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talking about autism

We have many people in our network who are looking for resources on how to talk to young people about Autism, neurodiversity and/or being Autistic in ways that are respectful and validating.

JAKE EXPO 2019

RESPECTFUL RESOURCES FOR TALKING TO YOUR YOUNG PERSON ABOUT AUTISM & NEURODIVERSITY

On our I CAN website and YouTube channel, you can find an array of insights and experiences from Autistic members of our team and the young people we mentor. It is so important for Autistic young people to know that they are not alone – they are part of a larger, diverse Autistic community. Learn more about I CAN Online, our Autistic-led online group mentoring program, here. For families whose young people are new to our school-based mentoring program, please see, ‘Welcome To The I CAN Program’. 

For resources to support conversations about Autism and Neurodiversity, we also recommend the following resources below, all of which have been created exclusively by Autistic people or with substantial input from Autistic contributors.

videos

  • From I CAN Ambassador Dr Wenn Lawson, a wonderful chat about “What It Means To Be Autistic” View here: youtu.be/gHe7nOIeKpE This gentle video is geared toward Autistic children.
  • From Reframing Autism, “Talking 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. View here: youtu.be/dITOILBK8V4 A 3+ minute, accessible video can be found here: youtu.be/1IqPfHvCoSo.
  • From Pandas online, “Autism Acceptance 2022: The NeuroBears”, a wonderful video that explains Autism and Neurodiversity. View here: youtu.be/_490q6LaHIY An online storyboard can be found here (tinyurl.com/2p8j7w3b). For younger children.
  • From the Autistic teens of the UK’s Spectrum Gamers, “Autistic Children Explain Autism in 60 Seconds!” View here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU8xEH5yRnA
  • From Communication First, “Learn From Us” (an excerpt from the short film LISTEN), made by and with nonspeaking Autistic people, including several Autistic young people. View video here: youtu.be/ooKVxwVt8iI

    From Amythest Schaber of Ask An Autistic, “What Is Autism” View here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vju1EbVVgP8 This video is particularly valuable for parents/carers, teachers and other adults of influence in an Autistic young person’s life.

books

Neuro-Affirming Stories & Books

  • From Melanie Heyworth of Reframing Autism, “Just Right For You” a warm, optimistic children’s picture book to introduce your young person to Autism tinyurl.com/y7k7r7uk Be sure to check out the author’s newest 2023 release, “Remarkable Remy”, a story for young audiences that helps explain the Autistic brain and how our neurodivergent friends make the world more remarkable tinyurl.com/579zcmuz
  • From Tiffany Hammond of Fidget and Fries, “A Day With No Words” a colourful and engaging picture book for young readers that shares what life can look like for families who communicate in a nonverbal way, utilizing tools (like tablets) to embrace their unique method of “speaking” tinyurl.com/4tu6cap4
  • From NeuroClastic: “My Brain Is Autistic”, a NeuroInclusive story for kids and adults. View here: tinyurl.com/yhk92jv4 A free, printable version can be found here tinyurl.com/mrxnwt7a
  • From More Than One Neurotype: “A Story About Brains & Phones”, a wonderful analogy for explaining how neurodivergent brains, including Autistic ones, differ from neurotypical brains. View here tinyurl.com/6favnjkd 
  • From NeuroWild (Em Hammond), “All Brains Are Different”, a beautiful conversation starter with neurodivergent kids or potentially neurodivergent kids to explore what accommodations they might need to feel safe and supported; and “Let’s Talk About Your Brain” (Autism) and “Let’s Talk About Your Brain” (ADHD), which are wonderful resources parents & carers can leverage in talking with their children about being Autistic/being an ADHDer. Downloadable versions are available here: tinyurl.com/mstjcfh5.
  • “100-ish Inclusive Children’s Books on Autism and Neurodiversity” for young people of all ages from That Au-some Book Club View list here: tinyurl.com/xykrfk – note: openly Autistic authors are indicated with an asterisk *). There are also links to recommended books for parents & carers, educators, and adults exploring their own neurology. 
  • From Sandyha Menon, “The Brain Forest”, a heart-warming read that helps celebrate neurodiversity without dismissing challenges. Learn more here: tinyurl.com/y4c74rpv Sandyha’s most recent release, “The Rainbow Brain”, is a groundbreaking children’s book that discusses Autism and ADHD together, in a neuro-affirming, simple manner. Details here: tinyurl.com/ypup2aw3.
  • From Yenn Purkis & Tanya Masterman, “The Awesome Autistic Go-To Guide: A Practical Handbook for Autistic Teens & Tweens”. This book is one of our all-time favourite resources. To learn more here: tinyurl.com/ym8pheur

blogs

ADDITIONAL

From Reframing Autism, a free, self-paced course that provides a solid understanding of Autism in a way that is neuro-affirming. The Autistic-led content is suitable for Autistic and non-Autistic users and covers five main areas: Language; What Is Autism?; Brain Differences; Communication and Socialising; Thinking and Processing. Access here: reframing-autism-s-school.teachable.com/p/autism-essentials.

Learning About Neurodiversity at School (LEANS) resource pack is a free, neuro-affirming curriculum for students aged 8-11. It was developed by a neurodiverse team of researchers and educators, led by researchers from the University of Edinburgh. The content is intended for school use but also contains resources and activities that would be valuable beyond the classroom. Free download here: www.ed.ac.uk/salvesen-research/leans.

Neurodiversity Celebration Week #NeurodiversityCelebrationWeek was founded by Autistic/multiply neurodivergent student Siena Castellon in 2018 at the age of 16. It is now celebrated by more than one million participants around the world each year, slated for mid March. Learn more here: www.neurodiversity week.com.

Please note that the books from the list above, as well as those highlighted below, can be found at many local book shops and at major online book retailers. 

Talking About Autism

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