Call for Comic and Graphic novel submissions

Jessica Kingsley Publishers and Singing Dragon (an imprint of JKP) have recently started developing an exciting new line of comics and graphics novels and we are now open for submissions.

At JKP we are committed to publishing books that make a difference. Our range of subjects includes autism, dementia, social work, art therapies, mental health, counselling, palliative care and practical theology. Have a look on www.jkp.com for our full range of titles.

Singing Dragon publishes authoritative books on all aspects of Chinese medicine, yoga therapy, aromatherapy, massage, Qigong and complementary and alternative health more generally, as well as Oriental martial arts. Find out more on www.singingdragon.com

If you are a comics artist or writer and have an idea for a comic or graphic novel, here is what we are looking for:

Graphic novel or comic – Long form

We are looking for book proposals that are between 100 and 200 pages, black and white or colour, and explore the topics listed above or another subject that would fit into the JKP/Singing Dragon list. Specifically we are hoping to develop more personal autobiographical stories.

Here are the guidelines for submission:

  1. A one-page written synopsis detailing the plot/outline of the book, as well as short bios of all the creators involved.
  2. Character sketches of the main characters with descriptions.
  3. Solo artist/writers or writer and artist teams should submit 5 to 10 completed pages to allow us to get a sense of the pace, art style and writing.
  4. Solo writers will need to submit 10 to 20 pages of script as well as the one-page synopsis from point 1.

Comic – Short form

We have some shorter comic projects underway and are looking to expand the range of topics covered. These books can run from 20 to 40 pages, black and white or colour, with dimensions of 170x230mm. We are mainly looking for comics that provide ideas and information for both professionals and general readers.

For example, the first in this series, published by Singing Dragon, is a book exploring the latest developments in chronic pain research.

Here are the guidelines for submission:

  1. A one-page written synopsis detailing the narrative style and subject matter to be explored in the book. Also include short bios of all the creators involved.
  2. Solo artist/writers or writer and artist teams should submit 3 to 5 completed pages to allow us to get a sense of the pace, art style and writing.
  3. Solo writers will need to submit 5 to 10 pages of script as well as the one-page synopsis from point 1.

When submitting please provide low-res images and send them, along with everything else, to Mike Medaglia at mike.medaglia@jkp.com

If you have any other ideas that don’t directly relate to the subjects described above but you feel might still fit into the JKP or Singing Dragon list, please feel free to get in touch with ideas and enquiries on the email above.

All Things Poop

JKP author Kate Wilde, Director of The Son-Rise Program®, shares advice on a key problem area for parents raising a child on the autism spectrum.

“Feces, bowel movement, Number 2, stool, excrement are just a few of the many names we give to what everyone does…poop. Our children on the autism spectrum can be very protective about where and how they poop. They can push us away, preferring to poop by themselves alone in a corner. They can hold it in for hours and even days. Our children may pee on the toilet happily and easily but will only poop in a diaper. They may like to eat it or smear it. When it comes to poop our children can give us some interesting challenges to tackle. Below are two perspectives to adopt while we help them acquire the skill of pooping in the toilet.

  1. Embrace the way your child poops or interacts with poop.

Some of you may be thinking.That’s crazy—I can’t embrace poop—it is smelly and disgusting that’s just a fact.’  Well actually it’s not a fact but a perspective. Poop is neither disgusting nor is it wonderful, it is just poop. We then put our own perspective on it. We get to choose how we want to think about it. I worked with a lovely and lively boy with autism who would pick his poop piece by piece out of his bottom with his finger, then try and give it to the nearest person. As you can imagine, this was not well received by the people in his life. His parents, understandably, did not like it when he did this and dreaded his pooping each day. They felt like they had tried everything to help him change and nothing had made even the slightest difference. They visited my center, The Autism treatment Center of America®, we helped them first feel comfortable and embrace the way he pooped. When we worked with this boy everything we did with him came from a deep sense of embracing and loving him. The way he pooped was part of him also, so of course we embraced this too. When he picked some poop out of his bottom and offered it to us, we celebrated him and thanked him for giving us his poop and lovingly wiped his finger with a piece of tissue. We then told him that he could give it to us anytime and we would gladly wipe it off it finger. We did not run from it, or scold him, or tell him no, or put him in time out or ask him to do it differently. We embraced the way he did it. From this alone he stopped pooping in this way in just 1.5 days. It turned out that he was doing it because of the big reactions he was getting from the adults around him. Offering people his poop had also become a good way to get people to leave him alone. Once he realized that we were not going to leave, and we did not give the big “don’t do that” reactions he stopped. When we embrace something we move towards it and learn much more about it. It is the first step to finding reasons behind why our children are doing a particular behavior.

