RESPECTFUL RESOURCES ABOUT AUTISM FOR AUTISTIC YOUNG PEOPLE & THEIR PEERS

As Thomas, a longtime I CAN mentee-now-mentor explains,

“The more people who hear positive things about Autism when they are young, the better chance we have of building a world that is inclusive.”

It is never too soon to introduce children to respectful representations of Autism and to showcase Autistic voices.

Below are some of our favourite resources (list not exhaustive). Many of these resources have been highlighted on our Facebook page in previous posts.

TO WATCH

♦ From Dr. Wenn Lawson, a wonderful “TedB” talk on What It Means To Be Autistic. Geared toward Autistic young people.

♦ From Reframing Autism, How To Talk To Children About Autism, a step-by-step guide on how to introduce and normalise differences from a very young age and help Autistic children embrace who they are. This webinar includes many references to additional resources. A shorter, accessible overview can be found here.

Pablo, the groundbreaking children’s series features an all-Autistic main cast & Autistic writers (airs on ABC Kids in Australia).

Many Autistic young people find it helpful and reassuring to learn from the experiences of other Autistic young people. Here are some of their stories and insights:

♦ Thirteen-year-old Summer, “The Chicken Whisperer”, was one of dozens of young presenters who took part in our AWETISM 2020 Virtual Expo, an annual free event that celebrates the passions, talents and insights of Autistic young people. To get alerts for our AWETISM 2021 Expo (November) and other amazing programs for Autistic young people, please subscribe to our newsletter.

♦ From the I CAN team, our Humans On The Autism Spectrum series offers insights and advice from Autistic members of our network. Our 2020 series featured soon-to-be and recent school leavers.

♦ The 2011 Award-Winning CBBC segment, My Autism & Me, is narrated by 13-year-old Rosie King. Be sure to also check out Rosie’s 2014 TED talk, How Autism Freed Me To Be Myself.

♦ From ABC TV + iview, What It’s Like…Living On The Autism Spectrum. Currently only available in Australia.

♦ From 11-year-old Cadence of I am Cadence – Growing Up Unique via Reframing Autism, a self-directed documentary, Bouncing Words, in which she shares her reflections on communication as a non-speaking Autistic young person.

♦ From My Autistic Sparkle, 7-year-old Skylar shares Being Autistic & How It Feels.

TO READ

♦ From The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, a fabulous resource we share often, Welcome To The Autistic Community, which was recently updated and released in April 2020 (suitable for all audiences).

♦ From our I CAN team, Important Reminders & Resources For Our Younger Autistic Peers (tip sheet, brief video & resources). There is a companion piece aimed at parents, carers, teachers and other adults of influence: Nurturing Self-Esteem & Pride in Autistic Young People.

A few wonderful books to check out (all by Autistic authors):

♦ From Reframing Autism & CeArt, Just Right for You: A Story About Autism, an Autistic-crafted picture book that offers a warm & optimistic way of introducing Autism to a young person and embracing their differences.

♦ From Daniel Share-Storm, Do You Want To Play? Making Friends with an Autistic Kid, an Autistic perspective on how to be a thoughtful friend.

♦ From Emma Dalmayne, Susie Spins, aimed at pre-school and Stage 1 (K-2) children.

♦ From Chris Bonnello, What We Love Most About Life: Answers From 150 Children Across the Autism Spectrum, a book of positivity featuring Autistic young people from around the world.

♦ From Yenn Purkis & Tanya Masterman, The Awesome Autistic Go-To Guide: A Practical Handbook for Autistic Teens & Tweens, one of the best resources for Autistic tweens and teens that we’ve come across!