Include words on picture schedules & communication systems. Often students with disabilities work with pictures, icons, or symbols for years without having the opportunity to learn the words represented by these images.

This website is dedicated to promoting inclusive schooling and exploring positive ways of supporting students with autism and other disabilities. Most of my work involves collaborating with schools to create environments, lessons, and experiences that are inclusive, respectful, and accessible for all learners.


Day 24: The Reason I Jump

Posted on April 24, 2014 in Autism

The Reason I Jump cover

The latest book to take the field by storm is Naoki Higashida’s The Reason I Jump. The author was born in 1992 and was still in junior high school when the book was originally published in Japan. Therefore, this autobiography is another that will give you a young person’s point of view and a glimpse into the mind of a child who is trying to make sense of the world around him at the same time he is trying to figure out life on the spectrum. This is a poignant read and one that brought me to tears many times.

Look no further than the nearly 1,000 …

Day 23: Atypical: Life with Asperger’s in 20 1/3 Chapters

Posted on April 23, 2014 in Autism

Atypical cover FI

I hope we hear more from Jesse Saperstein in the future as I found his autobiography, Atypical, both an interesting and entertaining read. He covers a range of topics in this book including bullying, family issues, getting through school, dating, a love of the postal system, and even finding a life’s purpose.

Jesse’s trials and tribulations of navigating social situations are a focus of this book, but the story isn’t all about challenges. Much of Jesse’s story, in fact, is about using his gifts and talents to grow, learn, and connect with others. We learn about …

Day 22: Parallel Play: Growing Up with Undiagnosed Asperger’s

Posted on April 22, 2014 in Autism

Parallel Play cover FI

Like some of the other books I have recommended this month, Parallel Play is the story of a later-in-life diagnosis. In an account that is sometimes depressing and often uplifting, Tim Page recalls his life-including his early days as a student-with great detail. He discusses, for instance, how much he loved to talk about his knowledge of the U.S. Presidents and how he enjoyed memorizing sections of the encyclopedia. He also shares that despite these skills, he often struggled in school. He was ultimately saved, however, by his one all-consuming …

Day 21: Twirling Naked in the Streets and No One Noticed: Growing Up With Undiagnosed Autism

Posted on April 21, 2014 in Autism

Twirling Naked in the Streets cover FI

Jeannie Davide-Rivera grew up with autism, but even she didn’t know it. Twirling Naked in the Streets is the story of a child who always had the sense that she was different and constantly felt that she was on the outside looking in.

Jeannie Davide-Rivera had to wait 38 years to understand that the difficulties, differences, and unique way of being in the world had a name- Asperger’s Syndrome. Davide-Rivera’s story begins in her early childhood and takes us all the way to her diagnosis. We learn about her …

Day 20: Life Behind Glass: A Personal Account of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Posted on April 20, 2014 in Autism

Life Behind Glass cover FI

I am always surprised by how few people are familiar with Wendy Lawson’s Life Behind Glass. It is a short and illuminating read and nearly everyone I have shared it with has found it to be both poignant and useful. It is little-known books like Life Behind Glass that made me want to dedicate an entire month to spotlighting autobiographies.

Wendy is brutally honest in her story. She details her time in a mental institution and the difficulties she experienced in getting the right diagnosis. There is a lot of pain and confusion in these pages.

The book, however, is about much more than Wendy’s challenges. There are many notes of celebration in this book, making the story rich, complex and very human. In one of my favorite passages, for instance, Wendy shares how her different way of viewing the world allows her to find and recognize beauty in …

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