2. Your child is doing the best that they can.

At times you might think that your child is just being difficult or naughty. You might say to yourself, Well if he can pee on the toilet then he can poop on the toilet,’ or ‘He knows I do not like it when he smears, he is just doing that to spite me.’ I understand that it may seem like that at times, but it really is not the case. A lot of our children have different sensory challenges, the way they experience the world through their senses is so different than ours. Pooping can be an intense sensory experience for us Neuro Typical adults—I can only imagine that it is a thousand times more intense for some of our children on the spectrum. Our children also have a lot of digestive challenges. If your child is a picky eater or limits their diet to only a few items, or has chronic diarrhea or constipation, these are signs of a possible digestive challenge. If this is the case for your child it could mean that they find the process of digesting and eliminating food painful at times. Their controlling ways around pooping could just be their way of taking care of themselves, and getting through the process in a way that is the easiest for them. It is not an attempt at being naughty or challenging your authority. Let go of any feelings that your child is being naughty or mischievous. This will allow you to view the situation with more clarity and possibly see what is really going on for your child so that you can help them in the best way.

With these two perspectives and attitudes, any action we adopt to help our children with their pooping challenges will have more clarity and be more effective. In my book Autistic Logistics, I not only share concrete step-by-step directions on how to deal with the pooping challenges mentioned above but also cover other toilet training topics, sleeping challenges, tantrums, hitting issues and many more everyday challenges we face while parenting our children on the autism spectrum.”

Now available for purchase, click here.

Put the Fun Back into Tooth Brushing

JKP author Kate Wilde, Director of The Son-Rise Program®, shares tips from her forthcoming book, Autistic Logistics, on helping your spectrum child enjoy brushing his or her teeth.

Our children on the autism spectrum are no different from us in that they too move toward and want to do activities that are fun! Below are four steps that will help you help your child master the skill of cleaning their teeth.

  1. Take the stress out of the equation by letting go of the outcome. Everything we do with our child matters. What we think and feel is communicated to our children in so many different ways. In the tone of our voice, the touch of our hand and the softness or hardness of our facial expressions. Does the thought of cleaning your child’s teeth fill you with dread and stress, or fun and delight? Is it something you just want to get over and done with so that the real fun of playing can happen? If it fills you with dread then the first place to start is let go of the outcome of actually getting your child’s teeth cleaned and focus instead on enjoying the process. How can our children begin to enjoy this process if we do not? Try letting go of the outcome of actually getting your child’s teeth brushed just for a couple of days, and instead focus on making it as fun as possible for you and your child. You have nothing to lose by trying this and everything to gain.
  2.  Find two things to love about the process of brushing teeth. When we love something we tend to be more enthusiastic, the more enthusiastic we are the more inviting we will be in encouraging our children to move toward and enjoy the process of cleaning their teeth. There are so many things to love! We have the toothbrush itself—many amazing toothbrushes on the market—buy one YOU love. The way our teeth feel after they have been cleaned—all smooth and fresh. The minty sweet taste of the toothpaste. Get into it! Then express the sincere love you have of the process to your child. Tell them about the delicious taste of the toothpaste, or the awesomeness of your toothbrush. Sell the process.
  3. Model the joy of cleaning your teeth. Once you have your own things to love about cleaning your teeth, then clean your teeth in a joyous “over the top” way in front of your child. It is ok if your child is not looking at you or seemingly interested in what you are doing. Know that if they are in the room they are taking in some part of what you are doing. Have a blast showing your child how great it is to clean your own teeth.
  4. Make it fun for your child. Do this by adding what your child loves most to their tooth brushing experience. This is the key to making it especially fun to your child. Each of our children have their own unique interest and things that they particularly love. Put what your child loves most at the center. For example, if your child loves a particular character such as Thomas the Tank Engine, bring Thomas along and clean his teeth too. Get a tooth brush with Thomas on it. Create a train track with masking tape on the bathroom floor that leads to the sink where the toothbrush and toothpaste are waiting. If your child loves to watch ribbons and pieces of string dangle, wrap string and ribbon around their toothbrush to make it more inviting for them. If your child has a special topic of conversation that they love to talk about, incorporate that topic of conversation into tooth brushing. For example if their topic is about Austin Powers dance like him as you brush their teeth and say, “Cleaning teeth is Groovy” in an Austin Powers accent. If their topic is about different kinds of weather, pretend you are trying to clean their teeth in the middle of a tornado or snow storm.

