Starting with Autism Awareness

October is Disabilities Awareness Month. In Canada, it is also Autism Awareness Month. And October 14 is Indie Author Day. With all of these things converging, I decided to highlight a book by an autistic author friend of mine: The ABCs of Autism Acceptance, written while Sparrow Rose Jones.

In discussing the importance of making autism part of our conversation, the author, Maxfield Sparrow, reminded me:

…awareness is a start, not an end goal, and should be followed by understanding, acceptance, and when someone is ready to go there, celebration.

Maxfield Sparrow

Mr. Sparrow is a determined advocate for neurodiverse individuals and other minorities. He is an example to me of someone willing to put himself in the line of fire to fight for the rights and improve the lives of others. This is his second published book, the first was No You Don’t: Essays from an Unstrange Mind. He blogs at Unstrange Mind, where he can also be booked for speaking engagements. You can follow him on Facebook.

I hope you will pick up one of Mr. Sparrow’s books as you are enlarging your awareness of and acceptance and celebration of autism and neurodiversity this month and in months to come.

In The ABCs of Autism Acceptance, Sparrow takes us through a guided tour of the topics most central to changing the way that autism is perceived, to remove systemic barriers to access that have traditionally been barriers to Autistic participation in some sectors of society. They also take us through the basics of Autistic culture, discussing many of its major features and recent developments with a sense of history and making the current state of the conversation around this form of neurodivergence clear to those who are new to it, whether they are Autistic themselves or a friend/family member looking for resources to help themselves support the Autistic people in their lives more fully.

While it is impossible to capture the full scope and diversity of Autistic communities—and there are many of them out there—this book does serve as an important conversation starter, a primer, and a humble guide to the world. In these 26 short essays, you will find most of the topics most often blogged about by Actually Autistic authors, including footnotes, resources, and references to other writers whose works continue the conversations that start here.

 

Tell me what you think!


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