Top Autism Books for Parents & Professionals

By autism author Ilana Gershlowitz

Autism Books in Review

When my oldest son David, was diagnosed with autism, I read as many autism books as I could find. I was determined to find treatments and solutions to his autism diagnosis. When your child is first diagnosed with autism, it can be very overwhelming. There is so much information and knowing where to get started and how to get the right help and support can be challenging. Below is a list of the ‘must read’ autism books which will provide you with insight and knowledge on the true make-up of autism –  its causes and treatments. I have also now published one of my own Autism books for parents called “Saving My Sons – A Journey with Autism”. You will find it at the top of this list of recommended Autism books, followed by another 9 books that played an important part in my journey.

Autism Books

Saving My Sons – A Journey With Autism – Ilana Gerschlowitz

Available on Amazon

For the first time in South Africa the words hope, healing and even recovery can be heard around autism. In her book “Saving My Sons – A Journey With Autism” Ilana Gerschlowitz tells the heartbreaking story of how, as a mother of three sons, two of whom were diagnosed with autism, she spent years relentlessly researching and finding answers to help her boys. Eventually those answers were found in the USA where the gut/brain connection was already old news and where she discovered ABA – Applied Behaviour Analysis – both of which led to massive improvements in er eldest son and total recovery in her youngest.

More on Ilana Gerschlowitz:

• Leading Autism expert
• Mother of three boys – one recovered from autism and her oldest son with autism
• Autism advocate – Ilana is passionate about helping other parents gain access to services and information on autism treatment
• Author of Saving My Sons – A Journey With Autism (Available on Amazon & Takealot)
• Founding Director of the Star Academy –
• Founding Director of Catch Up Kids –
• Achieved Board Certified Autism Technician certification
• Guest speaker at International Conferences on Autism
• 2015 CEO Global award winner for Africa’s most influential woman in Business and Government in Education and Training Private Sector for Region, Country and Continent.
• 2018 Finalist the Europcar Jewish Woman in Leadership Award

Besides being the Founding and Managing Director of the Star Academy, which provides ABA services to children with autism or a related disorder not only in South Africa but also internationally, Ilana  offers a consulting service to empower parents to access the information they need to navigate their way through the maze of autism. She also supports many parents and helps them access the top autism specialists. With her support and guidance parents can begin to take the right action!

Top Autism Books for parents – Ilana’s recommendations & reviews

Children with starving brains Autism book

Children with Starving Brains – Autism Book by Dr Jacquelyn McCandless

Available on Amazon

This was the very first of many autism books I ever read. Children with Starving Brains: A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum – Dr Jacquelyn McCandless. She was an autism specialist and had qualified as a psychiatrist. After her granddaughter was diagnosed with autism she searched for medical treatments for autism. She researched biochemistry and how to treat metabolic imbalances, the role of the immune system and the gut in autism.

Her autism book became a guiding light to many professionals and parents. Dr McCandless developed the physician training for autism treatment in 2005.

More on Dr McCandless:

Dr. McCandless received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Chicago in 1957 and went on to pursue a Master’s Degree in Medical Biology at the University of IL College of Medicine, Chicago IL. She received her Doctor of Medicine from that same University in 1961. In 1976, she received her certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Evidence based treatment for children with Autism

Evidence Based Treatment for Children With Autism: The CARD Model – Dr Doreen Granpeesheh, Jonathan Tarbox, Adel C Najdowski, Julie Kornack

Available on Amazon

This autism book is a user-friendly, comprehensive description of  the CARD model of autism treatment – the latest scientific information on what truly works in treating autism in an integrated and organized format. The book details effective early behavioural intervention, covering topics such as challenging behaviour, visual modification, parental involvement, improving language, cognition, and social skills. The ABA model discussed in this autism book provides useful clinical information and is a comprehensive guide to evidence-based practice for clinicians working with children with autism.

More on Dr Granpeesheh:

Dr Doreen Granpeesheh is the Founding Director of The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) in the USA. CARD has been the world’s largest autism treatment provider. Dr Granpeesheh is an autism expert and pioneer in the field of autism, Psychologist and BCBA.

Changing the course of Autism Book

Changing the Course of Autism – Dr Bryan Jepson

Available on Amazon

Dr Jepson describes autism in his book Changing the Course of Autism. According to Dr Jepson autism is merely one symptom of an underlying disease process that affects the immunological system, the gastrointestinal system, and the toxicological system, as well as the neurological system.

