Building Autism-Friendly Collections

Autism Awareness Month is a great time to feature books and materials on autism and ASD (autism spectrum disorders.) Displaying books specific to identifying and characterizing autism is a great start. But to build truly autism-friendly collections that will be used and appreciated all year long, it is important to look for subjects that go beyond the basics and help support the physical, social, and emotional development of children with autism.

While every person with autism or ASD is different and will have different needs, here are a few types of books to help build more autism-friendly collections:

It is also important to remember that while April is a wonderful time to highlight these books in a special display, children with autism and their families use the library all year round. Be sure to pop up autism-friendly displays throughout the year. You can also create booklists and other finding guides to help parents, teachers, and therapists easily locate these great autism-friendly resources. For more information on autism, including some of the latest research, check out AutismSpeaks.org.


  1. Jim

    Many of our ASD kids have similar interests, so I make sure to stock up on those. Trains, buildings, bridges, trucks, planes, drawing books, and WWI&II are favorites.

  2. Kiera

    Great suggestion, Jim. I have found that many of the kids with autism who have been in my storytime programs have a deep and lasting interest in transportation, mechanics, building. The How Things Work books were especially popular. Now David Macaulay has easy reader versions of his older nonfiction titles. They are wonderful!

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