How to Cope Productively with the Effects of Unemployment and Jobhunt with Confidence- book extract

Thanks for joining us for week two of sharing content from a selection of our rich resources for autistic adults. Last week we featured The Guide to Good Mental Health on the Autism Spectrum and Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mid and Later Life. This week’s extract is from Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum: How to Cope Productively with the Effects of Unemployment and Jobhunt with Confidence by Michael John Carley.

Addressing the high rate of unemployment among people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), this vital guide offers advice on how you can overcome negative emotions, maintain your confidence and process unemployment in an emotionally healthy way.

“‘Lying?’ Now, why is a discussion about ‘lying’ an appropriate segue into a chapter on securing employment? Because it’s a concept, a sensation, and an interpretation that seems to plague our spectrum world’s potential for employment.

So much of what is essential to finding and keeping a job revolves around behaviors we refer to as ‘professional.’ There’s professional appearance (good clothes, hygiene, etc.), professional attitude (staying positive even when you don’t want to), and professional behavior (the unwritten rules about what’s expected from us as we relate to one another in the workplace). All of these scripts are adaptive—for no one’s born that way. These are tricks that the majority of the business world demands from those who choose to inhabit it.

To a higher percentage of neurotypicals this resonates as ‘no big deal,’ because they pick up this behavioral code a lot more instinctively than we do, and because they don’t initially see as much harm in adapting. But to us, so-called professional behavior can often feel like lying. It’s not who we really are and this bothers us more…”

To read the full chapter, CLICK HERE.

To find out more about this book visit our WEBSITE, or browse a selection of our books written for autistic adults HERE.

Coming Home to Autism

New book Coming Home to Autism takes a room-by-room approach to guide the parents of a newly diagnosed child through day-to-day family life. There are ideas and routines to try at home, including advice on toilet training, diet and nutrition, sensory play, and much more. We sat down with co-authors Tara Leniston and Rhian Grounds to find out more…

Congratulations on the publication of your first book! We want to let our readers know a bit more about it, so, can you tell us who this book is for? Who did you have in mind when you were writing it?

Tara – When my son was diagnosed with autism 5 years ago, I was looking for a book like this. I needed simple practical advice that was easy to read, and something I could use at home.  All the books that were available at the time were either very medical based, diaries of other people’s journeys, or books on pointing fingers as to why your child had autism.  I was very fortunate that I lived in the London borough of Wandsworth at the time Dylan was diagnosed, and I had access to the best help. I was also in a position where I could throw myself fully in to learning all about autism and Dylan. While I was writing I was thinking of all the information I wish I’d had in one place – as opposed to spending hours, weeks and months researching and wasting a lot of money on things that didn’t really help at all.

Rhian – Yes, as Tara says, it was written for families with younger children and those children with a relatively recent diagnosis. I was constantly thinking back to all the families I have worked with, what they said was most useful during their sessions and what they wished they had more advice on. I was also thinking of all the other professionals I have worked with over the years and how their knowledge has contributed to helping children and families consider and plan for all their child needs; from the day to day activities, sleep and communication. This book really is a combination of all those experiences and expertise.

autism

How did you discover your shared desire to help and advocate for autistic children?

Rhian – My career has been dedicated to working with all ages with ASD. I have worked, volunteered and supported autism awareness campaigns. At the same time Tara was raising money for the National Autistic Society; launching herself off buildings, clearly advocating for Dylan and autistic children! She was also supporting local families with advice and signposting them to resources and services. Through our common desire to advocate and consider ASD as part of our families and communities we developed a friendship.

Tara – I gave up my career as an actress to help Dylan and I threw myself in to learning all about autism and how I could help others in the same situation as us. The autism community is a fantastic group of supportive people, families and professionals. I believe Dylan brought Rhian and I together to write this book.

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Aging on the Autism Spectrum-book extract

During the month of April, we’re sharing a series of key extracts from some of our best and most popular books for autistic adults here on the blog. You may have already seen the extract from The Guide to Good Mental Health on the Autism Spectrum which we posted earlier. Next up in our series is Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mid and Later Life edited by Scott D. Wright, PhD.