More on Dr Jepson:

Bryan Jepson is the father of three children, two of whom have autism. He is a board-certified emergency medicine physician but also spent nine years treating children with autism and looking for biomedical solutions to the disorder. He was the founder of the non-profit Children’s Biomedical Center of Utah in 2002 and was part of a team that established the Thoughtful House Center for Children (currently the Johnson Center for Child Health and Development) in Austin, Texas in 2006. He has authored two autism books. One is entitled “Changing the Course of Autism: a scientific approach for parents and physicians,” which is a non-fiction exploration of the research behind the biological origins of autism and various treatment modalities that are in use. The second is a novel entitled “The Record Player”–a story that follows a family’s struggles as they come to terms with their son’s diagnosis, look for treatment options and ultimately help him find his unique contribution.

Nourishing hope for Autism Books

Nourishing Hope For Autism: Nutrition and Diet Guide for Healing Our Children – Julie Matthews

Available on Amazon

Nourishing Hope for Autism is the most comprehensive and helpful guide to Autism Nutrition and Dietary Intervention. In easy to understand terms, the author of this autism book explains the impact of nutrition on the biochemistry of children with autism and how special autism diets affect healing. Readers will understand the connection between certain foods, the digestive system, and the influences on the child’s brain. Parents and autism physicians around the world are using Nourishing Hope for Autism to guide their nutrition/diet focused interventions that help bring about real recovery results—improvement in cognitive ability, physical pain, digestive problems, rashes, speech, eye contact and aggression. This autism book is a must have reference for diet success.

More on Julie Matthews:

Julie Matthews, BS NC is a globally respected nutrition expert, accomplished author, and inspirational educator. Her guidance is backed by fifteen years of clinical experience and scientific research with complex neurological and physiological needs; particularly autism and related disorders.

I know you’re in there Autism Books

I know you’re in there: Winning our war against autism – Autism Book by Marcia Hinds

Available on Amazon

Marcia’s journey with autism is inspiring, motivating and captivating. A must read for parents and professionals looking for a guide to autism treatment.
I Know You’re in There tells the true story of how, through diet, applied behaviour analysis (ABA), consistent and rigorous medical treatment, and more, Ryan’s family took the jump and was able work on healing the symptoms known as autism and ultimately to overcome autism. It took a lot of trial and error, but today Ryan isn’t just high functioning on the autism spectrum disorder, but rather uniquely human and is an aerospace engineer, has friends, relationships, and lives a happy “typical” life. His recovery wasn’t miraculous, but instead the result of getting proper medical care, and his parents never taking “no” for an answer.
Review on book:
“Parents need to read I Know You’re In There. This motivating and encouraging story proves that optimal outcomes are possible for children with autism when families look positively to the future by embracing cutting-edge medical treatment combined with standard-of-care rehabilitation.” —Richard Frye, PhD, MD, Chief of The Division of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Phoenix Children’s Hospital neurologist and autism expert
I Know You’re in There shows that autism is not a hardwired impairment stamped into the brain by the child’s genes and destined to remain fixed forever, as we’re often told. Instead, it is the TOTAL LOAD of challenges to a child’s whole system that overloads the brain and causes the behaviours associated with autism. Even a few treatments that reduce the load and increase supports can make a huge difference. Ryan’s recovery is a testimony to this approach.” —Martha Herbert, MD, Harvard neurologist, researcher, and author of The Autism Revolution

More on Marcia Hinds:

Marcia Hinds most impressive credential for writing this book is that she is Ryan’s mother and her family survived their war against autism. Marcia has more than fifteen years’ experience as an educational and behavioural consultant. She works with children on the autism spectrum and advocates for their families. Marcia holds a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She is a credentialed K-12 teacher. Ironically Marcia, along with her husband Frank, worked in the UCLA Young Autism Project under Dr. Ivar Lovass as undergraduates at UCLA. As therapists they used Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) before all the research was in about the effectiveness of ABA. Thirteen years later, that training came in handy when Ryan came along and their lives changed forever. Ryan recovered from autism and today he is an engineer.

