Author, speaker, and autism advocate Jesse A. Saperstein knows a lot about living with Asperger’s. Diagnosed at the age of fourteen, Jesse has struggled, triumphed, flubbed, soared, educated, and inspired. Along the road to adulthood, he has learned many lessons the hard way. In this honest and engaging book, he offers a guided tour of what he’s learned about getting along with others, managing emotions, succeeding in school and work, building relationships, and more. Among his Asperger’s Rules are: – Clean Up Your Own Mess (including but not limited to credit card debt, out-of-control collections, and your cesspool of a room) – You Can’t Bail Out the Titanic with a Wineglass (or change the world of online dating) – Serving as a Role Model to the Next Generation of Asperger’s Syndrome – Navigating the Challenges of College and the Unrelenting Storm of Transition – The Road to Catastrophe Is Paved with Good Intentions (understanding how others perceive you, even if they’re wrong) – WIN: Work Is Necessary (you are talented enough to maintain employment even if your options are not ideal) – Confronting Memories of Bullying and Showing Mercy Toward Yourself Heartfelt, insightful, and generous, this book will enlighten and inform readers, whether they are on the autism spectrum or not.”– Provided by publisher.
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618.9285882
Mukhop

How can I talk if my lips don’t move? : inside my autistic mind / Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay. Arcade Pub. : Distributed by Hachette Book Group USA, c2008.
Description: “… offers a rare insight into the autistic mind and how it thinks, sees, and reacts to the world. When he was three years old, Tito was diagnosed as severely autistic, but his remarkable mother, Soma, determined that he would overcome the ‘problem’ by teaching him to read and write. The result was that between the ages of eight and eleven he wrote stories and poems of exquisite beauty, which Dr. Oliver Sacks called ‘amazing and shocking’. Their eloquence gave lie to all our assumptions about autism. Here Tito goes even further and writes of how the autistic mind works, how it views the outside world and the ‘normal’ people he deals with daily, how he tells his stories to the mirror and hears stories back, how sounds become colors, how beauty fills his mind and heart. With this work, Tito .. gives the world a beacon of hope. For if he can do it, why can’t others?”–amazon.com.
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AI Reserve
616.858820092
Bonker
I am in here : the journey of a child with autism who cannot speak but finds her voice / Elizabeth M. Bonker and Virginia G. Breen. Revell, c2011.
Description: A thirteen-year-old autistic girl and her mother describe through poetry and prose her struggles with autism and her attempts to live life to the fullest despite her diagnosis.

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AI Reserve
616.85882
Rose

It’s not a perfect world, but I’ll take it : 50 life lessons for teens like me who are kind of (you know) autistic / Jennifer Rose. Skyhorse Publishing, [2016]
Description: A “guide to life [that] explains how you can be different and still connect with others, how to deal with tough realities, and how to celebrate happy times”–From Amazon.com.

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AI Reserve
616.8588320092
Finch

The journal of best practices : a memoir of marriage, Asperger syndrome, and one man’s quest to be a better husband / David Finch. Scribner, 2012.
Description: At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, What the … is wrong with my husband?! In the author’s case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five years after he married Kristen, the love of his life, they learn that he has Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis explains his ever-growing list of quirks and compulsions, his lifelong propensity to quack and otherwise melt down in social exchanges, and his clinical-strength inflexibility. But it doesn’t make him any easier to live with. Determined to change, he sets out to understand Asperger syndrome and learn to be a better husband, no easy task for a guy whose inability to express himself rivals his two-year-old daughter’s, who thinks his responsibility for laundry extends no further than throwing things in (or at) the hamper, and whose autism-spectrum condition makes seeing his wife’s point of view a near impossibility. Nevertheless, he devotes himself to improving his marriage with an endearing yet hilarious zeal that involves excessive note-taking, performance reviews, and most of all, this book: a collection of hundreds of maxims and hard-won epiphanies that result from self-reflection both comic and painful. They include “Don’t change the radio station when she’s singing along,” “Apologies do not count when you shout them,” and “Be her friend, first and always.” Guided by the journal, he transforms himself over the course of two years from the world’s most trying husband to the husband who tries the hardest, the husband he’d always meant to be. Filled with humor and surprising wisdom, this book is a candid story of ruthless self-improvement, a unique window into living with an autism-spectrum condition, and proof that a true heart can conquer all.

