Have students write a collaborative poem or story using Twitter, IM, Edmodo or Facebook. This way, authors can contribute one word, one line, or several paragraphs.

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 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 …

Day 18: Lucy’s Story: Autism and Other Adventures

Posted on April 18, 2014 in Autism

Long before I knew about Carly’s Voice, I knew about Lucy’s Story. Lucy Blackman has a story very similar to Carly Fleishman’s in that she lived for years without the ability to communicate and enjoyed an awakening of sorts in her family life, schooling, and opportunities once those around her could finally see her abilities, needs, and challenges.

I really appreciate how Lucy details her reactions to different approaches and supports (e.g., auditory integration therapy). As a teacher, I have learned a lot about sensory issues and movement differences from this book and have really profited from being able to understand how …

Day 17: Carly’s Voice: Breaking through Autism

Posted on April 17, 2014 in Autism

Like There’s a Boy in Here, Carly’s Voice is written by both a parent and a child. Both sections are captivating, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. In many ways, this is a story of a search for support. We learn of a family’s struggle to find help for their young child and of the ups and downs of their quest. In the end, this is a happy story as we follow Carly from her days of silence to the moments of finding her voice to her life as an advocate and self-advocate.

Carly’s Voice is yet another exciting account of a child without reliable communication who gained access to augmentative communication and shocked everyone around her with her competence and complexity. This is the story of many of the books I am reviewing this month including How Can I Talk if My Lips Don’t Move? , I Am Intelligent, and tomorrow’s selection, Lucy’s Story. These books are such an important …

Day 16: There’s a Boy in Here: Emerging from the Bonds of Autism

Posted on April 16, 2014 in News

Today, Sean Barron is a successful advocate, writer, and journalist, but as a child, he isolated, unhappy, and constantly frustrated. Confused about how to interact with others , he shares that he often felt like an alien—even in his own family.

There’s a Boy in Here-written by Sean and his mother-is such a touching and unique account as we hear family stories from two voices and two perspectives. These dual vantage points helped me a lot in my early days as a teacher, because I had never before considered that the child’s experience could be so different from my own. After reading this book, I would regularly try to …

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