For more ideas on how to inspire your child to love cleaning their own teeth or other everyday skills, read my book Autistic Logistics. Available January 21st, 2015.

The Feelings Tree – helping children talk about emotions

The holidays are often filled with an assortment of powerful emotions, for both children and adults. This can be related to loss or upheaval in our lives, to anniversaries of significant loss, or simply because the holiday period allows time for reflection which can bring up difficult feelings for us all. So we wanted to share a free activity from the lovely Seeds of Hope Bereavement and Loss Activity Book, which aims to help children deal Jay_Seeds-of-Hope-B_978-1-84905-546-8_colourjpg-printwith loss and/or change through nature, and will be especially helpful to those finding it difficult to cope with bereavement.

The Feelings Tree is a great activity to help you get started talking to children about difficult emotions, as well as all emotions more generally. The birds in the tree can be used as starting points to bring up difficult feelings you may want to talk about, or the child you’re doing the activity with may use the opportunity to talk about emotions they don’t feel comfortable addressing head-on. However you use The Feelings Tree you’re sure to have some fun!

Download The Feelings Tree here

Read an interview with the author, Caroline Jay, on what inspired her to write the book and how contact with nature can help us deal with loss, here.

You can also find out more about the book, read reviews or order your copy here.

Catching up with Ann Andrews – inspirational author of Positively Parkinson’s

Ann Andrews worked as a television and theatre producer, researcher, teacher and crisis counsellor. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in her fifties, and went on to write the informative, practical and inspiring guide to living well with Parkinson’s; Positively Parkinson’s.  We caught up with Ann to find out what she’s been up to since the publication of her book, how she’s managing her Parkinson’s symptoms now, and what she’s looking forward to in the future.

Andrews - image 1

Ann speaking to fellow Parkinson’s sufferers

Since the publishing of Positively Parkinson’s I have travelled through most of the North Island and some of the South Island of  New Zealand talking to groups of people with Parkinson’s. In doing so I have met people from all over the World and everyone has told me how important the book has been for them. It seems to have achieved what I most wanted it to do:  help us all have a better understanding of Parkinson’s and to become a do-it-yourself guide to helping ourselves stay well.

Andrews - image 2

Ann at a signing session

I went to New York last year and am going back again this Christmas. We have a daughter there and a delightful about-to-be-two-years old grandson. While I was there I tried to promote the book which is published in the United States with the title I have Parkinson’s. What should I do? I found not many people had heard of it. However, I got to know a great group of Parkinsonian’s, members of a Brooklyn group.

A couple of years earlier a NY dance company had visited Auckland and offered dance lessons for people with Parkinson’s. They were called the Mark Morris Dance Company. One of the dancers John Heginbotham features in Positively Parkinson’s (page 126). While in NY I got in touch with John and another dancer David Leventhal, and was thrilled to be invited to a dance lesson at the home of Mark Morris Dance.

John was about to leave to join the same dance company in San Francisco and I was able to be there for his last lesson. In doing so I met the Brooklyn group. I was fortunate in being able to attend about five dance lessons with David Leventhal and student members of the dance company.

Pamela and Ann chatting at Mark Morris NY, December 2012

Pamela and Ann chatting at Mark Morris NY, December 2012

I describe the New Zealand lesson in my book (page 127) but being there at the home of the dance company was very special. As well as dance lessons I went to some movement lessons with Pamela Quinn, a dancer who has early onset Parkinson’s. She is so fit I found it difficult to keep up with her in class, though most of the other members seemed to be able to.

You can see her and some of her exercises on YouTube.  If you would like to know more about the dance lessons you could get in touch with Maria Portman-Kelly who manages the Parkinson’s classes at the Mark Morris Dance School.

What these classes also achieve is to provide a meeting place for people with Parkinson’s. Attending class once or twice a week at Mark Morris or the Juliana School at the Lincoln Centre means New Yorkers can meet for coffee and a chat as well as exercise.

Ann reading her new children's story book

Ann reading her new children’s story book

This year I have written a bright picture book for children and grandchildren of someone who has Parkinson’s; a child’s guide. Called Grandma’s Brain, it is illustrated with drawings of me and my grandsons, my brain, a young space traveller and space pirates.  My son, a magazine publisher, is publishing the book which will be available sometime early in 2015. By then I hope to also have a website. The story is meant for children aged between 5 and 12 to read themselves or be read to. It is light, humorous, entertaining, yet informative and is colourfully illustrated. Look out for it!