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AI Reserve
616.85882
Endow

Learning the hidden curriculum : the odyssey of one autistic adult / Judy Endow. AAPC Pub., c2012.
Description: “Drawing from her personal experiences, Judy Endow … provides lots of hidden curriculum items that pertain to most areas of adult life. In relating how she personally has learned to more successfully maneuver social interactions, she also presents a framework for developing the ability to more quickly assess a situation and take steps to avoid making social blunders BEFORE they have been committed. A sampling of strategies includes Pause and Match, Laugh Along, Recognized and Expand Black-and-White Thinking, and It Is Not Necessary to Report All My Truths. Judy’s framework enables readers to learn to create their own social “rules” and, as a result, live freer, more successful lives. The fact that the book is written by an autistic person who has learned by trial and error makes it all the more valuable.”–publisher’s website.

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616.8982
Zaks

Life and love : positive strategies for autistic adults Zosia Zaks. Autism Asperger Publishing Company, c2006.
Description: “Written for adults on the spectrum and those involved – parents, spouses, friends – this book is divided into two sections: life and love. In the life section, the author describes and suggests concrete ways to deal with some of the issues and problems faced by those on the autism spectrum. Examples include how to accommodate sensory issues, maintain a home, and manage a career. In the love section, instead of focusing on one topic, the author includes a broad spectrum of suggestions for different types of relationships and weaves these together with the core concept of self-esteem.”–publisher’s website.

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AI Reserve
616.858832
Jacobs

Loving Mr. Spock : understanding an aloof lover / Barbara Jacobs. Future Horizons, c2003.
Description: “As a popular advice columnist in the UK, Barbara Jacobs never suspected she’d be the one needing the relationship advice. But when she fell in love with Danny, a man with Asperger’s Syndrome, she quickly learned to expect the unexpected. In this book, Barbara candidly delves into the dynamics of their relationship. She lovingly compares Danny to Mr. Spock, a character who thrives on logic rather than emotion, while admitting that she was quite opposite. Join Barbara and Danny on their tumultuous journey in love, and learn about Asperger’s along the way through figures, diagnostic guidelines, quotes and surveys by other couples, and more. If you love someone with Asperger’s, or have Asperger’s yourself, you can learn a lot from this book. Note: This book addresses some mature adult topics.”–Publisher’s website.

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AI Reserve
616.858820092
James

Odd girl out : my extraordinary autistic life / Laura E. James. Seal Press, 2018.
Description: Laura James knew she was different. She struggled to cope in a world that often made no sense to her, as though her brain had its own operating system. It wasn’t until she reached her forties that she found out why: Suddenly and surprisingly, she was diagnosed with autism. With a touching and searing honesty, Laura challenges everything we think we know about what it means to be autistic. Married with four children and a successful journalist, Laura examines the ways in which autism has shaped her career, her approach to motherhood, and her closest relationships.

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AI Reserve
AV
616.85882
Oops

Oops, wrong planet (DVD) Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2010.
Description: Einstein, Beethoven, Mozart, Van Gogh: all displayed symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome. But not every person with Asperger’s is a genius. This program follows a self-described eccentric who, after discovering he matches up with the general Asperger’s profile, sets out on a quest to learn all he can about the disorder, and whether he truly does have it. Along the way, he speaks with author Michael Fitzgerald, Professor Temple Grandin, Professor Alan Snyder, Wired magazine’s Steve Silberman, Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, and a number of children and adults with AS about topics ranging from Asperger’s traits, to possible causes of the condition, to “Geek Syndrome” and the AQ Test. A warm and understanding look into the very different world of autism spectrum disorders.

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616.8588
Endow

Paper words : discovering and living with my autism Judy Endow. Autism Asperger Pub., c2009.
Description: “In this intensely personal book, readers are swept up into a fast-paced journey of how author Judy Endow noticed her differences early on, how she eventually discovered her autism and how she embraces life autistically. From her troubled teenage years in a state institution where her coping behaviors were interpreted as defiant and oppositional, to her years in a Christian community where her behaviors were misunderstood, to a brief marriage and the birth of her three sons, Judy has emerged as a strong voice on the autism spectrum. Beyond presenting a fascinating journey of resilience, courage, hard work and sheer will power, Paper Words shows visually on the printed page how Judy, a highly visual thinker, translates her thoughts into words.”–Publisher’s website.

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616.858820092
Higash

The reason I jump : the inner voice of a thirteen-year-old boy with autism / by Naoki Higashida ; translated by KA Yoshida and David Mitchell. Random House, 2013.
Description: Written by a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, this memoir demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within. Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights, into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory, are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again. In his introduction, novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they would be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond.–From publisher description.

