Helping Autistic students transition to high school:
The Reason I Jump: One Boy’s Voice from the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida
The book was written in 2005 by an Autistic Japanese author Naoki Higashida at the age of 13. Higashida was diagnosed with Autism at five years old and has limited verbal communication. Higashida’s deep and profound insight dispels many myths around nonverbal individuals on the autism spectrum, and illuminates the need for strengths and individuality to be recognised for all individuals on the autism spectrum. It is a must read for staff members seeking to better understand and relate to nonverbal Autistic individuals, and their unique perspectives of the world.
Fall Down 7 Times Get up 8: A Young Man’s Voice from the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida
Naoki Higashida shares his personal experiences as a 24 year old Autistic man. Higashida discusses the difficulties of speech, traveling, family relationships, and school memories. Higashida encourages readers to see Autistic people and other individuals with different abilities as people, not problems. His story of finding a place where he felt accepted and embraced his Autism will be inspiring to many people, and is a great read for parents and Autistic individuals reaching adulthood. It is also beneficial for staff members wanting to learn more about how to support individuals on the spectrum in high school and beyond.
Life Behind Glass by Wenn Lawson: A Personal Account of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Wenn Lawson is on the autism spectrum. Considered to be intellectually disabled and ‘almost incapable of doing as he is told’ at school, he was later misdiagnosed as schizophrenic – a label that stuck with him for more than 25 years. He then had low sense of self, but now Wenn is a mother of four with two university degrees; he is a social social, adult educator, and operates his own business. He is also a poet and a writer, sharing his understanding of Autism with others to help ‘build a bridge from my world to theirs’. Wenn’s unique insights and experiences growing up Autistic are useful for Autistic individuals trying to find their place within the world and learning more about what Autism means for them. It provides a window into the world of Autism, as well as personal insights that are important for parents and educators to hear.
Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Understanding Life Experiences from Early Childhood to Old Age by Sarah Hendrickx
Being a female on the Autism spectrum and seeking diagnosis has been largely unresearched and unreported until recently. In this book, Sarah Hendrickx discusses academic research and personal stories in depth about autistic girls and women to provide a view into their feelings, thoughts and experiences in different stages of their lives. The book looks at experiencing diagnosis, childhood, education, adolescence, friendships, sexuality, employment, pregnancy and parenting, and what will likely impact the autistic woman throughout their lifespan. It is a wonderful resource for professionals in learning how to support girls and women on the spectrum, and will offer Autistic women a window into interpreting and understanding their own personal experiences through the experiences of others.
Aspergirls by Rudy Simone
Girls on the spectrum are less frequently diagnosed than boys, due to differences in symptoms and presentation. Girls on the spectrum at a range of ages are often skilled at masking difficulties, challenges, and isolation. Aspergirls is a great resource for girls with Asperger’s Syndrome, written by a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome herself. Aspergirls provides valuable perspectives and specific advice and strategies for parents that will help them navigate personal and professional life of their Asperger daughter. The text includes the reflections of over 35 women diagnosed on the spectrums, as well as partners and parents. Simone draws on her personal experiences being on the spectrum to provide guidance on recurring struggles and areas where Aspergirls need support, information and advice. The differences between males and females on the spectrum are highlighted throughout the book, as well as the message of positivity and empowerment. Aspergirls will be of interest to educators working with Aspergirls and provides a window into the Aspie experience.
Contemplative Therapy for Clients on the Autism Spectrum by Rachael Lee Harris
Rachael Lee Harris is a registered psychotherapist and author specialising in Asperger’s Syndrome. She provides a unique contribution to the field of Autism based on her perspective as an Autistic woman. Harris is the only psychotherapist in Australia diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome specialising in this field. In her book, Harris draws on the ancient tradition of contemplation and how this influenced Reflective Integration Therapy ™. The Reflective Integration Therapy ™ programme uses the cognitive differences in autistic individuals such as intense focus and repetition as sources of therapeutic healing. Harris provides information that guides practitioners working in the field of Autism, including twelve weekly session plans of therapy.
The Loving Push by Temple Grandin Ph.D and Debra Moore Ph.D
Best-selling author, Autistic advocate, and animal science professor Dr. Temple Grandin and Autism specialist Dr. Debra Moore discuss the steps parents, teachers, and therapists can take to restore your child’s hope and motivation, and things to avoid. There are eight life stories told by people on the autism spectrum, including how to build on strength, and how to find a path to a successful, meaningful life. The Loving Push has a variety of ideas and strategies to support Autistic individuals on the journey to employment and independence, such as finding positive role models, participating in volunteer work, and using their passions and skills to find a suitable job where they can thrive. There are valuable tips on overcoming negative thinking, getting past anxiety, supporting them through new experiences, and using creative thinking to open up new pathways. Each subject is presented in a positive and proactive way, with plenty of suggestions and examples to encourage individuals in guiding their child.
Neurotribes by Steve Silberman
The history of autism is explored in depth in Steve Silbermans’ Neurotribes. He discusses why the number of diagnoses of Autism have increased in recent years, going back to the earliest days of Autism research, defined by Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger. Silberman then explains the concept of neurodiversity, and the importance of viewing neurological differences such as Autism, dyslexia, and ADHD as not errors of nature or products of the toxic modern world, but the result of natural variation. Silberman also pays tribute to heroes in the neurodiversity community such as British pioneer Dr Lorna Wing, the parent and psychiatrist responsible for the idea that autism is a spectrum. Silberman emphasises the need for autistic self-advocacy and reframing Autism as a “difference” to be accepted and understood, rather than eradicated or conquered. A great insight for parents, educators, and Autistic individuals to learn about the in depth history of Autism and the neurodiversity movement.
Imagine Having Asperger’s Syndrome: A First Consultation by Dr Richard Eisenmajer
Dr Richard Eisenmajer is a clinical psychologist with an interest in Autism. He has conducted research into Theory of Mind abilities in people on the spectrum, and the diagnostic differentiation of subgroups across the Autism spectrum. In ‘Imagine Having Asperger’s Syndrome’, Eisenmajer draws on his clinical experiences to discuss the day to day challenges faced by people with Asperger’s Syndrome and suggests a range of support strategies. This consultation will be worthwhile for parents and educators alike.
Rebecca Burgess’ Depiction of the Autism Spectrum: https://the-art-of-autism.com/understanding-the-spectrum-a-comic-strip-explanation/
Rebecca Burgess’ representation of the Autism Spectrum is one of Shadia’s favourite interpretations. It promotes the theme of neurodiversity and cautions against the use of high functioning and low functioning labels, viewing the spectrum as non-linear. For staff, we recommend you view this comic as it has valuable insights from an Actually Autistic individual.