In the last year I have had a few falls and my balance is not what it used to be. It has been both an eye-opener and a wake-up call.  I now use a hiking stick when out and about. I find friends and family very quick to offer an arm, which is nice and I take it without demur.

More of my friends have now had the deep brain stimulation operation, one as young as 43. They seem a lot better and have been able to reduce their medicine intake.  There is also a very different research programme here in Auckland which utilises the same initial brain operation, but for quite a different reason. I’ll try and explain it: To begin with… On an island in the Auckland islands group (far south of NZ into Antarctic waters) some pigs were left about two hundred years ago. Because of their isolation they have developed into a healthy virus free herd. Some of these pigs now live in a separate isolated location in New Zealand.

Pig tissue has been used successfully in medical treatments for many years, but this research is about pig cells. The programme entails removing some choroid plexus cells from deep within the pig’s brain. The choroid plexus in all brains releases a growth factor that repairs cells and makes nerves grow. Obviously we can’t transplant human choroid factor cells but we can use those from pigs, especially virus free pigs.

To inhibit the immune system from rejecting the pig cells they are placed in tiny capsules rather like Goretex which shield the cells while letting nutrients in and growth factors out. The treatment involves surgically placing the cells into the brain to encourage the nerves that have died back to regrow. A group of six people with Parkinson’s are taking part in this research. They will be assessed carefully and if there is no improvement after six months they will be offered the alternative deep brain stimulation.

I have tried to think of anything I particularly wanted to add to Positively Parkinson’s. There have been things that occurred to me, but which I can’t remember at this moment. I’m still experimenting. I have been on a course of hormone Andrews_Positively-Park_978-1-84905-411-9_colourjpg-printreplacement which is supposed to help me remember things. I’m not sure it does, but six months on my memory does seem better. I’m sure one of the most helpful things you can do is keep working on yourself. Hold a constant dialogue with your brain. Tell it to take bigger steps, make a bigger voice and do the exercise you’ve been putting off.

One group I don’t mention in the book is the nurses working in homes for the elderly. I have talked to a number of them and found they had little understanding of Parkinson’s in the people they were caring for. They had no idea that it could be the cause of a mask-like face, the inability to smile and the lack of a voice; with the result that many of them misjudged their patients completely.  To me this is dreadful.  I have tried to impress on them that this kind of ignorance would be what people with Parkinson’s fear most.

Not a good ending. On a positive note I’ve just completed another Lee Silverman Voice Training Programme and found I had slipped back by not practising at home enough. I’ve tried LSVT Big from a useful YouTube programme called LSVT Big home exercise video. It’s expensive to learn the complete programme here so I add some of the video exercises to the same ones I have in the book.  I have added weights to try and keep my muscle tone and then, of course, I have my new exercycle which I can ride inside when the weather is not conducive for walking.

So, think big, think positive and keep doing everything you can. Your brain will find new pathways.

Ann Andrews.

Find out more about Ann’s book, read reviews or order your copy here 

Are we too afraid to listen to disabled people’s desires?

Tuppy Owens, author of Supporting Disabled People with their Sexual Lives, has worked with and supported disabled people for over 35 years. She is the founder of Outsiders, a group providing peer support and dating opportunities for physically and socially disabled people, handles the Sex and Disability Helpline, and set up the Sexual Health and Disability Alliance (SHADA) for health and social care professionals. In this article, Tuppy examines how our attitudes towards the sexuality of disabled people have changed over the years, and shares some success stories she has witnessed as part of her work.

Listening to Disabled People’s Personal Desires, Taking them Seriously, and Supporting them in their Journeys to Fulfillment

The past few decades, it has become increasingly difficult for disabled people to enjoy sexual expression, either alone, with partners or commercially. Back in the old days, things were laiséee faire. Assisted masturbation was often offered by nurses and staff. There was an adventurous, experimental attitude to sex, and no strict regulations about prostitution. I am told a residence in Sussex for wounded World War Two veterans operated brothel-style!Owens_Supporting-Disa_978-1-84905-396-9_colourjpg-print

We now live in an era of transparency and risk assessment; one nurse described it to me as residential homes operating in a liability and blame culture, with loss of person-centred care, of which sexuality is at the heart. Only some health professionals are allowed or prepared to attach sex toys to the genitals of a disabled resident who is unable to pleasure themselves. Nobody has come up with a toy which the individual could activate themselves in the middle of the night without help, but I’m working on it.

