BOOKS WRITTEN BY AUTISTIC AUTHORS
This list is meant to be a reference, and should not be considered
an endorsement or recommendation of the Autism Society of Greater Akron.
“Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s”
by John Elder Robison
From the time he was three or four years old, John Elder Robison realized that he was different from other people. He was unable to make eye contact or connect with other children, and by the time he was a teenager his odd habits - an inclination to blurt out non-sequiturs, obsessively dismantle radios or dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother in them) - had earned him the label 'social deviant'. It didn't help that his mother conversed with light fixtures and his father spent evenings pickling himself in sherry. Look Me in the Eye is his story of growing up with Asperger's syndrome - a form of autism - at a time when the diagnosis simply didn't exist.
“I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder”
by Sarah Kurchak
Sarah Kurchak is autistic. She hasn’t let that get in the way of pursuing her dream to become a writer, or to find love, but she has let it get in the way of being in the same room with someone chewing food loudly and of cleaning her bathroom sink. In I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder, Kurchak examines the Byzantine steps she took to become “an autistic success story”, how the process almost ruined her life, and how she is now trying to recover.
“How to Be Autistic”
by Charlotte Amelia Poe (LGBTQA+)
How To Be Autistic charts Charlotte Amelia Poe’s journey through schooldays and young adulthood, with chapters on food, fandom, depression, body piercing, comic conventions, and technology. Poe writes about her memoir: ‘The best way to describe it is to imagine a road trip. If a neurotypical person wants to get from A to B, then they will most often find their way unobstructed, without road works or diversions. For an autistic person, they will find that they are having to use back roads and cut across fields and explore places neurotypicals would never even imagine visiting’. How To Be Autistic challenges narratives of autism as something to be ‘fixed’, as Poe believes her autism is a fundamental aspect of her work.
“Supporting Transgender Autistic Youth and Adults”
by Finn V. Gratton (transgender)
Providing advice on how professionals working with autistic trans youth and adults can tailor their practice to best serve their clients and how parents can support their trans autistic children, this book increases awareness of the large overlap between trans identities and autism.
By including chapters on gender diversity basics, neuroqueer trauma and how to support neuroqueer individuals, this book sets out strategies for creating more effective support that takes into account the unique experiences of trans people on the spectrum. Written by a therapist who identifies as neuroqueer, this book is the perfect companion for professionals who want to increase their knowledge of the experiences and needs of their trans autistic clients.
“Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic”
by Michael McCreary
Like many others on the autism spectrum, 20-something stand-up comic Michael McCreary has been told by more than a few well-meaning folks that he doesn’t “look” autistic. But, as he’s quick to point out in this memoir, autism “looks” different for just about everyone with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Diagnosed with ASD at age five, McCreary got hit with the performance bug not much later. During a difficult time in junior high, he started journaling, eventually turning his pain into something empowering - and funny. He scored his first stand-up gig at age 14 and hasn't looked back.
This unique and hilarious #OwnVoices memoir breaks down what it’s like to live with autism for readers on and off the spectrum. Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic is an invaluable and compelling listen for young readers with ASD looking for voices to relate to as well as for listeners hoping to broaden their understanding of ASD.
"Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation"
by Hannah Gadsby
Harrowing and hilarious, Ten Steps to Nanette traces Gadsby’s growth as a queer person, to her ever-evolving relationship with comedy, and her struggle with late-in-life diagnoses of autism and ADHD, finally arriving at the backbone of Nanette: the renouncement of self-deprecation, the rejection of misogyny, and the moral significance of truth-telling.
“I Am Strong”
by Dr. Lamar Hardwick (Making a church autistic-friendly)
I am Strong is the story of Dr. Lamar Hardwick, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2014 at age 36. In a unique and compelling blend of personal stories and practical advice, Lamar shares his journey of faith, hope, courage, and life on the autism spectrum as a husband, father, pastor and community leader.
“Thinking in Pictures”
by Dr. Temple Grandin
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.
“Autism in Heels”
by Jennifer Cook O’Toole
This intimate memoir reveals the woman inside one of autism’s most prominent figures, Jennifer O'Toole. At the age of 35, Jennifer was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, and for the first time in her life, things made sense. Now, she exposes the constant struggle between carefully crafted persona and authentic existence, editing the autism script with wit, candor, passion, and power. Her journey is one of reverse-self-discovery not only as an Aspie but - more importantly - as a thoroughly modern woman.
“Spectrums” by Maxfield Sparrow
(for trans autistics)
Written by autistic trans people from around the world, this vital and intimate collection of personal essays reveals the struggles and joys of living at the intersection of neurodivergence and gender diversity.
Weaving memories, poems and first-person narratives together, these stories showcase experiences of coming out, college and university life, accessing healthcare, physical transition, friendships and relationships, sexuality, pregnancy, parenting, and late life self-discovery, to reveal a rich and varied tapestry of life lived on the spectrums.
With humour and personal insight, this anthology is essential reading for autistic trans people, and the professionals supporting them, as well as anyone interested in the nuances of autism and gender identity.
"Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend"
by Matthew Dicks
Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.
Max is different from other children. Some people say he has Asperger's, but most just say he's "on the spectrum." None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max unconditionally and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can't protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, a teacher in the Learning Center who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy.
When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save Max―and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max's happiness or his own existence.