Handling a Diagnosis of Autism: Some Resource Tips for Parents

Handling a diagnosis of Autism? Tips from the parent Alex Smith and the This Way In To Music team. This book also lists some of the best research-based books for Autism Parents and others raising children ‘On the Spectrum’ and/or with other neuro-diversity (e.g., Autism, Asperger’s, Spectrum, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Acquired Brain Injury, MND).

Getting the diagnosis of Autism or other Neuro-Diversity (neuro-development conditions).

Finding out your child has Autism or other conditions such as CP, MND, MS, Downs or ABI (Best Books and other resources)

Some parents find out their child will be even more unique than other children – meaning having special parenting needs – in the womb. Others find out when the child starts to lag behind similar age children in various parts of development. Still, others have a sneaking suspicion something’s ‘different’ about their child, and they eventually they get it tested. The good news is that neuro-diversity is more understood today than ever before; but that doesn’t make coping any easier.

When you take your child to Specialists to affirm whether or not there is a neuro-developmental difference, or just a lag; it’s likely to be one of the most confronting moments of your parenthood experience. Suddenly, there’s no denying you’re going to need to become an adaptable, resilient and research-driven parent, a parent who will fight tooth and nail for the safety and well-being of your child with a fierceness only other special-need parents truly understand.


diagnosis of autism or asperger's and best books autism and aspergers tony attwood book reviews

Because so many parents struggle with this point of parenting, accepting they are now confirmed Special Needs Parents with a child with neuro-diversity and hence, unique educational and communication needs, we have created extra resources for parents of special need kids, as part of our This Way In To Music Program (The “TWIM” program by Alex Smith) as directed/produced by Connie May MHST, Ric Davidson and Ron Brown. 

One of these PDFs is being made into a series segment presented by Australian Singer, Alex Smith (Moving Pictures). This diagnosis adaptation resource is titled “10 Things to Remind Yourself When You Get a Diagnosis of Autism or Asperger’s” or other neuro-developmental condition.

  • It’s all about keeping the mindset calmer and feeling more in control, and less self-doubting.
  • It’s part of the Parent Adapt Pak but you can ask for a free PDF copy of this Autism or Asperger’s diagnosis resource by emailing us using the form below.
Read our reviews of some of the best books available for parents wanting to understand the benefits of music interaction for children with special needs.

Our Music Interaction Program is available via a digital subscription. But some of our other resources are available FREE and downloadable via the web. Just send us an email and request the DOWNLOADABLE PDF Asperger’s or Autism Parent reading materials PDF sheets. This blog contains information on books for Aspergers and in support of Music Interaction benefits for children on the spectrum  (All rights reserved, contact Connie May MHST for reprint permissions).

Best Books about Autism and Special Needs Parenting for Autism and Asperger’s Spectrum “Disorders” (let’s all agree we’ll call this neuro-diversity now because it’s prevalent and natural, so who’s to say it’s a disorder? It’s a DIFFERENCE….and every child is different!).

Books for Parents of Children on the Spectrum of Autism

Alex Smith has a long list of book for parents raising children on the Spectrum of Autism or with Cerebral Palsy, Motor Neuron Disease (MND), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and other neuro-diverse conditions.

We recently interviewed Australian Singer Alex Smith, parent of a son (now 22) on the Spectrum of Autism (diagnosed with Asperger’s). An avid researcher, as a parent who struggled immensely with getting his son a proper education, his top 10 books supporting music interaction are as follows (in no particular order) are listed after some of his “go to” books for parents of children on the Asperger’s side of the spectrum. (Alex is the founder/presenter for This Way In To Music, a new streaming music interaction program for families to use at home).

Tony Attwood’s book: The complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome (Available from Amazon and other leading book retailers)

Amazon link for Tony Attwood’s Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome


Tony Attwood’s book: Asperger’s and Girls (Available on Amazon and other book sellers)

Amazon link for Tony Attwood’s Asperger’s and Girls book

Review from Alex Smith: You can’t go past Tony Attwood’s book about neuro-diversity. In our household, we read many books, and I highly recommend parents read as much as possible. Yet in our household, this book in particular was the ‘go-to’ type of ‘bible’ we relied on to get through.


Books in support of the positive impact that programs like This Way In To Music (TWIM) by Alex Smith, Connie May, Ric Davidson and Ron Brown, can have for children with neuro-diverse conditions.

Note that Alex Smith and researcher Connie May MHST are currently finishing a book that we are aiming to release in September 2019.

Book Reviews | Alex Smith

Books on Autism for parents as well as helpful reading for other neuro-diversity

“Pied Piper- Musical Activities to Develop Basic Skills”  By John Bean and Amelia Oldfield.   ISBN 1-85302-994-7.

Review by Alex Smith: This is a very well laid-out work book. Each page has activities that can be done by a group or just two people …..learn to adapt to your situation. Full of great ideas for parents and carers.

“Approaches to Communication through Music” by Margaret Corke, foreward by Dave Hewett.        ISBN 1-85346-843-6

Margaret Corke’s book, Approaches to Communication through Music, from Amazon

Review by Alex Smith: “A very good plain language place to start for parents. It’s easy to read with great explanations, with complex topics broken down nicely using explanation boxes and bullet points that are easy to understand. When raising a child with an ability difference, these books are a bonus as they get the message across quickly and simply.”
Approaches To Communication Through Music by Margaret Corke - Amazon books on music therapy

“Acting Antics – A Theatrical Approach to Teaching Social Understanding to Kids and Teens with Aspergers Syndrome” by Cindy B Schneider. ISBN 1-84310-845-3.

Jessica Kingsley publishers. 
Review by Alex Smith:  “A very sound book. Not about music persay, but about why and how we interact as humans. The introduction alone is worth the price of admission! Sometimes the hardest thing about getting started is our own reluctance, fear and insecurity. All of these things are covered in this book, and they apply to the same degree in a music session. You need to be there as a person, first…with all the fears and insecurity…and simply TRY.”

“Music lessons for Children with Special Needs” by T.M.Perry. ISBN 1-85302-295-0

Jessica Kingsley publishers. 
Review by Alex Smith: Another very good ,very straightforward, no nonsense book for parents interested in learning more about music interaction (it’s a mix of different types of interaction styles and games that we show you in our digital series THIS WAY IN TO MUSIC, using all types of examples from 20 years of learning and working in special needs education, in home-situations). This book has some wonderful games and sharing activities, well explained and detailed.

“Making music with the young child with special needs”  By Elaine Streeter, Jessica Kingsley publishing ISBN 1-85302-187-3

Review by Alex Smith: Another very sound book, and beautifully written one to one. Well illustrated.

Summary from Presenter Alex Smith about some of his favourite books about Autism, Asperger’s, other Spectrum and Neuro-Diversity conditions such as ABI, CP, MS, MND and Downs:

With any of these books, sometimes the Authors lay out very specific details of practice and outcome.
In the real world this is not always going to be the case.
Use these as primers. Use them to fire your own imagination as you fire the child’s imagination, curiosity and ….comfort, connection and communication.
Article by Connie May, MHST, Director/Producer of This Way In To Music
Contact us if you’d like more information or would like to help sponsor our program.

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