The Best Summer Reads for Autism Teachers

I love to read! As a teacher, I think the love of reading is in my DNA. While most of my summer is filled with easy beach reads or thrillers I can’t put down, I do squeeze in some professional reading. I’m sharing five excellent books that I’ve read over the past year that offer valuable autistic perspectives, practical classroom and teaching strategies, and inspiring personal stories. Consider squeezing one into your summer to-be-read pile. Happy reading!

1. Navigating Autism by Temple Grandin

In “Navigating Autism,” renowned autism advocate Temple Grandin, along with psychologist Debra Moore, provides a comprehensive guide for supporting children with autism. The book emphasizes the importance of focusing on strengths and potential rather than deficits. Grandin and Moore cover essential topics such as sensory issues, social skills, and developing independence. Temple Grandin’s unique perspective as a person with autism, combined with Debra Moore’s professional insights, makes this book a must-read. It offers practical advice and real-life examples that can help you better understand and support your students. The emphasis on nurturing strengths and fostering independence is particularly empowering.

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

Barry M. Prizant’s “Uniquely Human” challenges conventional views of autism, presenting it not as a collection of deficits but as a unique way of being human. Prizant shares his decades of experience working with individuals with autism, offering compassionate and practical strategies for support. This book stands out because it focuses on understanding the individual rather than just managing behaviors. Prizant’s empathetic approach encourages teachers to build strong, respectful relationships with their students. The stories and insights will not only inform but also inspire you to see autism in a new light.

3. Your Students, My Students, Our Students: Rethinking Equitable and Inclusive Classrooms by Lee Ann Jung, Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher, Julie Kroener

In “Your Students, My Students, Our Students,” the authors advocate for a shift towards more inclusive and equitable classrooms. They provide a framework for collaboration among educators, highlighting strategies to support all students, including those with disabilities. This book helped me rethink and reframe how I approached and advocated for inclusion at my school. This book is a powerful call to action for school communites to creating truly inclusive classrooms. The authors offer practical advice on co-teaching, differentiation, and fostering a school culture that values every student. It’s an inspiring read that will motivate you to advocate for and implement inclusive practices in your school.

4. Comprehensive Literacy for All: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Read and Write by Dr. Karen Erickson Ph.D., Dr. David Koppenhaver Ph.D.

Dr. Karen Erickson and Dr. David Koppenhaver’s “Comprehensive Literacy for All” provides evidence-based strategies for teaching literacy to students with significant disabilities, including those with autism. The book covers a range of topics from emergent literacy to advanced literacy skills. The topic of teaching reading is always a hot one. This book is an essential resource for teachers seeking to enhance their literacy instruction for students with significant disabilities. Erickson and Koppenhaver offer practical, actionable strategies that can be implemented in the classroom. Their approach is grounded in research and tailored to the unique needs of students with significant disabilities.

5. Autistics on Autism: Stories You Need to Hear About What Helped Them While Growing Up and Pursuing Their Dreams by Kerry Magro

“Autistics on Autism” is a collection of personal stories from individuals with autism, curated by Kerry Magro. These first-hand accounts highlight the challenges and successes experienced by people with autism as they navigate childhood, education, and beyond. Kerry has joined The Autism Helper membership for an exclusive interview and his phenonminal perspective and personal story of the challenges he has overcome is one worth knowing.His book offers a rare and valuable perspective by giving voice to those who live with autism. These stories provide insights into what strategies and supports have been truly effective from the viewpoint of the autistic community. This can help you tailor your teaching methods to better meet the needs of your students.

These five books offer a wealth of knowledge and inspiration for autism teachers. Whether you’re looking to better understand your students, implement practical strategies, or advocate for inclusive education, there’s something here for everyone. Enjoy your summer – but try squeezing in a professional read or two and return to the classroom refreshed and ready to make a difference!


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