It’s only January, and I have already read three amazing books by (and with) Autistic authors
What a year for Autistic Authors already!
I am so excited about all of the incredible books that have been published, and are soon-to-be published, by Autistic authors.
I am sure I will miss some, and for that I apologize in advance — these are the books which have stood out most for me, and have been incredibly relatable to my own personal journeys of parenting and self-discovery.
Here I review my three favourite books by Autistic authors, all published within the past four months. One was technically released in October 2022, but books which are released in the U.S. and U.K. often take a long time to make it to Canada.
So without further ado, here are my reading recommendations.
What I Mean When I Say I’m Autistic, by Annie Kotowicz
As a fellow late-identified Autistic woman, this is the book I needed just when I needed it. The precision and elegance with which Annie describes her experiences are beautiful in their complexity and specificity at once.
I identified with about 90% of the book, and the other 10% will help me better understand my son and other Autistics in my life. I highly recommend this book for fellow Autistics, as well as anyone who has an Autistic loved one or close friend.
Your Child Is Not Broken, by Heidi Mavir
This book is honest, hilarious, and REAL. I loved this book. Heidi Mavir is funny AF. She writes with no B.S. and doesn’t hold back.
Parents of Autistic and neurodivergent kids will relate so hard to her experiences and will feel less alone after reading this. You may cry, you will laugh, and you will learn.
I Will Die On This Hill
Co-written by Meghan Ashburn and Jules Edwards, this is the book the Autistic parent and “Autism mom” communities have been needing so badly.
Our community, like any, has divisions.
On one side, we have well-meaning parents who have been fed misinformation by people they trust, like doctors, psychologists, and educators.
On the other, we have Actually Autistic adults trying to counter that misinformation and educate parents in efforts to advocate on behalf of Autistic children.
Meghan Ashburn is an allistic parent to Autistic children who has learned (sometimes the hard way) to listen to Autistic adults and to use her privilege to lift up the voices of Autistics.
Jules Edwards writes from an intersectional lens as an Indigenous Autistic parent of Autistic children. White Autistics who have struggled to understand and empathize with people from communities more marginalized than our own (Black and Brown Autistics, for example), should absolutely read this book, paying careful attention to Jules’ messages.
This book is transformative. It’s honest, raw, and should be in the hands of every single parent of Autistic children, regardless of whether that parent is Autistic or allistic.
Honourable mentions from 2022
Unmasking Autism, by Devon Price
Unmasking Autism describes Dr. Devon Price’s personal experience with masking; blending history, social science research, prescriptions, and personal profiles to tell a story of neurodivergence that has thus far been dominated by those on the outside looking in.
Dr. Price’s book inspired one of my articles about masking.
Standing Up For Myself, by Evaleen Whelton
The Autism and Neurodiversity Self Advocacy Handbook
Co-written by Barb Cook and Yenn Purkis
Workplace Neurodiversity Rising, by Lyric Rivera
The Awesome Autistic Guide for Trans Teens
Co-written by Yenn Purkis and Sam Rose
(but not soon enough)
A Day With No Words, by Tiffany Hammond
Different, Not Less, by Chloé Hayden
Autistic Mirroring, Masking, & “Unstable Personality”
My Favourite Books About Autism
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