We only include books here that one of the team have actually read. We are very happy to add other books that relate to health and wellbeing for autistic people. If you would like to send a copy for review please contact us here.
Books we have found helpful in learning more about health and wellbeing in the context of autism
Dr Luke Beardon: Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Adults (2017, Sheldon Press)
“Dr Luke Beardon examines aspects of adult life, including further and higher education, employment, dating and parenthood, and what they mean for autistic people. Autism and Asperger Syndrome in adults is written for autistic children, teenagers and adults, their families and friends, and all professionals interested in autism.”
This is a fantastically helpful book, it is written sensitively, kindly, and with with great understanding of how challenges such as unhelpful sensory environments, masking, exhaustion and a lack of self-understanding can disrupt our wellbeing. A full chapter is dedicated to anxiety, which makes essential reading not just for autistic people but anyone in an autistic person’s life.
Barb Cook and Dr Michelle Garnett: Spectrum Women (2018, Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
“Barb Cook and 14 other Spectrum Women describe life from a female autistic perspective, and present empowering, helpful, and supportive insights from their personal experiences for fellow autistic women.”
“Each writer offers their personal guidance on significant issues that particularly affect women, as well as those that are more general to autism. Contributors cover issues including growing up, identity, diversity, parenting, independance, and self-care amongst many others.”
We always find it helpful to read first hand accounts of other autistic adults. This book covers a fantastic range of advice based on hard-earned experience. Health and wellbeing is covered in chapters on Anxiety, Sensory Worlds, Emotional Regulation, General Health, Co-Occurring Conditions and Mental Wellness and Autism HWB contributor Becca Lory provides a chapter on Self-Care.
Sarah Hendrickx: Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder (2015, Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
“Sarah Hendrickx has collected academic research and personal stories about girls and women on the autism spectrum to present a picture of their profile, behaviour, feelings and perceptions at each stage of their lives.”
“It will provide valuable guidance for the professionals who support these girls and women and it will offer women with autism a guiding light in interpreting and understanding their own life experiences through the experiences of others.”
Flo read this book soon after she discovered that she was autistic and found it enormously helpful in understanding how her own experiences fitted in with those of other autistic women, backed up with academic research.
Jeanette Purkis, Dr Emma Goodall and Dr Jane Nugent: The Guide to Good Mental Health on the Autism Spectrum (2016, Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
“Focusing on the specific difficulties that can arise for people who are on the autism spectrum and who may also experience a mental illness, this informative book looks at common mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, as well as strategies for self-help.”
“Providing guidance on the benefits and drawback of therapy pets, medication, psychotherapy and more, the authors offer balanced perspectives on treatment options and introduce strategies tailored to meet your needs and improve your mental wellbeing.”
This comprehensive guide is great for autistic people who want to be actively involved in health and wellbeing self-management. A great balance of academic study, lived experience and clear advice, this book offers concise background information together with a range of practical strategies for those living with anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and/or psychosis; and includes ‘real-life’ stories throughout.
Rudy Simone: Aspergirls (2010, Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
“This is a must-have handbook written by an Aspergirl for Aspergirls, young and old. Rudy Simone guides you through every aspect of both personal and professional life, from early recollections of blame, guilt, and savant skills, to friendships, romance and marriage. Employment, career, rituals and routines are also covered, along with depression, meltdowns and being misunderstood. Including the reflections of over thirty-five women diagnosed as on the spectrum, as well as some partners and parents, Rudy identifies recurring struggles and areas where Aspergirls need validation, information and advice.”
Flo found this book soon after discovering she was autistic, and valued it for its positivity around autism identity along with clear discriptions of and advice for some of the more difficult challenges such as sensory overload, medications, meltdowns, “burning bridges” and aging.
The text is peppered throughout with stories from other autistic girls and women (which we always find validating) and includes advice for parents of autistic girls (“the best thing you can give your Aspergirl is some BALLS: Belief, Acceptance, Love, Like and Support.)