Thankfully, more disabled people can go to accessible clubs and bars, and more of them are in work: all places  where they may find a partner. However, today most people use online dating, which is frought with difficulties. Disability dating sites sadly attract preditors and are unsafe to use, unless, like Outsiders, applicants are carefully vetted. Many residences have single rooms and don’t allow bed-hopping or residents to share.

A leading disability publication published an article in the 90’s stating that prostitution is illegal in Britain (which it’s not, and never has been in Britain) and then a false rumour circulated that the 2005 Sexual Offences Act criminalised supporting another person to find a sex worker, saying that it was “procurement”. People who should know better still come up with this nonsense. With that and the over-inflated publicity on trafficking, and threats of criminalising the buying of sex, few health professionals or local authorities will entertain their residents, patients or clients gaining the many benefits of a sex session with a professional.

What else holds health and social care professionals back? My book Supporting Disabled People in their Sexual Lives, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers on 19th November, looks at the issues in depth, as I have been engaging with disabled people to support them in their various sexual needs for over thirty years, in the Outsiders Club. Basically, as my book says over and over again, our governing bodies do not offer training, guidelines or policies on sex and disability. Myself and Lorna Couldrick, another long term activist, managed to get a short paragraph on the topic on the Royal College of Nursing website this year. SHADA, the Sex and Disability Alliance, which I run, is starting a project to change things around with the governing bodies. But I expect it will be a long battle, especially in the medical arena.

Our laws against discrimination make it illegal NOT to support disabled people to enjoy the same pleasures as others in the privacy of their own homes.

Many disabled people have received worse than useless sex education. Their sexuality so ignored, that their body confidence, sexual confidence and overall sense of wellbeing may be at rock bottom. Some feel their body does not belong to them, as it has only been poked and operated on by doctors. Privacy may have been been denied them. Having been abused, bullied, teased and sexually rejected, they may feel they are on the social scrap heap. They need a great deal of support to climb out of this hole, using body image therapy and sessions to discover what pleasures their bodies are capable of feeling, and to catch up on missed teenage experimentation.

Mat Fraser has workedtuppy blog - mat fraser 1 really hard on himself and his ‘thalidomide arms”, and he’s come a long way. He was photographed naked by Ashley Savage in one of Ashleys’s photo shoots designed to empower the subject and make them look sexy and strong. Mat learned Karate, became a drummer in a rock band and trained as an actor. All these things built up his sexual self confidence. He became the presenter at our fund-raising events, and even did his own striptease act, removing false arms and showing his real ones. He learned to love his own arms. Now he is married to one of New York’s top erotic performers and the two of them starred in “The Beauty and the Beast” which toured Britain this year.22/02/2011 NEWS: The Freak & the Showgirl. Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz Mat has now become a Patron of the Outsiders Trust.

One of our other patrons, Diego Soto-Miranda, severely impaired with spinal atrophy, gave us an excellent tip on how to bring a companion into your life, as a masturbation aide, lover and partner;

Finding a lover/partner is all about maximising circumstance:

  • make them laugh
  • be very polite, and
  • figure out what they want and give it to them.

A wheelchair does not come into the equation. Few say they want someone to climb Everest with them. Usually, they want respect, appreciation, someone to listen, but overall the best aphrodisiac is laughter. Make her/him feel like the centre of the universe.”

Diego worked on his own self confidence to work this one out and put it into practice. He is Brazilian, which might help! In Brazil, flirting and sex are taken seriously. It’s time we started taking such things seriously here.

Tuppy Owens
The Outsiders Trust

Our websites:

www.outsiders.org.uk

www.SHADA.org.uk

www.TLC-trust.org.uk

www.SexualRespect.com

www.AdvocacyProfessional.com

You can find out more about Tuppy’s book here.

Last post dates for Christmas 2014

If you would like to receive your purchases in time for Christmas 2014 we recommend placing your order before midnight on the following dates (depending on which country you want to ship to)

New Zealand – 5th December 2014

USA – 12th December 2014

UK – 15th December 2014

Australia – 15th December 2014

We regret that we cannot provide accurate dates for other countries but if you email hello@jkp.com or call +1 215 922 1161 (USA) or +44 (0)20 7833 2307 (UK and rest of world) we will do our best to find out for you. If you miss the last post dates it may be possible to express deliver your oder, please call or email to find out.

Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year from everyone at JKP!

