World Autism Awareness Week 30 March – 5 April

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It is World Autism Awareness Week from 30 March to 5 April. During this week the National Autistic Society is spreading awareness and trying to increase acceptance of autism.

Last year, over four thousand schools signed up and took part in awareness and fundraising activities in their school. It’s so incredibly important that students are learning about autism so they can better understand their classmates.

1 in every 100 UK school child is autistic, and over 40% of these say they have been bullied at school. Schools therefore play a huge part in promoting better understanding of autism and supporting their autistic pupils.

Only 16% of autistic people are in full-time employment and this needs to change. With small adjustments and better understanding, it could be easier for autistic people to find employment, put their talents to good use and thrive in the workplace.

On Saturday 4 April people will be taking part in the National Autistic Society’s biggest walking fundraising event of the year. Spectrum night walks will be taking place on the streets of London, Glasgow, and Manchester to raise awareness of autism.

Wokingham Libraries have books for parents and teachers to support children and teens on the autism spectrum and guides for adults. Here is a selection of titles to reserve via the library online catalogue https://www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries/library-services/search-renew-and-reserve-items/

He’s not naughty! : a children’s guide to autism / Deborah Brownson MBE

Fed up of everyone not understanding her friend Jake, Taryn candidly explains her understanding of autism, and why Jake’s behaviour isn’t naughty! This text is a quick and fun way for children aged 6-10 to learn about autism and the vibrant illustrations provide a unique visual representation of what it’s like to be autistic.

Our autistic lives : personal accounts from autistic adults aged 20 to 70+ / edited by Alex Ratcliffe.

Spanning six decades of experience, this collection of first-hand accounts from adults with Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism is about ageing with an autistic mind and the advantages and challenges that different eras in life can bring. It highlights common themes, such as the difference made by a diagnosis, to unite the experiences.

The little book of autism FAQs : how to talk with your child about their diagnosis and other conversations / Davida Hartman ; illustrated by Margaret Anne Suggs.

Empowering and practical, this guide is the perfect companion for parents who are finding it difficult to tell their children about their autism diagnosis. It provides a realistic yet uplifting approach to autism, treating it not as a disability but as a difference. Not telling children about their autism diagnosis can have a significant negative impact on their mental health; by equipping parents with a language of positivity around autism, the book will make a difference to many children on the spectrum. It advises on how and when to talk to autistic children with both high and low care needs, and provides guidance on supporting children’s relationships with peers at school, as well as how to broach the conversation with the child’s siblings.

Coming home to autism : a room-by-room approach to supporting your child at home after ASD diagnosis / Tara Leniston, Rhian Grounds.

This friendly book offers a blueprint for family life with autism by using rooms in the home to represent key developmental areas. There are ideas and routines to try at home, including advice on toilet training, diet and nutrition, sensory play, and much more, and you can dip in and out of chapters as you need information.

A practical guide to happiness in children and teens on the autism spectrum : a positive psychology approach / Victoria Honeybourne.

Give a young person with autism the tools to grow up healthy and happy, with this practical guide to emotional wellbeing. Informed by positive psychology (also known as the science of happiness) and filled with activities, this is a refreshing resource for helping young people build lasting foundations for resilience, self-worth and happiness.

A Normal family : everyday adventures with our autistic son / Henry Normal and Angela Pell.

Johnny is 19. He likes music, art and going to the beach. He is also autistic – he will probably never get a job, never have a girlfriend, never leave home. And over the last 18 years this is what his father, TV producer and comedy writer Henry Normal and his wife Angela have been trying to come to terms with. This is a book for anyone whose life has been touched by autism – it’s about the hope, the despair, and the messy, honest, sometimes hilarious day-to-day world of autism, as well as a wonderful, warm book about the unconditional, unconventional love between a father, a mother and a son.