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Autism Acceptance: Moving Beyond Awareness

Last Updated March 28, 2023

A guide written by an actual autistic librarian/archivist to help you listen to and uplift autistic voices and promote acceptance, not merely awareness, of the autistic community.

Before you read...

What makes this guide different than other autism reading lists?

This guide seeks to help further understanding and bridge the gap between autistic people and allistic (non-autistic) people. Most of the titles on this list are written by autistic authors, as their perspective is crucial and often left out in the discussion of autism in the community. Before the autistic advocacy movement got into full swing, discussions usually centered around what to do with autistic people, "curing" something that can't be cured, and centering the voices of parents and professionals. Now, autistic people are speaking for ourselves, and more and more people are listening to us and including us in the conversation. 

Where is Autism Speaks?

You may have noticed an absence of the largest American autism organization on this LibGuide. In general, Autism Speaks has had a bad track record with the autistic advocacy community. They have often buried autistic voices and frequently do not have any autistic people on their board of directors (as of 2020, there was one autistic person on the board). Additionally, most of their funding goes towards higher-ranking staff salaries and advertising and not actually helping autistic people and their families. Their rhetoric in the past has also had a eugenicist tone, so autistic people are rightfully distrustful of this organization. I have chosen to not include any of their resources here out of respect for that. 

Recommended Titles

Adult Nonfiction

Young Adult Nonfiction

Children's and Middle Grades Nonfiction


List Created By

Stephanie Diorio

Archivist, Hoboken Public Library

Steph Diorio is an autistic advocate who has spoken at Targeting Autism, a conference about libraries and the autistic community, and has contributed an article to the second edition of Library Programming for Autistic Children and Teens, an ALA publication. She is the founder of the Autistic Gaming Initiative, a supportive online community built around a livestreaming team of autistic gamers who stream monthly to help promote acceptance for other autistic people. Although she enjoys busting stereotypes about autistic people, she admittedly does love trains and enjoys driving steam locomotives whenever the opportunity arises.

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