Top 5 tips for entrepreneurs on the autistic spectrum

By Rosalind A. Bergemann author of An Asperger’s Guide to Entrepreneurship

For many of us on the autistic spectrum, employment can or has been a challenge. Whilst we may be intellectually capable (if not ideally suited) to do a particular job, the reality is that the workplace is centered around working with and through other people. Even a job that you might perceive as being undertaken in isolation will still require you to be part of a team.  ‘Teamwork’ is a workplace buzzword at the moment, and no matter how much that may be in conflict with the way we might work, this is unlikely to change.  For some of us the lack of required social skills needed for teamwork has resulted in our inability to secure permanent jobs and for others it has meant constant tension in the jobs we hold. It is also true that while we may be extremely Bergemann_Aspergers-Guide_978-1-84905-509-3_colourjpg-printcreative people with great ideas for new markets or products, corporate culture requires this to be presented in a certain way within an organization, and this can end up being extremely frustrating for those of us who can see the potential of something but are unable to directly contribute to its success.

For these reasons (and others) many of us make the decision to start our own businesses and become entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a career that I believe suits people with Asperger’s extremely well – provided that we are properly prepared and have developed our coping strategies in advance.

So with that in mind here are the top 5 tips I would give to someone with ASD who wants to start their own business.

 

TIP 1. Ensure that the vision for your product/service and its unique selling point can be shared clearly with others.

Many of us will have a vision of our business in our heads that is very clear and logical to us. Whilst this is great it is important to recognize that when starting a business there will be times that you will be required to share this vision with others. To make sure you can do this, take some time to write down as much detail as possible regarding what your product or service looks like, and exactly what it is that makes your product/service unique. Ask yourself

  • What would make people come to me instead of more established companies?
  • What am I offering that is different to what is already out there?

Writing down or recording answers to these questions will help you put your vision into a format that can be shared with people you will be working with, such as potential investors.

Another thing to consider (particularly if you have experience in a corporate role) is that a plan for a small business does not require the same level of corporate documentation as a larger organization. You certainly need your plan, but it needs to be brief and to the point. A start-up business plan should really only be 4 to 5 pages long.

 

TIP 2: Do an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses

Before starting out, do an honest assessment of the strengths you have as a person with ASD, but also an assessment of the weaknesses you have.  This will allow you to develop coping or development strategies for areas where you have some weaknesses. Answer these questions as honestly as you can:

  • How well do I work with other people?
  • How important is it for me to have control of my work?
  • Do I have any sensory issues that may create a problem?
  • How are my written communication skills?
  • What cause me challenges as a person with ASD in the workplace? How could this affect me in my own business?
  • How am I at networking?

 

TIP 3: Consider sharing your diagnosis with those working closest to you

Since you will be working far closer with your own team than you might have as part of someone else’s, it is really important that there is no chance of you creating problems unintentionally due to some social skill problems.  It may be worthwhile considering whether you want to share your diagnosis with your team, possibly as part of a development programme promoting understanding and communication.

 

TIP 4: Don’t allow your new business to take over your life

As people on the autistic spectrum, we do not do things by halves. If we say we are going to do something, we tend to give it all our attention and energy. It is extremely tempting to fall into the trap of making our new business the totality of our lives. Whilst it is expected that we will spend a lot of time on our new project, please make sure that other parts of your life (such as your family and home-life) do not suffer as a result. After all you don’t want to start a new business but lose a family as a result.

 

TIP 5: Be prepared to experience change

Most of us on the spectrum tend to stick with things that have worked in the past, however as the owner of a small business you need to be open to adaptation and change.  If you are a person who struggles with change, I recommend that you spend some time developing coping strategies for change, and practicing when you have the opportunity.  Examples of coping strategies include:

  • Scheduling regular change adaptation breakaways where you can spend some time alone examining the changes that are happening or that need to be made, and coming to terms with them.
  • Developing a change business plan for yourself, where you can highlight areas of your business that may need change in the future so that it does not become sidelined or occur unexpectedly.
  • Assess how you have handled change in the past and highlight the coping strategies you used at that time (eg. at high school, when you first started work, etc). Think about how you can adapt these and write them down. Review these when you are feeling overloaded.

 

Starting your own business can be challenging, but it is also one of the most fulfilling and inspirational things one can do. People on the spectrum can make a huge contribution to the world in this way.

I wish you all the success in your new business!

 

Rosalind A. Bergemann is the Chairperson of Asperger Leaders and the CEO of a global change management consultancy. She is also the author of An Asperger’s Guide to Entrepreneurship and An Asperger Leader’s Guide to Living and Leading Change both of which are available from Jessica Kingsley Publishers.