Bringing together a wealth of professional and academic research, alongside personal insights into aging and autism, Dr. Wright’s edited source book focuses on the challenges faced by individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and are middle aged or older. 

The extract we’ve chosen and shared below is a first hand account of aging on the autism spectrum by Temple Grandin.

“When I was asked to do this chapter on autism and aging, the first thing that came
to my mind was that as I got older, my ability to think in a more flexible manner
improved. My mind is like a vast Internet of webpages. In the sixth decade of my life,
the database in my brain has more webpages containing memories of my previous
experiences than it had in the second decade. To understand how to react to a new
situation, I search my database to see how a new situation is either similar or different
compared with information stored in my memory. My thinking is bottom up, and in
my memory files I have memories of specific previous experiences. For example, on
my very first project, where my company was building equipment at a meat plant, I
criticized some poor welding and said it looked like ‘pigeon doo-doo’. The wise plant
engineer mentored me and told me I had to apologize to the welder for my tactless
comment. I apologized for the thoughtless words, but I did not praise the quality of
his welding. I learned to differentiate between rude, tactless comments and legitimate
concerns about welding quality. From this I learned that if I had a concern about
welding, I should have gone to the welder’s boss and stated the problem in more
diplomatic, technical language. I learned how to have better diplomacy to get a project
done correctly.”

To read the full chapter, CLICK HERE.

To find out more about this book visit our WEBSITE, or browse a selection of our books written for autistic adults HERE.

Anxiety and the Autism Spectrum – book extract

As it’s Autism Awareness Month, we’re sharing a series of key extracts from some of our best and most popular books for autistic adults here on the blog. You may have already seen the extract from An Adult With an Autism Diagnosis which we shared recently, and below is an extract from The Guide to Good Mental Health on the Autism Spectrum. This short extract focuses on anxiety and autism, and we hope gives a good idea of what readers can expect from this book. 

The high rate of anxiety disorders among people on the autism spectrum may be due in part to the issues that people with autism spectrum conditions have to contend with in being part of the ‘neurotypical’ world. On a daily basis, autistic people have to make sense of a world that is extremely hard to decipher, deal with sensory overload (and worry about potential sensory overload), and navigate an often hostile and incomprehensible social world. All of these experiences can contribute significantly to a person’s anxiety levels. In addition, the autistic traits of perfectionism, preference for structure/routine and repetitive behaviours can all add to the levels of anxiety. In trying to make sense of the world, people with autism often want to imagine the outcomes of events or situations that involve them.anxiety
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Tiger Mums & Parenting Pressures

Uttom Chowdhury is a Consultant Psychiatrist and a dad. His new book, The Tiger Mum Who Came to Tea, is a funny and insightful adults’ picture book, combining knowing humour with sound advice to reassure parents under pressure. In this blog, Uttom tells us about some real-life tiger parenting that inspired the book. 

This is a book I wrote primarily based on my experiences as a parent in North London rather than my experiences as a Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. It came about after one of the mums from my children’s school told me all about her sons academic achievements and extracurricular activities. He had just done Russian GCSE and was now doing French GCSE as well as violin grade 6 and playing table tennis at a high level, but she was worried he was not reading the right books. He was 13 at the time.
tiger mum

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Autism as Difference Not Disorder: Insights from the Author

Drawing on 30 years of professional experience and detailed research, Difference Not Disorder: Understanding Autism Theory in Practice exposes the myths around autism and provides practical guidance on teaching and learning, behaviour management, addressing sensory and physical needs of children with ASD.

Difference Not Disorder

Our recognition and understanding of autism forms a recent story in terms of human knowledge. In my lifetime this story gained momentum, hastening to the current perception of autism as neurological in nature. However, across the globe this neurological nature, viewed at-odds with the neuro-typical one, is considered impaired or disordered. The over-arching aim of this book was to question this assumption while posing an alternative view of difference not disorder because of all the children I had the honour to work with, children with autism were some of the bravest.

disorder

There are limitless ways in which I witnessed their bravery. They included venturing every day out into a world with incomprehensible social rules and codes in which lack of or inappropriate response could result in unwelcome, verbal attention or even confusing reprimand. It also included perpetually manoeuvring through sights, sounds and textures that could overwhelm and/or aggravate the senses often without being able to express mounting stress and distress; and/or experiencing revulsions towards some tasks but compulsions towards others in situations where you had no idea of the duration or scheduling of either.