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AI Reserve
616.858820092
Prince

Songs of the gorilla nation : my journey through autism / Dawn Prince-Hughes. Three Rivers Press, c2004.
Description: “‘This is a book about autism. Specifically, it is about my autism, which is both like and unlike other people’s autism. But just as much, it is a story about how I emerged from the darkness of it into the beauty of it.’ In this elegant and thought-provoking memoir, Dawn Prince-Hughes traces her personal growth from undiagnosed autism to the moment when, as a young woman, she entered the Seattle Zoo and immediately became fascinated with the gorillas. Having suffered from a lifelong inability to relate to people in a meaningful way, Dawn was surprised to find herself irresistibly drawn to these great primates. By observing them and, later, working with them, she was finally able to emerge from her solitude and connect to living beings in a way she had never previously experienced. … more than a story of autism, it is a paean to all that is important in life. Dawn Prince-Hughes’s evocative story will undoubtedly have a lasting impact, forcing us, like the author herself, to rediscover and assess our own understanding of human emotion. “–publisher.
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AI Reserve
910.410092
Burge
Travelling on the autism spectrum / Garry Burge. Garry Burge, [2017]
Description: As an adult on the Autism Spectrum, Garry Burge has been fortunate to have travelled quite extensively overseas, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. Although travel may seem a distant possibility for many adults on the Autism Spectrum, Garry hopes that this book will provide encouragement, not only for them but also for travel providers, travel agents and other organisations.”

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AI Reserve
616.858832
Davide

Twirling naked in the streets– and no one noticed : growing up with undiagnosed autism / Jeannie Davide-Rivera. David and Goliath Publishing, c2012.
Description: “Jeannie grew up with autism, but no one around her knew it. Twirling Naked in the Streets will take you on a journey into the mind of a child on the autism spectrum; a child who grows into an adolescent, an adult, and becomes a wife, mother, student, and writer with autism. This is a gripping memoir of a quirky, weird, but gifted child who grows up never quite finding her niche. It took 38 years to discover that all the issues, problems, and weirdness she experienced were because she had Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), a form of high-functioning autism. The tale begins at age three and takes us all the way through her diagnosis. Along the way she explains autism in a way that will have fellow “Aspies” crying tears of joy at being understood, and “neuro-typical” people really starting to grasp the challenges that autistic people face every moment of every day.

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Women

Women from another planet? : our lives in the universe of autism / Jean Kearns Miller, editor. AuthorHouse, c2015.
Description: Poems, essays, interviews and stories by and about women on the autism spectrum.

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616.858832
Motokane

Working the double shift : a young woman’s journey with autism / Christine Motokane ; edited by Hope Glennon. Xlibris, 2014.
Description: “… a raw honest autobiography from a young woman with autism. Feeling that the current books on autism were not a fit for her, Christine decided to write a memoir covering different topics as wella s the emotional process of a person with autism. The book covers her journey from birth to college and how she learned to find her voice and path in life as well as interventions and approaches that worked for her. This memoir also brings awareness to different social issues regarding autism and adulthood.”–back cover.

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Newpor

Your life is not a label : a guide to living fully with autism and asperger’s syndrome for parents, professionals and you! / by Jerry Newport ; [foreword by Ron Bass] Future Horizons, c2001.
Description: “Jerry Newport, diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome / High Functioning Autism at age 47, wrote this book for those with developmental disorders, but it resonates with people with any disability. His message: everyone has the power, and the right, to improve the quality of their lives despite their disability. Don’t believe you must be “normal” to be happy; learn to co-exist with neuro-typicals, and become the best human being you can be. Jerry candidly reveals his own failures and successes. His heartfelt advice stems from a deep sense of caring for “his people” on the spectrum.” Appendices include: information on starting a support group, resources, general information, checklist for Autistic personalities and other conditions frequently observed in association with autism & Asperger’s syndrome.

Authors

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin is a well-known professional in the field of animal behavior, and a writer and speaker who is on the autism spectrum.
Emergence labeled autistic / Temple Grandin and Margaret M. Scariano. Warner, c1980.
Description: “…groundbreaking book chronicles the remarkable and inspiring true story of how she overcame the challenge of autism. She was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. An obviously intelligent child with a thirst for knowledge, bu unable to properly express herself or control her behavior, Temple struggled through grade school. Eventually moved from a “normal” school to an educational program for children with autism, she began to suffer “nerve attacks.” Now Temple tells the story of emerging from a fear-gripped child to become a successful professional and a world leader in not one, but two, entirely different fields. A chronicle of perseverance and courage…”–author’s website.
Thinking in pictures : and other reports from my life with autism / Temple Grandin ; with a foreword by Oliver Sacks. Vintage Books, c1995.
Description: Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism—because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us. In this unprecedented book, Grandin delivers a report from the country of autism. Writing from the dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person, she tells us how that country is experienced by its inhabitants and how she managed to breach its boundaries to function in the outside world. … the document of an extraordinary human being, one who, in gracefully and lucidly bridging the gulf between her condition and our own, sheds light on the riddle of our common identity.
John Elder
Robison