Gut and phycology syndrome Autism Book

Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia – Natasha Campbell- Mcbride (Autism Books on nutrition)

Available on Amazon

Research has demonstrated that nutrition and food allergies play a big role in autism. Numerous parents have followed the GAPS diet successfully. Healing the gut is key to treating autism symptoms. There are numerous cookbooks on the GAPS diet available on amazon to help guide parents considering this diet.  Many children on the spectrum are unable to absorb essential vitamins and minerals and have an inflamed gut. Eliminating processed food and finding the right diet is key to healing. Dr McBride’s book is eye opening and explains the healing components of the GAPS Nutritional Protocol. The GAPS diet has become a successful approach to discuss with your doctor when considering autism treatments.
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride set up The Cambridge Nutrition Clinic in 1998. As a parent of a child diagnosed with learning disabilities, she is acutely aware of the difficulties facing other parents like her, and she has devoted much of her time to helping these families. She realized that nutrition played a critical role in helping children and adults to overcome their disabilities, and has pioneered the use of probiotics in this field. Her willingness to share her knowledge has resulted in her contributing to many publications, as well as presenting at numerous seminars and conferences on the subjects of learning disabilities and digestive disorders. Her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome captures her experience and knowledge, incorporating her most recent work. She believes that the link between learning disabilities, the food and drink that we take, and the condition of our digestive system is absolute, and the results of her work have supported her position on this subject. In her clinic, parents discuss all aspects of their child’s condition, confident in the knowledge that they are not only talking to a professional but to a parent who has lived their experience. Her deep understanding of the challenges they face puts her advice in a class of its own.

More on Dr Campbell-McBride:

Dr. Campbell-McBride graduated with Honours as a Medical Doctor in 1984 from Bashkir Medical University in Russia. In the following years she gained a Postgraduate Degree in Neurology.

After practicing for five years as a Neurologist and three years as a Neurosurgeon, she started a family and moved to the UK.  It was during this time that Dr. Campbell-McBride developed her theories on the relationship between neurological disorders and nutrition, and completed a second Postgraduate Degree in Human Nutrition at Sheffield University, UK. She has specialized in using nutritional approach as a treatment, and has become recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in treating children and adults with learning disabilities and other mental disorders, as well as children and adults with digestive and immune disorders.

In 2004 she published her first book Gut And Psychology Syndrome. Natural Treatment Of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Depression And Schizophrenia where she explores the connection between the patient’s physical state and brain function. The book gives full details of the GAPS Nutritional Protocol, highly successful in treating patients with chronic diseases. A second edition was published in 2010. The concept of GAPS has become a global phenomenon and the book has been translated into 20 languages.

Fact #1: Miracles do happen Autism Book

The Nemechek Protocol for Autism and Developmental Disorders: A How-To Guide For Restoring Neurological Function – Dr Patrick Nemechek (Autism books on nutrition)

Available on Amazon

Toxins play a big role in triggering regressive autism. Detoxification and reducing toxic load is high on the priority list when it comes to deciding on how to tackle a diagnosis of autism. Dr Nemechek is globally famous for his approach to autism treatment. Reviews on the book include accounts from parents of non vocal children on the spectrum who acquire words and who begin to interact in ways beyond expectation. Dr Nemechek has achieved remarkable results and his protocol has been a game changer for many children. He discuss the use of fish oil, olive oil and Inulin fiber, in the treatment of autism. Nemechek in his book ‘Miracles Do Happen’ discusses reversing bacterial overgrowth and reducing propionic acid levels to treat autism.
The Nemechek Protocol for autism and developmental disorders outlines Dr. Patrick M. Nemechek’s clear and concise description about the present scientific basis for autism and many childhood developmental disorders. His unique but simple treatment is the most talked about approach for autism and developmental disorders of the last decade. The Nemechek Protocol finally offers hope that children around the world afflicted with these conditions may begin on the path of neurological development and recovery

More on Dr. Nemechek:

Dr. Nemechek completed his training in internal medicine training at UCLA School of Medicine (1990) where he had the distinguished honor of being named Chief Resident and later Clinical Instructor for the department of Medicine at UCLA.

His mentor at UCLA was a member of the Einstein family who encouraged him to go into a particularly complex field of HIV Medicine that was the medical mystery of that time where Dr. Nemechek would have the challenging freedom to save people’s lives.

Dr. Nemechek authored or co-authored over 60 scientific publications, participated in 41 different clinical studies and in 1999 became a founding investigator for the HIV Research Network, a consortium of 18 different universities and HIV treatment facilities funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Nemechek has pushed beyond the disease labels to understand and resolve the underlying problem.