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An Adult With an Autism Diagnosis

It’s Autism Awareness Week in the UK this week and, while we want to foreground the voices of our autistic authors as much as possible every week of the year, this week it’s especially important for us all to better recognise, understand and accept the variety and validity of autistic experience. With this in mind, the below extract is an introduction to Gillian Drew’s bestselling An Adult With an Autism Diagnosis: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. Aimed at those who receive a diagnosis for the first time as adults, this book draws on personal experiences to provide positive advice on dealing with life, health, and relationships following an adult diagnosis. With thanks to the author for allowing us to share their story. 

Adult Autism Diagnosis

When I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder, at the age of 28, I was sent away without so much as a leaflet to explain what it all meant. As you can imagine, I was left with more questions than answers. What exactly is autism? Why do I have it? How can it be treated? What does it mean for my life? How does it affect work? How does it affect relationships? What are the long-term consequences? Can I still get married and have children? Should I get professional support? Where should I live? How do I explain this to people? Why was I not diagnosed as a child? Will things improve?

Unfortunately, there was nobody I could ask and nobody who could answer. As someone whose only knowledge of autism came from the movie Rain Man, I discovered to my dismay that there were no books catering for the newly diagnosed adult. The vast majority of the literature on autism focuses on children with the condition, and those books that do cover adults assume you either received the diagnosis as a child and therefore understand an awful lot about it already, or are qualified as a clinical psychologist. I craved a book that could help me understand what it means to be diagnosed with autism as an adult.

Failing to find it, I decided to write it myself to help others come to terms with this life-changing news.

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Creating Autism Champions

With Autism Awareness Week just around the corner, we are delighted to tell you about an innovative resource by Joy Beaney entitled Creating Autism Champions. Here, Joy explains what has inspired the book, and what can be done to increase awareness of and sensitivity towards children with autism.

autism champions

What made you want to write Creating Autism Champions?

I believe that we need to develop children who are aware of the various needs of people with autism and how they can work, grow and play together rather than putting the onus on those with autism to ‘fit in’ with school and society.

I worked as Manager of an Outreach Service supporting children with autism in mainstream Primary schools.  A major part of the work as an outreach service for children with autism was to promote inclusion. The outreach team delivered staff training to raise awareness of autism and recommended practical strategies and approaches to support children with autism. These practical strategies were designed to help the children themselves, as well as their teachers and caregivers. However, whilst these strategies undoubtedly helped the children to cope with the day-to-day problems of coping in school, we found that when the children with autism reached 8 or 9 years of age, new issues emerged surrounding the difficulties they had with social acceptance. We undertook a peer awareness project in local schools developing understanding and changing attitudes to autism so that children could become ‘champions for autism’ and support their peers both in the classroom and playground.

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Tactile Defensiveness – Moving from Avoidance to Self Love

From Noreen O’Sullivan, author of I’ll Tell You Why I Can’t Wear Those Clothes! Talking about Tactile Defensiveness and mother of girls with sensory processing issues, comes this personal snapshot of how her book has embodied the JKP motto, “books that make a difference”.

Five years ago, I had the honour of being signed on with JKP for my children’s book, I’ll Tell You Why I Can’t Wear Those Clothes! Talking about Tactile Defensiveness, and grateful it remains on their Best Seller list still today.

Over the years, I have received countless letters from parents thanking me for a book  specifically for their child and allowing them to express their emotions around this sensory issue through drawing and writing.

tactile defensiveness

We all have tiny nerves inside our bodies that we can’t see.
They have important jobs to do, like carrying messages from our skin to our brain.
That’s how we know when something is soft or hard, or hot or cold.

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