Best Audio Books on Autism

February 3, 2012

Whether you’re a parent of a child with autism, you are a professional working with autistic individuals, you have discovered that you fall in the autism spectrum, or you are simply interested in this recent growth of this disorder, there are plenty of audio books on the market that can give you data pertaining to autism or even personal accounts of how autism has affected the lives of sufferers and caregivers.  In short, you can use the wide world of audio books to uncover everything you ever wanted to know about autism.  And here are just a few offerings to get you started.

  1. Autism by Dr. Stanley Monteith, Dr. Bernard Rimland, Dr. Cindy Schneider, Dr. Bryan Jepson, and Dr. F. Edward Yazbak.  Although this compilation of interviews with industry experts is a few years old (meaning statistics and discussions on topics such as vaccinations are somewhat outdated) there is a lot of interesting information and professional conjecture presented in this audio book.  Many of the doctors interviewed have had decades of experience dealing with autism and this offering gives listeners some of their amazing insights and personal stories connected to the ongoing search for answers concerning this growing epidemic.
  2. Healing and Preventing Autism: A Complete Guide by Jenny McCarthy.  You may have seen other offerings from actress and comedienne McCarthy, who basically became a spokesperson for early detection and treatment when she discovered her son was autistic.  Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism and Mother Warrior: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism against All Odds are also available in audio format.  But this book focuses on the idea of DAN (Defeat Autism Now), a school of thought that encompasses early detection and the use of specific therapies and treatments that could actually help to prevent autism or at least combat its effects to ensure minimal impact on a child’s development.
  3. Strange Son: Two Mothers, Two Sons, and the Quest to Unlock the Hidden World of Autism by Portia Iverson.  This audio book can act as a guide in multiple ways.  First and foremost, it details how Iverson discovered her son had autism and then sought out a woman in India (Soma Mukhopadhyay) who had learned to interact with her non-verbal autistic son (Tito) through writing.  In this respect the audio book is ideal for anyone who has yet to be introduced to the concept of facilitated communication.  However, it has also drawn criticism for the unflinching (and sometimes callous) portrayal of Tito’s condition and behavior.  So it also teaches a valuable lesson about how not to behave as an adult that should know better than to sensationalize such sensitive material.
  4. The Fabric of Autism by Judith Bluestone.  Herself a sufferer of autism, Bluestone went on to become an advocate and therapist for those with autism spectrum disorders, as well as a teacher and lecturer on the subject.  Here she presents her theories on the possible causes of autism and the roots of autistic behaviors, based on neuroscientific research and her own experiences.
  5. Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior by Temple Grandin.  Those who saw the made-for-TV movie about Temple Grandin are likely aware that this amazing woman used her own struggle with autism to develop a deeper scientific understanding of animals, eventually changing the way people viewed and handled livestock.  Proponents of neurodiversity claim that autism is an evolutionary leap that simply gives the human race a different set of tools to approach the world, and Grandin could just be the prime example of that school of thought.  Her comparison of animals to autistic people is likely to both stun and surprise you, but one thing this audio book will not do is bore you.

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