Books for Parents & Educators Working with Individuals with ASD

Posted On: September 9, 2019

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a range of developmental disorders characterised by difficulties in socialisation and communication, and restricted or repetitive pattern of behaviours and interest. I’ve pulled together some books I’ve been told supports parents/ caregivers and educators working with individuals with ASD. The below reviews are extracted from online (not written by me). I hope this will be useful.

1. Sexuality and Severe Autism: A Practical Guide for Parents, Caregivers and Health Educators 

Sexual health and sexuality can be difficult subjects for parents and caregivers to broach with autistic children, made more challenging when children are at the severe end of the autism spectrum. Some parents may even question the validity of teaching sexuality to those who are severely autistic.

This practical handbook guides you through the process of teaching about sex and sexuality, answering all of the most crucial questions, including: Why is it necessary to teach this subject to my severely autistic child? When is the right time to start talking about these issues? How detailed and explicit should I be? What methods are most appropriate? It addresses male and female issues separately and covers public and private sexual behaviours, sexual abuse, cross-gender teaching and liaising with school, in addition to the more obvious areas such as physical changes and menstruation.

This will be the ideal guide to teaching about sexual issues for any parent, caregiver or health educator caring for a person on the severe end of the autism spectrum.

2. Things Tom Likes: A book about sexuality and masturbation for boys and young men with autism and related conditions (Sexuality and Safety with Tom and Ellie) 

Tom likes lots of different things. He likes singing and watching TV in the family room. There are also things that Tom enjoys doing in private, like touching his penis.

This accessible and positive resource helps parents and carers teach boys with autism or other special needs about masturbation. It covers when and where it is appropriate and helps to establish boundaries surrounding privacy more generally. With simple but explicit illustrations, this book provides the perfect platform to talk about sexuality with boys and young men with autism or special needs.

3Things Ellie Likes: A book about sexuality and masturbation for girls and young women with autism and related conditions (Sexuality and Safety with Tom and Ellie)

Ellie likes lots of different things. She likes listening to music and making pizza. There are also things that Ellie enjoys doing in private, like touching her vagina.

This accessible and positive resource helps parents and carers teach girls and young women with autism or related conditions about masturbation. It covers when and where it is appropriate and helps to establish boundaries surrounding privacy more generally. With simple but explicit illustrations, this book provides the perfect platform to talk about sexuality with girls and young women with autism or related conditions.

4. What’s Happening to Tom?: A book about puberty for boys and young men with autism and related conditions (Sexuality and Safety with Tom and Ellie)

Tom notices that his body is changing. Tom’s voice is different and hair is growing in new places. There are other changes happening too. Tom learns that he has started growing into a man.

Following Tom as he begins to notice changes to his body, this simple resource helps parents and carers teach boys with autism or other special needs about puberty. It covers all the changes that they will experience, both emotional such as new feelings and physical such as wet dreams. This fully illustrated positive and entertaining book provides the perfect opportunity to talk about puberty with boys and young men with autism or special needs.

5. What’s Happening to Ellie?: A book about puberty for girls and young women with autism and related conditions (Sexuality and Safety with Tom and Ellie) 

Ellie notices that her body is changing. Hair is growing in new places and there are other changes happening too. Ellie’s mum helps her understand that she has started growing into a woman.

Following Ellie as she begins to notice changes to her body, this simple resource helps parents and carers teach girls with autism and related conditions about puberty. It covers all the changes that they will experience, both emotional such as new feelings and physical such as periods. This fully illustrated positive and entertaining book provides the perfect opportunity to talk about puberty with girls and young women with autism or related conditions.

6. What to Do about Smearing: A Practical Guide for Parents and Caregivers of People with Autism, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities

Addressing the often hidden, yet not uncommon, behaviour of faecal smearing among children and adults with autism and developmental and intellectual disabilities, this practical handbook shows how to tackle this often embarrassing and difficult issue in a positive way.

Informing parents and caregivers of the many causes of smearing, the author offers tried-and-tested, everyday approaches for managing this behaviour. This supportive guidebook includes down-to-earth advice, helpful picture narratives, examples of how to prepare and use diary sheets for behaviour analysis, and practical exercises that can be carried out at home. There is also advice on what to do if a child ingests faeces, and dealing with persistent or recurring smearing. With a focus on positive low-arousal responses and featuring the voices of parents who have experience of their child’s smearing, families will feel supported and confident in identifying the causes of smearing, and be able to choose and carry out appropriate preventative approaches. This will also be a useful resource for professionals who encounter smearing behaviour, including social workers and SEN and teaching staff.

7. Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum: What Parents and Professionals Should Know About the Pre-Teen and Teenage Years 

This book is not only reassuring; it is inspiring, and bursting with ideas and achievable strategies. The authors write with authority and conviction, and tackle even the most difficult and delicate of topics. If ever you needed to be convinced that girls with ASD can overcome the difficulties and challenges of puberty and adolescence, have successful friendships and relationships and enjoy a healthy sexuality, then take the time to read this book – it is a must-have for families, teachers and therapists alike.’
-Sarah Attwood, author of Making Sense of Sex: A Forthright Guide to Puberty, Sex and Relationships for People with Asperger’s Syndrome

Growing up isn’t easy, and the trials and tribulations of being a teenager can be particularly confusing for girls with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). This book covers all the concerns commonly faced by girls with ASDs and their parents, from periods and puberty to worries over friendships and ‘fitting in’.
Taking a good look at these adolescent issues, and many more, within the context of specific areas of difficulty for girls with ASDs, the authors provide families with the knowledge and advice they need to help their daughters – and the whole family – through the teenage years. This book addresses core issues such as cognition, communication, behavior, sensory sensitivities, and social difficulties; it gives candid and realistic advice on a wide range of important teenage topics.

Providing professional perspectives alongside personal experiences from mothers, daughters and educators, this is a unique and indispensible guide for families and their daughters with ASDs, as well as the teachers and professionals who work with them.

8. When Young People with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Hit Puberty: A Parents’ Q&A Guide to Health, Sexuality and Relationships

Puberty, personal hygiene and sex can be difficult topics to broach with your child, especially when they have an intellectual disability or autism. The authors of this guide provide honest answers to challenging questions and provide solutions to the dilemmas that many parents face on a daily basis. Structured around issues related to puberty and emerging sexuality in children with disabilities or autism, such as physical changes, mood swings and sexual behaviour, the book presents case studies alongside practical guidance on how to overcome problems that commonly arise.

The book also explains laws relevant to disability and sexuality and suggests appropriate sex education programmes to meet the needs of differing degrees of disability.

 

 

 

9. Oddly Normal: One Family’s Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality

Three years ago, John Schwartz, a national correspondent at The New York Times, got the call that every parent hopes never to receive: his thirteen-year-old son, Joe, was in the hospital following a failed suicide attempt. After mustering the courage to come out to his classmates, Joe’s disclosure — delivered in a tirade about homophobic attitudes—was greeted with dismay and confusion by his fellow students. Hours later, he took an overdose of pills.

Additionally, John and his wife, Jeanne, found that their son’s school was unable to address Joe’s special needs. Angry and frustrated, they initiated their own search for services and groups that could help Joe understand that he wasn’t alone. Oddly Normal is Schwartz’s very personal attempt to address his family’s own struggles within a culture that is changing fast, but not fast enough to help gay kids like Joe.

Schwartz follows Joseph through childhood to the present day, interweaving his narrative with common questions, including: Are effeminate boys and tomboy girls necessarily gay? Is there a relationship between being gay and suicide or mental illness? Should a child be pushed into coming out? Parents, teachers, and counselors alike will welcome Oddly Normal and its crucial lessons about helping gay kids –and any kid who is different — learn how to cope in a potentially hostile world.

10. Dating When you’re on the Autism Spectrum: A Parent’s Guide to Supporting Teen and Young Adult Dating with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This e-book is written from the personal perspective of a parent supporting her children as they explore the world of dating. This is a challenging issue for any parent of a child or young adult and is even more challenging for parents of children with special needs. However having open and calm conversations with parents can help children to navigate this time as successfully as possible.

If you think there are other books or resources I should add to the list, please comment below or email me. It can benefit other people. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice for more than 10 years, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She has published four books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic YogaFrom Princess to Queen and {Un}Inhibited.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

         
GET SEX TIPS STRAIGHT IN YOUR MAILBOX!

Contact Us

Subscribe to your FREE Eros Insider