Share this story

It is estimated that 1 in 7 people in the UK are neurodivergent (Source – Neurodiversity – The Donaldson Trust), which means it is likely that there are children in our classes who have conditions such as ADHD, autism or other conditions. There is a wide spectrum of neurodiverse conditions. You may know many of these children in your class already and support them fully to access learning in a way that suits them best – neurodiversity can mean that children are better at certain things than their peers, but it can also make particular tasks or methods of learning trickier than others.

It is important that the books and stories in our schools reflect the diverse nature of neurological conditions and the many ways that our brains can differ. This isn’t just to support the children and families who have experienced ADHD and so on, but also so that neuro-typical children develop empathetic understanding of these conditions and the ways in which we can support everyone to thrive. No matter the neurological type, children will meet people who think in different ways as they move through life – in secondary school, college, university and the working world – so it’s important that our books show this.

Reflecting and celebrating our many differences, our strengths and our views helps to create a society that is more tolerant and respectful; one that is ready to shift and accommodate to support each other. This supports good mental health and wellbeing for all.

Unfortunately, historically, children with neurodiverse conditions have been portrayed negatively in books or simply not included in stories at all. Thankfully, this is beginning to change and positive portrayals of diverse characters is increasing (although, there is always space for improvement!).

We have put together a list of 5 fantastic books that celebrate neurodiversity, that we think will be a hit with all the children in your classes.

Talking Is Not My Thing by Rose Robbins

Age Range: EYFS

A very sweet and simple story about two siblings, one of whom is autistic and non-verbal. The children find inventive ways to help communicate; through body language, flash cards, drawing and more. It would a nice introduction to a discussion about selective mutism, too.

Meesha Makes Friends by Tom Percival

Age Range: EYFS, KS1

Another fantastic book from the Tom Percival series, one of which almost always makes it on to our lists. We love that this story doesn’t specifically mention neurodiversity; making it a very accessible book for neurodiverse and neurotypical children. It follows the story of Meesha, who finds talking to people difficult. She is unsure what to say or how to navigate friendships, until she discovers a special talent that helps her to relate to other children. This book is a celebration of uniqueness, kindness and friendship in all its forms.

Gina Kaminski Saves the Wolf by Craig Barr-Green

Age Range: EYFS/KS1

A twist on a classic that your class are sure to love! Read all about Gina and her attempts to fix the mistakes that led the wolf’s demise in Little Red Riding Hood. Gina is a strong and loveable character who is determined to save the day; a real positive portrayal of an autistic character. We love how she uses emoticons to help her communicate with her teachers.

Llama Out Loud! by Annabelle Sami and Allen Fatimaharan

Age Range: KS2

A wonderfully written story about a witty young girl called Yasmin, who lives with her very loud family and a particularly noisy toy llama. Levi, the llama, causes chaos and adventure wherever he goes, which helps Yasmin to eventually find her voice.

Can You See Me? by Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott

Age Range: KS2

A must-have for all school libraries and book shelves! This authentic representative of life with autism, follows the story of Tally who is trying her best to fit in with her friends. Part written as diary entries by Libby Scott, a young girl with autism whose writing went viral on the internet, it is an original and thought-provoking book that will spark conversation.

Further reading

We really enjoyed this guide from BookTrust which discusses how children with lived-experiences of neurodiversity would like their lives to be shared in books. We found this a useful tool when putting together this list; we wanted the books to reflect neurodiverse experience authentically.

Other Blogs

21st May 2024

As July approaches and Year 6 children around the country prepare to leave the comfort blanket of primary, we…

Read More

21st May 2024

June is Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month (GRTHM, for short); an important celebration of the stories, rights and…

Read More

14th May 2024

Having listened to a podcast about mistakes last week (Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place, if you’d like to listen), we…

Read More

1st May 2024

The sun is slowly coming out of hibernation and we’re beginning to see the signs of summer ahead. It…

Read More

25th April 2024

We all make mistakes, feel unsure and worry from time to time. As adults, we often have strategies that…

Read More

4th April 2024

Building resilience, confidence and determination in children can be a tricky task. With their young brains still developing the…

Read More
View all

Our Partners

We’re grateful to the following organisations for their funding and support. With their help, we are building a community to inspire lifelong wellbeing.

Featured In

We’re proud of what others have to say about us. Take a look at some of the media coverage we’ve attracted.

The Story Project Vision

We believe in a future where all children have the tools, skills and knowledge they need to practise life-long wellbeing, making healthier choices for themselves and others.

On Instagram