Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

NOTE: This page offers book suggestions, links, and other resources for parents who have children with ASD. It does not provide medical advice and is not intended to be used for self-diagnoses. If you assume you, your child, or someone you know has ASD, please seek the advice of a medically trained professional.

As a Youth Librarian, my main focus is to provide free and relevant services to parents and children whether that be in the form of storytimes, books, summer reading, or blog posts just to name a few. For most of the Youth Services provided at the library, we try to promote early literacy, childhood development, and education for parents. The Youth and Fun Van staff come in contact with a diversity of people throughout Pinal County. We often serve children that have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Due to the number of families affected by autism in our community, I have decided to create a page devoted just to book suggestions, articles, and other resources available for parents about ASD.

During the past few decades, there seems to have been a steady rise in numbers of children diagnosed with ASD. As a result, it has become a growing topic of debate and research. There are many opinions as to what causes the disorder and how to alleviate the symptoms. Yet, there are no proven scientific causes or cures for the disorder, which may be concerning for parents with children on the spectrum. However, there are many support systems out there and therapies parents can try to help alleviate the symptoms.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), "Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior" (2018). Asperger's Syndrome is a separate term that was used in the past to refer to a milder form of autism, but the term is used less now. In general, most people affected by the disorder have "difficulty with communication and interaction with other people, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors, and symptoms that hurt the person's ability to function properly in school, work, and other areas of life" (NIMH). Even though people with ASD have these difficulties, that does not mean they are not smart and do not wish to communicate with others. On the contrary, people with ASD tend to be extremely intelligent and many go on to live very full and active lives. 

Some of the most common symptoms of ASD are humming, hand flapping, keeping little to no eye contact, intense interest in a single subject, robotic-like speech, difficulty with changes in routine, and sensory issues (NIMH). Diet, exercise, supplements, medications, and counselling can help with these symptoms. There also are many books, online resources and public figures with ASD who have helped educate people on what it is like to live with the disorder. One such figure is Temple Grandin who has written many books on ASD and who also had a TV-movie made about her life and achievements. Lastly, with the aid of new computer technologies, many non-verbal autistic individuals now have a voice. There is still much to learn, but it is good to know there is support out there and that we are learning more and more about ASD.


"Overview." (2018). National Institute of Mental Health. Found in <>

Below, you will find book suggestions, links to websites, and other online resources pertaining to ASD.

Book & DVD Suggestions

Helpful Websites

Research Articles



Therapies for Children with ASD