Parenting Advice from 12 Autistics

Available in Summer 2016

Parenting Advice from 12 Autistics is an advice book for parents and caregivers of autistic children with ideas generated from autistic adults themselves who have reflected on their experiences growing up. It is based on twelve interviews I conducted with verbal, autistic individuals, and includes personal stories and advice from the contributors as well as a few of my own personal essays based on my experience raising my own autistic son. The contributors have varied backgrounds and professions. They include writers, journalists, students, an IT professional, a stay-at-home mom, a hotel services employee, a relationship coach, a data architect and analyst, and a Pulitzer-Prize winning music critic.

Some of the topics discussed in this book include:

  • Studying desirable behaviors
  • Redefining communication breakdowns
  • Discovering and supporting your child’s agenda
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
  • The neurodiversity movement
  • Encouraging self-advocacy and autism acceptance
  • The problem with hiding autism
  • Pursuing meaningful friendships (for you and your child)
  • Educational advocacy
  • Autistic success in the workplace

This book is different from other autism parenting guides in that the advice mentioned has been generated solely from the autistic individuals themselves, and not from other neurotypical parents, medical professionals, or psychologists. It also attempts to teach neurotypical parents different ways of thinking about their autistic children, with instructions provided by the autistic contributors. This includes information about disability rights and examining the impact of how parents speak and act towards their autistic children. This information is especially important to parents and caregivers of autistic children who may not realize how their vigorous attempts to do what is “best” for their children (pursuing every sort of therapy imaginable, and trying to cure or hide their children’s autism) can lead to crippling perceptions of self worth. It is based on the personal experiences of the contributors, divulging what has helped or hurt them as they navigated childhood and adulthood as autistic individuals.