Autism: Parent to Parent Book

Autism: Parent to Parent: Sanity Saving Advice for Every Parent with a Child on the Autism Spectrum – Shannon Penrod (Autism Books for Parents)

Available on Amazon

Shannon Penrod is a guiding light, mentor and podcast host, who has provided invaluable information on autism treatment to thousands of families around the globe. Her autism podcast: ‘Autism Live’ kept me going through the darkest periods of my life, when I came face-to-face with battling autism. Shannon discuss all a parent of a child with autism, needs to know in order to navigate the complexities and journey with autism. I love her witty and humorous account of her experience with autism. Through her honest advice and recommendations she empowers parents with the information they need to tackle a diagnosis of autism. Shannon’s book will leave you inspired and hopeful, armed with the information you need to decide on treatment options.

Your child has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and you are feeling overwhelmed and alone. Suddenly you need to become an expert in treatment, diet, language development, social skills, special education law, insurance and a million other things! What you’d really like to know is how to deal with Aunt Martha’s questions at the family reunion! Autism: Parent to Parent is your guide to all of this and more.

Shannon’s autism book covers everything you need to know such as:

  • What do you say to pushy relatives?
  • How do you get the best treatment options?
  • How do you deal with school?
  • Most importantly, how do you deal with all the emotions that come with day-to-day life?

More on Shannon Penrod :

Shannon Penrod was a teacher, actress, and award-winning stand-up comedienne when her life took a sharp left. Her world changed forever when her son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2 1/2. Like many parents Shannon and her husband began a mission of helping their son reach his highest potential. Their son is now a successful college student, studying screenwriting! Shannon is committed to helping other families find their paths and has contributed one of the top Autism books for parents. Shannon is the President of The Autism Network, where she hosts the #1 rated Autism Podcast, “Autism Live.” She also hosts “Ask Dr. Doreen” and serves as Executive Producer for “Stories from the Spectrum.” Shannon frequently performs her award-winning comedy show, “The Autism Mamalogues,” and enjoys speaking to parents, self-advocates and professionals around the world. Her greatest privilege and joy in life is being her son’s mother.

Autism Beyond the basics book

Autism Beyond the Basics – Autism Book by Dr William Shaw

Available on Amazon

Dr Shaw’s fascinating book was one of the Autism books that caught my attention many years ago, when my son David  was diagnosed with autism. Trying to find answers and solutions to his diagnosis of autism, I immersed myself in research and one of the books that taught me much of what I understand about the make- up of autism today, I gained from reading and studying the information contained in Dr Shaw’s autism book.  Dr Shaw is the Director of Great Plains Laboratory –  a world leader in providing diagnostics for metabolic, mitochondrial, and environmental factors in chronic illnesses including autism. Dr Shaw’s Organic Acids Test, is a famous test conducted to investigate the causes of autism symptoms. This test offers a comprehensive metabolic snapshot of a child’s overall health looking at 76 markers. The OAT test includes markers for vitamin and mineral levels, oxidative stress and neurotransmitter levels. I embarked on this test for my son David, 18 years ago, when he was diagnosed with autism. The results provided a roadmap for his treatment. I was also privileged to host Dr Shaw in South Africa, where I provided a platform for him, to present on treatments and solutions to the autism diagnosis.
Autism: Beyond the Basics is the long awaited sequel to Dr. William Shaw’s Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD, the groundbreaking book which introduced thousands of families throughout the world – touched by autism – to hope for recovery. As an autism researcher, scientist, biochemist, and laboratory director, William Shaw, Ph.D. has worked over a decade to uncover other causes and potential solutions to the autism epidemic. This new book is a compilation of these research efforts and those of other experts. Parents and physicians seeking more answers will find much food for thought to help improve the lives of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Some of the many topics covered by Dr. Shaw and his contributing authors include: cholesterol deficiency, carnosine therapy, GI abnormalities, lithium deficiency, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, copper/zinc imbalance, chemical and food sensitivities, oxalate toxicity, homeopathy, and methylcobalamin. The information in this book may be useful not only in the field of autism but nearly any disorder in which some of the symptoms of autism are often present, including Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Williams Syndrome, Down’s Syndrome with Autistic Symptoms, Rett’s Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Fragile X, and Neurofibromatosis.

More on Dr Shaw:

Received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Human Physiology and is board certified in Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology. He is known worldwide for his research and presentations at conferences in the field of autism and developmental disorders. Dr. Shaw has been actively involved with both the Defeat Autism Now! and Autism Speaks groups and is a board member of the National Academy for Child Development. He is also the founder and director of The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc. for Health, Nutrition, and Metabolism in Lenexa, Kansas, a laboratory specializing in metabolic, environmental, and genetic testing for people with chronic illnesses and diseases. He published the first edition of Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD in 1998 and it has since been translated into eight different languages and has helped thousands of patients and medical practitioners successfully improve the lives of individuals with autism.

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