Teach recess monitors about inclusive practices. Encourage them to connect students to each other and to suggest or facilitate structured games on the playground.

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.

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

Posted on April 23, 2014 in Autism

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

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

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

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 …

Day 19: Look Me In the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s

Posted on April 19, 2014 in Autism

I bought Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison because of the picture on the book cover. So many on the autism spectrum have communicated that eye contact is painful and stressful. Some have even shared that making eye contact is a barrier to listening. Many authors of autobiographies discuss the need for “gaze avoidance” in their books, but only Robison integrated this challenge into his title and into his book jacket. They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but this autobiography sold me at first glance.

If you find yourself puzzled by …

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