"If you have met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism."
- Dr. Stephen Shore
April is considered by many to be “Autism Awareness Month” and April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. This April, join us as we move beyond ‘Autism Awareness’ toward understanding, accepting, and appreciating the diverse experiences and contributions of autistic and neurodivergent people!
As a neurodivergent mom of two amazing neurodivergent kids, this is an area of passion for me and one that I will continue to develop as time goes on. When entering into topics like this, I always want to point out that I am not an expert. While I have a very solid understanding of my own neurodivergence and how it impacts my life, I am not an expert in Autism and Neurodiversity Awareness or Inclusion Advocacy in general. I’m learning and sharing what I discover along the way.
In this post you will find resources for kids as well as resources for parents and teachers who want to grow in their own knowledge and understanding of autism, neurodiversity, and inclusion.
Virtual Author Visits
As part of our ongoing Beyond The Stereotypes event series, this April we are welcoming autistic and neurodivergent authors to share their stories and talk about their experiences living with brains that work a bit differently. All events in this series are available for free or by donation and can be enjoyed live or via the recording at a time that works best for you!
All About Autism & Neurodiversity!
This Virtual Classroom includes informational videos and read aloud books about autism, neurodiversity, and inclusion. To keep students safe, all YouTube videos are linked through SafeShare which removes advertisements and suggested videos. We recommend you preview all videos to ensure they are appropriate for your learners.
Below is a selection of picture book featuring autistic or neurodivergent characters – many written by ‘own voices’ authors. This means the authors have personal, lived experience with the disabilities featured in their books giving an authentic representation and moving readers beyond the stereotypes associated with these disabilities.
Many of these books are also featured as read aloud videos in the All About Autism & Neurodiversity Virtual Classroom!
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means we may get a small commission if you purchase an book from list. This helps us to be able to continue offering affordable learning experiences and resources that spark joy, wonder, and a love of learning.
As you learn more about autism and neurodiversity, I encourage you to find resources that have been created by (or in direct consultation with) members of the autistic or neurodivergent communities. Check out these helpful videos, downloads, and websites for links to even more helpful resources.
- A Novel Mind: a resource for exploring children’s literature that deals with mental health and neurodiversity issues.
- Autism Acceptance: a website created by ASAN – a nonprofit organization run by and for autistic people.
- Reframing Autism: an autistic-led non-profit organization that celebrates autistic identities and empowers autistic individuals.
- Not An Autism Mom: book lists and resources that foster positive, neurodiversity affirming perspectives.
More to come...
The resources in this post are really just a cursory introduction to get students (and grown-ups) thinking about celebrating diversity through the lens of disability and are by no means intended to be seen as a comprehensive or complete package. As always, I welcome your feedback on our resources and appreciate any suggestions you may have. Feel free to comment on this post or send me a message directly.
~ Hayley Legassie
Lead Educator – Joyful Learning