5 books for understanding autism

22nd March 2023
5 books for understanding autism

World Autism Acceptance Week runs from 27 March to 2 April. The week aims to raise awareness of how autism affects people in different ways, promote acceptance, and help make a society that works for all.

Find out more about autism on the National Autistic Society website here. Whether you’re autistic yourself, know someone who is on the autistic spectrum, or just want to find out more, we’ve gathered some great reads to celebrate World Autism Acceptance Week. Click the links to reserve and borrow them.


Wired Differently: 30 Neurodivergent People You Should Know by Joe Wells

This collection of illustrated portraits celebrates the lives of influential neurodivergent figures who have achieved amazing things in recent times.

Showcasing these 30 incredible people, the extraordinary stories in this book show that the things they've achieved, created and inspired they did not despite being different but because they are different. From politicians, activists and journalists to YouTubers, DJs and poets, this book highlights a wide range of exciting career paths for neurodivergent readers.

Reserve Wired Differently


Communicating Better with People on the Autism Spectrum by Paddy-Joe Moran

Covering verbal and non-verbal communication, Paddy-Joe Moran presents 35 simple tips and strategies to help professionals improve their communication and relationships with individuals on the autism spectrum. This book provides easy-to-implement suggestions to guarantee effective and sensitive communication. It explains everything from person-first language through to the use of specific, rather than open-ended, questions, and a focus on taking the individual's lead with their preferred language and terminology is central to the book.

Reserve Communicating Better with People on the Autism Spectrum


We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation by Eric Garcia

“This book is a message from autistic people to their parents, friends, teachers, coworkers and doctors showing what life is like on the spectrum. It’s also my love letter to autistic people. For too long, we have been forced to navigate a world where all the road signs are written in another language.”

In We’re Not Broken, Garcia uses his own life as a springboard to discuss the social and policy gaps that exist in supporting those on the spectrum. From education to healthcare, he explores how autistic people wrestle with systems that were not built with them in mind. At the same time, he shares the experiences of all types of autistic people, from those with higher support needs, to autistic people of colour, to those in the LGBTQ community. In doing so, Garcia gives his community a platform to articulate their own needs, rather than having others speak for them, which has been the standard for far too long.

Reserve We’re Not Broken


Avoiding Anxiety in Autistic Adults: A Guide for Autistic Wellbeing by Luke Beardon

One of the biggest challenges if you are an autistic adult (or suspect you might be) is navigating the situations which to the predominantly neurotypical population might appear completely benign but which cause you huge stress, anxiety and worry.

At work, at university, in social situations, in friendships, relationships, in shops, in unfamiliar environments - there are a wealth of things that can make you feel overwhelmed if the world is full of things that you feel nobody else notices but which cause you huge distress.

Dr Luke Beardon has put together an optimistic, upbeat and readable guide that will be essential reading not just for any autistic adult, but for anyone who loves, lives with or works with an autistic person. Emphasising that autism is not behaviour, but at the same time acknowledging that there are risks of increased anxiety specific to autism, this practical book gives clear strategies that the autistic person can adopt to minimise their anxiety and live comfortably in a world full of what may seem to be noise and chaos.

Reserve Avoiding Anxiety in Autistic Adults


Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8 : A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida

Naoki Higashida was only thirteen when he wrote The Reason I Jump, a revelatory account of autism from the inside by a nonverbal Japanese child, which became an international success.

Now he shares his thoughts and experiences as a twenty-four-year-old man living each day with severe autism. In short, powerful chapters, Higashida explores school memories, family relationships, the exhilaration of travel, and the difficulties of speech. He also allows readers to experience profound moments we take for granted, like the thought-steps necessary for him to register that it's raining outside. Acutely aware of how strange his behavior can appear to others, he aims throughout to foster a better understanding of autism and to encourage society to see people with disabilities as people, not as problems.

Reserve Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8


The Guille-Allès is an Autism-friendly Library

Before visiting the Library for the first time, you might like to read our social story for an idea of what to expect once you get here.

We are committed to making the library service accessible to those on the autism spectrum. We can provide weighted lap pads, textured sit cushions, and ear defenders. The lighting in the Children's Library can also be dimmed – just ask us.

We also have sensory relief kits available to make your visit easier. These kits include noise-cancelling headphones, emotion communication cards, and fidget toys. If you'd like to use a kit just ask a member of staff, or you can always contact us ahead of your visit at [email protected].