John Elder Robison
was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum late in life. He has written several books on his life on the spectrum.
Be different : adventures of a free-range Aspergian with practical advice for Aspergians, misfits, families & teachers. Crown Archetype, c2011.
Description: … he shares a new batch of stories about his childhood, adolescence, and young adult years, giving the reader a rare window into the Aspergian mind. In each story, he offers practical advice, for Aspergians and indeed for anyone who feels “different”, on how to improve the weak communication and social skills that keep so many people from taking full advantage of their often remarkable gifts. He addresses questions like: How to read others and follow their behaviors when in uncertain social situations; Why manners matter; How to harness your powers of concentration to master difficult skills; How to deal with bullies; When to make an effort to fit in, and when to embrace eccentricity; How to identify special gifts and use them to your advantage; The message this book puts forth is that every person, Aspergian or not, has something unique to offer the world, and every person has the capacity to create strong, loving bonds with their friends and family, and its goal is to help readers and those they love find their path to success.
Look me in the eye : my life with Asperger’s. Three Rivers Press, c2008.
Description: Memoir of John Robison whose odd behavior was explained when he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome as an adult when he was forty and the change that made in his life.
Raising Cubby : a father and son’s adventures with Asperger’s, trains, tractors, and high explosives. Broadway Books, [2014].
Description: “The slyly funny, sweetly moving memoir of an unconventional dad’s relationship with his equally offbeat son–complete with fast cars, tall tales, homemade explosives, and a whole lot of fun and trouble. Misfit, truant, delinquent. John Robison was never a model child, and he wasn’t a model dad either. Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of forty, he approached fatherhood as a series of logic puzzles and practical jokes. When his son, Cubby, asked, “Where did I come from?” John said he’d bought him at the Kid Store and that the salesman had cheated him by promising Cubby would “do all chores.” He read electrical engineering manuals to Cubby at bedtime. … he gave him a life of adventure: By the time Cubby was ten, he’d steered a Coast Guard cutter, driven a freight locomotive, and run an antique Rolls Royce into a fence. The one thing John couldn’t figure out was what to do when school authorities decided that Cubby was dumb and stubborn–the very same thing he had been told as a child. Did Cubby have Asperger’s too? The answer was unclear. One thing was clear, though: By the time he turned seventeen, Cubby had become a brilliant chemist–smart enough to make military-grade explosives and bring state and federal agents calling. Afterward, with Cubby facing up to sixty years in prison, both father and son were forced to take stock of their lives, finally coming to terms with being “on the spectrum” as both a challenge and a unique gift. By turns tender, suspenseful, and hilarious, this is more than just the story of raising Cubby. It’s the story of a father and son who grow up together”– Provided by publisher.
Switched on : a memoir of brain change and emotional awakening. Spiegel & Grau, [2016]
Description: “… when a group of Harvard neuroscientists told John about TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), an experimental brain therapy that promised to remediate the disabilities of autism and unlock his emotional intelligence, he jumped at the chance to join their study. Switched On recounts the adventure that followed, as John became a guinea pig to the world’s top brain researchers in an effort to understand the social and emotional deficits that lie at the heart of autism, with electrifying results. As Robison describes his transformation: “For the first time in my life, I learned what it was like to truly ‘know’ other people’s feelings. It was as if I’d been experiencing the world in black and white all my life, and suddenly I could see everything–and particularly other people–in brilliant beautiful color.””– Provided by publisher.
Liane Holliday Willey Author Liane Holliday Willey is an educator and author who was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum as an adult. She has written several books about her life.
Pretending to be normal : living with Asperger’s syndrome. Jessica Kingsley, 1999.
Description: An autobiography of a woman with Asperger’s syndrome, describing her childhood, her college years, and her adulthood. Has appendices with practical advice on employment, home life, and support groups.
Safety skills for Asperger women : how to save a perfectly good female life. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2012.
Description: The author, who has Asperger’s syndrome, presents practical advice on staying safe.

