Looking for a great summer read? Check out our recommendations for parents and autistic young adults below.

This is also a perfect opportunity to visit your local library. They are hidden gems full of valuable books – of course – but also so much more. Ask your librarian about passes to local museums, community events and more.

Pro tip: Make the most of your local library with audiobooks and newspaper/magazine access. Ask if your library uses Libby, Overdrive or another tool to share digital content.

Reading lists for parents

Summer Reading for Parents

Parents of autistic teens and young adults are wise to look to trusted authors to guide their parenting decisions. These well-researched and thoughtful books are worth your time to build stronger relationships within your family. I highly recommend starting with “What Do You Say?” for tangible tools to guide conversations with your autistic young adult.

“What Do You Say? How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance and a Happy Home” by William Stixrud, Ph.D. and Ned Johnson

It can be very frustrating to try to convince your child to do something that you KNOW will benefit them. Even worse, your attempts can drive a wedge between you and your child. William Stixrud and Ned Johnson address this dilemma and other important nuances of parent/child communication in their latest book What Do You Say? How to Talk with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home.

The underlying premise of What do You Say? is that empathy and validation are the keys to communication. The authors explain that when parents ask: “how do I motivate my kid?” they are really asking “how do I get my kid to change” Most people are resistant to change. And parents need to realize that it is IMPOSSIBLE to force people to change. This book can help parents learn tools to help their kids feel better about change.

“The Loving Push: How Parents and Professional Can Help Spectrum Kids Become Successful Adults” by Temple Grandin, Ph.D. and Debra Moore, Ph.D.

I love how this book is built around real life stories told by adults on the spectrum. Full of relevant topics around how your autistic young adult can build a fulfilling and successful life, you may see yourself or your child in these anecdotes. 

“Is This Autism? A Guide for Clinicians and Everyone Else” by Donna Henderson and Sarah Wayland with Jamell White

A must read for families new to the autism community, but truly any parents of autistic loved ones will benefit from reading this book to improve their understanding of this diagnosis.

Recommended Reading for students

Summer Reading for Young Adults

Whether you are heading to high school, college or the working world, reading one of these book recommendations will help you enter this next phase with a bit more preparation and confidence. 

A Freshman Survival Guide for College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Stuff Nobody Tells You About! by Haley Moss

Written by a university student with autism, the firsthand nature of this book is a great preview of what’s to come during your freshmen year of college.  This book does an excellent job of introducing the many facets of college life from Greek life to office hours and everything in between.

College life includes a lot of changes beyond academics and this book will give you a heads up about what to expect on campus. If you’re looking for a casual approach to college life by a fellow student, I recommend starting here.

Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity by Devon Price, PhD

As you progress from high school to college and work, you’ll make discoveries about yourself everyday and hopefully feel more confident to express your true self. I strongly recommend reading ‘Unmasking Autism’ – it combines the author’s lived experience with history, social science, and individual perspectives for a thoughtful perspective written by a neurodivergent author. It also includes tangible ways for you to begin unmasking including:

• Celebrating special interests
• Cultivating autistic relationships
• Reframing autistic stereotypes
• And rediscovering your values

Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A field guide for introverts, the overwhelmed, and the underconnected by Devora Zack

Traditional perceptions of networking can feel at odds with your personality. This book excels at explaining how you can ‘network’ in creative ways that feel true to who you are.

Building a network of people invested in your success is important to your career. But mingling at networking events is not the only way to do it.

“Let’s face it, you have to network.  Devora Zack’s innovative strategy enables the networking-averse to succeed and have a great time doing it.”—Joe Thomas, Dean, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University