The Guide to Good Mental Health on the Autism Spectrum

This book is really good. It’s straightforward, has a great layout, was clearly well-researched, and lifts up Autistic voices. Yenn Purkis has contributed so much great insight and knowledge regarding the intersection of autism and mental health, and this book is a credit to them.

It loses half a star for using person first language, and references to functioning labels (including lots of the use of Asperger’s). I’m guessing it’s more a symptom of when it was written (and possibly done to please the publishers), but some would find the language used frustrating and/or triggering.

I love what the book is doing though, and have learnt from it.

Autism, Bullying and Me

This is a great little book for pre-teens and teens who are affected by bullying. It’s aimed at Autistics, however I think anyone would find it useful, particularly if they have any sort of neurodivergence.

It’s refreshing to read a book which doesn’t pretend that you can change anyone other than yourself. While for a couple of minutes I got a little defensive over it being my responsibility to change reactions and thought patterns (I was bullied for pretty much my entire school life), actually it’s the only thing that you have have any control over, so it makes sense.

Resilience has become a bit of an attack word as bullies now use it to try and make their victim feel worse, but actually the meaning, feelings, and actions behind resilience absolutely need to be taught to our youth – not because being bullied is their fault (something Emily makes abundantly clear throughout), but because *they* will feel a whole lot better about themselves if they can protect their well-being and think those three positive things in the midst of upset (you’ll have to read the book to find out what I mean by “those three positive things”).

I could have done with this book being around when I was younger, and despite it being mine, I’m going to slip it into my twelve-year-old’s bedroom so he can look at it in his own time. I’m also going to get a copy for his school and my younger son’s school (despite it being primary) because I think that it’s a good resource that lots of children may not get access to in any other environment.