Donna
Williams
Donna Williams (1963-2017) was an Austrialian teacher who was on the autism spectrum. She wrote many autobiographical books, each one about a different chapter of her life.
Autism and sensing : the unlost instinct. J. Kingsley, 1998.
Description: “… Williams explains how the senses of a person with autism work, suggesting that they are ‘stuck’ at an early development stage common to everyone. She calls this the system of sensing, claiming that most people move on to the system of interpretation which enables them to make sense of the world. In doing so, as well as gaining the means of coping with the world, they lose various abilities which people with autism retain.”–amazon.com.
Everyday heaven : journeys beyond the stereotypes of autism. Jessica Kingsley, c2004.
Description: “… the fourth book in the autobiographical series and like each book, can be read as a stand alone book. Living on the Welsh farm with the obsessive and isolating Ian, their house and solitude has been taken over. Donna has invited a film crew to spend six weeks on the farm with them, filming a TV documentary, Jam Jar. But things do not at all go to plan. Out of the blue, she learns her father, aged 59 and back in Australia, has two weeks to live. Spending those two weeks sharing all they’ve never said over the phone he insists she stays safe, 10,000 miles away from where he is dying. Ten days after his death it is the second wedding anniversary of her marriage to Ian. After getting her to dress up in her wedding dress and filming the property and all their belongings, he announces he is leaving her and having stayed married for two years this self identified Aspie now insists he wants nothing less than his full ‘legal entitlement’ – half of everything she has ever made as an international bestselling author. Suddenly, Donna has to manage loss, grief, abandonment, a messy divorce and the awakening of her sexuality as only this wacky autie can. Perhaps the funniest of all of her autiebiographies, … a not to be missed, humorous, riveting, roller-coaster of an autistic adventure through gender identity, sexuality, divorce, death, spirituality, loss, grief, true love, remarriage and migration.”–author’s website.
Exposure anxiety–the invisible cage [EBOOK] : an exploration of self-protection responses in the autism spectrum and beyond. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, c2003.
Description: “Exposure anxiety is increasingly understood as a crippling condition affecting a high proportion of people on the autism spectrum. To many it is an invisible cage, leaving the person suffering from it aware, but buried alive in their own involuntary responses and isolation. [This book] describes the condition and its underlying physiological causes, and presents a range of approaches and strategies that can be used to combat it. Based on personal experience, the book shows how people with autism can be shown how to emerge from the stranglehold of exposure anxiety and develop their individuality.”–Publisher’s website.
The jumbled jigsaw [EBOOK and paper] : an insider’s approach to the treatment of autistic spectrum ‘fruit salads’.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006.
Description: “The Jumbled Jigsaw exposes autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) not as single entities but as a combination of a whole range of often untreated, sometimes easily treatable, underlying conditions. Exploring everything from mood, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and tic disorders to information processing and sensory perceptual difficulties, including dependency issues, identity problems and much more, Donna demonstrates how a number of such conditions can combine to form a ‘cluster condition’ and underpin the label ‘autism spectrum disorder’.”–amazon.com.
Like color to the blind. Times Books, c1996.
Description: An autistic woman recounts her struggle to make a life with the man she loves.
Nobody nowhere : the remarkable autobiography of an autistic girl. Jessica Kingsley, 1999.
Description: Donna Williams was a child with more labels than a jam-jar: deaf, wild disturbed, stupid insane … She lived within herself, her own world her foreground, ours a background she only visited. Isolated from her self and from the outside world, Donna was, in her words, a Nobody Nowhere. She swung violently between these two worlds, battling to join our world and, simultaneously, to keep it out. Abandoned from all connection to the self within her, she lived as a ghost with a body, a patchwork of the images which bombarded her. Intact but detached from the seemingly incomprehensible world around her, she lived in what she called `a world under glass`. After twenty-five years of being misunderstood, and unable to understand herself, Donna stumbled upon the word `autism`: a label, but one which held up a mirror and made sense of her life and struggles, and gave her a chance to finally forgive both herself and those around her.
Somebody somewhere : breaking free from the world of autism. Times Books, Random House, c1994.
Description: “… the second book in the autobiographical series and like each book can be read as a stand alone book. Diagnosed in the 1960s as psychotic at the age of two when autism was known as Childhood Psychosis, Donna has lived 26 years believing she was born mad. Now, Donna meets psychologist and autism expert Dr Marek who reconfirms her diagnosis with the more modern day term of autism and offers to work with her. But when he suggests he can give her training in social skills and handshakes, she is not interested in learning to further bury herself in ‘acting normal’. Instead she determines to get from him the non-autistic translations for the array of experiences and concepts she has only ever made sense of in her own special language, kept secret within her own world. Dr Marek is soon not the only teacher. Navigating the combinations of xenophobia, charity, curiosity and kindness, Donna graduates as a teacher and travels overseas to work with autistic children and other adults like herself. In the process, she finds a way of belonging and ‘simply being’ among others without selling out who she really is and lays foundations for changing forever the way autism is understood by the wider world.”–author’s website.

Updated March 2020