Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement. Stories from the Frontline

This open access book marks the first historical overview of the autism rights branch of the neurodiversity movement, describing the activities and rationales of key leaders in their own words since it organized into a unique community in 1992. Sandwiched by editorial chapters that include critical analysis, the book contains 19 chapters by 21 authors about the forming of the autistic community and neurodiversity movement, progress in their influence on the broader autism community and field, and their possible threshold of the advocacy establishment. The actions covered are legendary in the autistic community, including manifestos such as “Don’t Mourn for Us”, mailing lists, websites or webpages, conferences, issue campaigns, academic project and journal, a book, and advisory roles. These actions have shifted the landscape toward viewing autism in social terms of human rights and identity to accept, rather than as a medical collection of deficits and symptoms to cure.

Get the book for free as it’s open access here.

The Guide to Good Mental Health on the Autism Spectrum

Filled with strategies and advice, this empowering guide presents practical ways to improve the mental wellbeing of people on the Autism Spectrum.

This helpful guide focusses on the specific difficulties that can arise for people on the autism spectrum who may also experience a mental illness. The book includes information on common mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, as well as strategies for improving sleep patterns and mindfulness. Providing guidance on the benefits and drawbacks of therapy pets, medication, and psychotherapy, the authors offer balanced perspectives on treatment options and introduce self-help strategies tailored to meet your needs and improve your mental wellbeing. A number of short personal narratives from people on the autism spectrum and mental health issues illustrate the text.

The book also includes a list of resources, books and organisations that can provide further support and inspiration.

Underdogs

One million cloned soldiers. A nation imprisoned.  A group of neurodiverse rebels fighting back.

 

Britain as we know it lies destroyed. In the aftermath of the most daring military coup in history, the surviving population is crammed inside giant Citadels, watched over by an army of cloned soldiers. The hope of a nation lies in a tiny number of freedom fighters hidden in the abandoned countryside – most of whom are teenagers who escaped the attack on their special school.

Seen by many as no more than misfits and ‘problem children’, this band of fighters could never have imagined the responsibility that now rests on their shoulders. But perhaps this war needs a different kind of hero. After a lifetime of being defined by their weaknesses, the teenagers must learn how to play to their strengths, and become the best they can be in a world that has never been on their side.

Odd Girl Out: An Autistic Woman in a Neurotypical World

From early childhood, Laura James knew she was different, but it wasn’t until her mid-forties that she found out why. A successful journalist and mother to four children, she had spent her whole life feeling as if she were running a different operating system to those around her. This book charts a year in her life and offers a unique insight into the autistic mind and the journey from diagnosis to acceptance. Drawing on personal experience, research and conversations with experts, she learns how ‘different’ doesn’t need to mean ‘less’ and how it’s never too late for any of us to find our place in the world. Laura explores how and why female autism is so under-diagnosed and very different to that seen in men and boys and explores difficulties and benefits neurodiversity can bring.

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one, at last, have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.

Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father’s closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.

NEUROTRIBES: THE LEGACY OF AUTISM AND THE FUTURE OF NEURODIVERSITY

A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently.

What is autism? A lifelong disability or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more—and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. WIRED reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years.

Going back to the earliest days of autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle, while mapping out a path for our society toward a more humane world in which people with learning differences and those who love them have access to the resources they need to live happier, healthier, more secure, and more meaningful lives.

Along the way, he reveals the untold story of Hans Asperger, the father of Asperger’s syndrome, whose “little professors” were targeted by the darkest social-engineering experiment in human history; exposes the covert campaign by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner to suppress knowledge of the autism spectrum for fifty years; and casts light on the growing movement of “neurodiversity” activists seeking respect, support, technological innovation, accommodations in the workplace and in education, and the right to self-determination for those with cognitive differences.

NeuroTribes was the first science book to win the Samuel Johnson Prize. It has also won a California Book Award and a Books for a Better Life Award.