Fiction Books

I spend a lot of time listening to audiobooks, and enjoy finding some with representation of autistic and disabled people. This list thus far includes: dyslexia, autism, schizophrenia, cerebral palsy, depression, blindess, and anxiety. 

I am going to also include books where there is a headcannon autistic person (meaning everyone reads them as autistic, but it is not explicitly stated that they are), though I will state this when it happens. 

 

Children's 

Fish in a tree Dyslexia, Autism

A book which follows a young girl's struggle with dyslexia and inability to read. Involves a headcannon autistic friend, and centers around discussion about what it is to be 'smart' and that there are different ways of learning.

Involves bullying, and use of the slur 'dumb'. 

Out of my mind (Sharon M. Draper) Cerebral Palsy

A children's book about a 11 year old girl with cerebral palsy who has a photographic memory, is non-verbal and doesn't yet have a method of communication to be able to convey everything she wants to. She then finds a way to ask for an AAC device so she is better able to communicate. 

She has a really supportive neighbour, and is bullied by a few of the kids in school.

It uses the slurs: dumb, idiot, and retarded

Teen's

Darius The Great Is Not Ok (Adib Khorram)  Depression

This is a book about a Persian-American teen boy who is socially isolated and goes to Iran to visit his maternal Grandparents and family living in Iran whom he has never visited before because his Grandfather is dying from a brain tumor. 

Darius suffers from depression and has since he was 12, and his Dad also has it. The medication Darius is on has made him put on weight, which he feels his Dad judges him for. There is a cultural difficulty where people don't understand why Darius is on medication, and many people have asked what happened to him to make him sad. He is quite socially isolated, and there is some tension between he and his Dad.

It speaks of suicidality, although not the protagonist. Also there is talk of Darius needing to lose weight, his Dad judging his food intake. 

Not If I See You First (Eric Lindstrom) Blindness

This is a book about a teenage girl who is completely blind following a car accident with her mum when she was a child in which her retinas detached and her mum died. 

The book begins about three months since her dad died, and her relatives move state to live with her. She deals with a lot of insecurities and has strict rules that people must follow for them to still be allowed in her life. 

The book follows her as she deals with coming to the conclusion that there are areas of life and other people that she doesn't know about. 

Challenger Deep (Neal Shusterman) Schizophrenia

This book is about a teen who develops schizophrenia. It follows as he first develops symptoms, and his ensuing long hospitalisation.

The story has a split between the real world, and Caden's inner world and the world as he views it through his schizophrenia, with the hospital being seen as a ship-challenger deep which is descending to the deepest place on earth- the Mariana trench. 

Turtles All The Way Down (John Green) Anxiety and OCD

This is a novel in which two teen girls try to solve the mystery of a missing man. The main character Aa has severe OCD and anxiety. Her OCD has in the past caused her to be hospitalised with people thinking she had an eating disorder because she could not eat. Her OCD manifests as contagion and illness anxiety- she has a wound on her finger that she has had since a child. She digs her nail into it as an anxiety thing, and squeezes it to get out perceived germs and changes the plaster several times of day. She worries about getting c. diff. 

Young Adult's

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime Autism

Probably one of the best known fiction books with an autistic protagonist. 

It follows a 15 year old as he tried to solve the mystery of who killed his neighbours dog with a pitchfork in the middle of the night. 

Marcelo In The Real World

This book follows a 17 year old boy with autism who hears music in his head. He attends a special needs school, but his dad wants him to move to a mainstream school and come out of his own world. 

Drama

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Autism

This book is about Oskar, an autistic kid who is trying to find meaning in their fathers death. 

His father when alive used to create ‘reconnaissance missions’ where he would be challenged to push Oskar’s boundaries and solve riddles to find the answer, and when his Dad dies in 9-11 and he finds a random key in his Dad’s closet he works it like one of his Dad’s missions. 

It deals with the phobias that tragedy can bring about, particular difficulties kids with autism may face, and the effects of grief on different people. 

Mystery

Poirot  Autism

Poirot is a light crime drama centred on a Belgian detective who is headcannon autistic.

He is very particular about his routine (eating the same foods and liking the same drink), sleeps in a particular manner, focuses on small details to work out problems, and always seems to come at things from a different angle and frame than other people. I think if Poirot was written in another era he would be overtly autistic, but the stories were originally started in the 1920s.  

Sherlock Holmes Autism

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887. Referring to himself as a "consulting detective" in the stories, Holmes is known for his proficiency with observation, forensic science, and logical reasoning that borders on the fantastic, which he employs when investigating cases for a wide variety of clients, including Scotland Yard.

He is widely regarded as having autism and some sort of savant condition, but at the time autism wasn't a known condition. 

Fantasy

Harry Potter  Autism

The Harry Potter universe seems to have quite a few autistic coded characters, even though no one is cannon. 

The two most widely agreed upon characters are: 

  • Luna Lovegood who doesn’t seem to have any friends for much of her school life, wears vegetables as jewellery, and has some really strange beliefs. 

  • Arthur Weasley who has a special interest in muggle life, and collects plugs amongst other random muggle things. 

Non Fiction Books

Free digital books

 

'The Complete Guide To Aspergers' textbook by Tony Attwood, a professionally respected in depth book about Aspergers (a form of Autism which now just falls under ASD diagnosis)

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