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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 25: Soon Will Come the Light: A View from Inside the Autism Puzzle

Posted on April 25, 2014 in Autism

In my opinion, any review of autism autobiographies has to include the classics. Today, there are many new autobiographies on the market each year, but back in the 1980s and 1990s, these published stories were rare. Therefore, there are a few books that I consider important to the field because they gave us one of the first glimpses into autism; Soon Will Come the Light is one of those accounts. Published in 1994, Thomas McKean’s story takes us from childhood to life in a hospital to adulthood and finally to McKean’s “working truce” with the “normal world”.

The book is broken into three parts (as I see it). It begins with McKean’s life story and details his experience in a …

Day 24: The Reason I Jump

Posted on April 24, 2014 in Autism

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

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 …

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