Seeing the World Through Our Eyes- book extract

We’re coming up on the end of Autism Awareness Month! Each week we’ve shared a series of blog posts on books by, for, and about autistic adults. This week, we’ve pulled an extract from Deborah Lipsky’s thoughtful book, From Anxiety to Meltdown: How Individuals on the Autism Spectrum Deal with Anxiety, Experience Meltdowns, Manifest Tantrums, and How You Can Intervene Effectively

Drawing on her own experience and using examples to explain how autistic people think, the author distinguishes between meltdowns and tantrums, showing how each begins, and most importantly, how to identify triggers and prevent outbursts from happening in the first place. 

“To fully comprehend why we have such strong negative reactions to seemingly minor daily disruptions one must understand how the autistic population perceives the world. We will look at the core ‘issues’ of autism from the perspective of someone who lives it daily. Actually I don’t like using the term ‘core issues’ because it seems to have a negative overtone. Let’s instead view them as ‘core character traits.’ It is paramount that you the reader should not misunderstand the word ‘autism’ to truly appreciate the insights this book will offer. On the television and in the media autism mostly carries a negative connotation. It is a ‘disease,’ ‘disorder,’ ‘lifelong burden,’ and, my favorite, an ‘epidemic.’ Many people have a stereotypical view of an autistic individual as a non verbal child who rocks incessantly, huddles in a corner flapping their hands, and seems to wail when asked to do something. Society has not fully accepted the higher functioning person with autism and Asperger’s as an individual who despite looking physically ‘normal’ does have limitations and special needs. I find this especially true in the school system. So many parents have lamented to me that, despite a diagnosis of autism, their child is not seen as ‘autistic’ because they are doing well academically and therefore isn’t offered the reasonable accommodations necessary to provide a safe learning environment for them. When I am called in for consultations due to ‘behavioral issues’ by the school, most often these behaviors are the direct result of a lack of understanding of the child’s particular needs as well as an incorrect understanding of what autism truly is…”

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.

Pretending A Little Less- book extract

It’s Autism Awareness Month and each week we’ve shared a series of blog posts on books by, for, and about autistic adults. Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Expanded Edition is an updated edition of the bestselling story of a woman who, after years of self-doubt and self-denial, learned to embrace and appreciate her Asperger’s syndrome traits.

Liane Holliday Willey shares, with insight and warmth, the daily struggles and challenges that face many of those who have AS and charts her inspirational journey to self-acceptance.

“When Pretending to be Normal was published in 1999, I saw society as if a big mesh fence surrounded it. I could poke my fingers through the holey mesh, and see the blurry images on the other side, and put my ear against the tight weave to hear conversations within the webbed walls, but I couldn’t break down the barriers that were so real, they might as well have been made of steel chains. Read blogs and memoirs from those on the spectrum and you will quickly note most of us felt like we were on the outside looking in, always trying with all our might to prove we had potential to offer, kindness to share and skill sets to turn into productive work. We tried everything to just get a foot in the door of the NT world. We knocked and knocked and pleaded and fought and bribed and pouted and joked and offered favors and turned over every leaf to find a way in to typical society until we were exhausted and spent or until we found a way to pretend we were what society wanted us to be. Though our pluses outweigh our negatives, we are different thinkers who can act in ways not always socially acceptable, leaving society confused…”

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.

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.

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.