The Best Books About Neurodiversity for Kids

Teach your child to celebrate and embrace the differences among us.

Mar 30, 2022



The Best Books About Neurodiversity for Kids

Mar 30, 2022

Everyone’s brains work differently, and that's perfectly OK! Books about neurodiversity help kids understand that — or see themselves! — with engaging storylines and relatable characters. 

"Neurodiversity is about celebrating our differences," says Dr. Julie Wolf, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Clinical Child Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center. "Neurodiverse minds bring unique perspectives to help us all to see and understand the world in new ways. These books help children to appreciate our differences and to realize how boring the world would be if we were all exactly the same!"

This collection of books about neurodiversity allows your child to maintain a healthy self-esteem while developing a sense of empathy for others around them. 

"Our youth experience so much social pressure to fit in, to be accepted, and to follow the crowd," Dr. Wolf explains. "These books provide education and a positive message about individual differences, which we know from the research literature promotes tolerance and peer acceptance. These wonderful books not only help children to develop empathy and understanding of others' differences but also show children that their own uniqueness is something to be celebrated."

Younger children will love My Brother Charlie, a heartwarming story about a boy named Charlie, who has autism. Told from the perspective of his older sister Callie, we learn that Charlie is just like every other kid who likes to swim, play the piano, run fast, and care for animals. Sometimes, Charlie gets words stuck inside his head and becomes very quiet — but with his sister’s love and encouragement, Charlie flourishes.

Older readers will get a glimpse of what it’s like to live with sensory processing disorder through the eyes of Willa in Not If I Can Help It. Willa finds comfort in having things a particular way: Her socks have to be soft, plus she loves the crunch of popcorn. But big changes are a lot tougher for Willa to deal with, especially when she finds out her dad’s big secret, and the huge upheavals to her life that it'll bring!

Explore more book recommendations and resources for sparking important conversations about neurodiversity and other tough topics

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