Neurodiversity: Books, blogs and podcasts for holiday reading & listening!

Happy Holidays! For everyone who likes to curl up with a book, website, podcast or film, we are sharing some of our favourites this season.

All the Weight of our Dreams. Ed. Lydia X.Z. Brown et al. This phenomenal anthology of essays and other writings by Autistics of Colour includes work by one of A4A’s founders, G.A., among other writings that educate & inspire. A must-read!! 2017. DragonBee Press. Lincoln, NE.

Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement. By Steven K. Kapp. This is a completely free book—free!!—with research and essays on some of the most crucial topics of our times. Essays include “My Time with Autism Speaks”, by John Elder Robison, articles about Autscape,  autistic culture, media representations, diagnosis, history of the neurodiversity movement and a crucial essay by Shain M. Neimueller and Lydia X. Z. Brown on the movement to stop shock torture at the Judge Rotenberg Centre. Go Steve Kapp for making sure the content is free! 2019. Read it here.

Inclusive Education for Autistic Children.
By Rebecca Wood. Research into practical methods for making classrooms inclusive for autistic kids, with the added bonus of an intro essay on the theme of “what is autism,” throwing into question much of what mainstream researchers think they know about us. (!!) Share with the educators and practitioners in your life. 2019. Kingsley. London, UK.

Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking. Ed. Julia Bascom. A diverse collection of essays written by and for Autistic people. Includes historical, foundational classics by some of the pioneers of the neurodiversity movement. Much flapplause for this anthology! 2012. The Autistic Press. New York, NY.

By Steve Silberman. Breathtaking in its thoroughness, a history of the clinical concept and diagnosis of autism, cultural experiences and interpretations of us, the origins of the neurodiversity movement and more. Send a copy to your health care provider too! 2015. Avery Press. New York, NY.

Nothing Without Us. Ed. Cait Gordon & Talia C Johnson. Realistic and speculative fiction with disabled protagonists, co-edited by Talia, one of A4A’s co-founders. Bold, funny, insightful and poetic–it is a page turner! 2019. Renaissance Press. Toronto, ON.

The Autism-Friendly Guide to Periods. What?? YES. Yes, someone finally wrote this book! autistic author Robyn Steward, this is a detailed guide for young people aged 9 to 16 on the basics of menstruation. Created in consultation with young people, an online survey and medical professionals. Informative, accessible and awesome. 2019. Purchase online

Alliance Against Restraint and Seclusion. The Alliance’s mission is “to influence a change in policy so that restraint and seclusion are not used in schools. In reducing and eliminating the use of restraint and seclusion, schools will become safer for students, teachers, and staff.” Amen to that! To support, learn and connect, visit their website, which also has social media info:

Autistic Hoya. This comprehensive website is by Lydia X. Z. Brown, a disability justice advocate, organizer, educator, attorney, strategist, and writer whose work has largely focused on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people, especially institutionalization, incarceration, and policing. Their website is an invaluable resource on these and other issues, with detailed information about the Judge Rotenberg Centre for activists and researchers as well. Check it out!

Autistic Self-Advocacy Network. The umbrella group for much of the neurodiversity movement in the US and Canada, ASAN has done an amazing job of creating informative, accessible, principled content that supports autistic people across all our intersectionalities. Well worth reading & worth sharing.

Foundations for Divergent Minds. FDM is a framework designed by neurodivergent people for use by families and professionals working with autistic and neurodivergent children. FDM works on the principle that when a child struggles it is because their surroundings need to be adjusted. FMD focuses on areas including: Sensory Integration; Executive Function; Communication; Social Interaction; and Emotional Regulation. FDM is a portable, affordable approach that is based on equity and access. YES!

In The Loop About Neurodiversity. This website by student and autistic advocate Cassandra Crosman is not to be missed!! It covers the full spectrum of issues in our community with useful resources for education and taking action on our human rights as well as insightful, concise analysis of key issues facing our community. Also on social media.

Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. Just great: essays, articles and so much more, primarily by #actuallyautistic people, with the basic principle that the experts on autism are autistic people! PS: TPGA is also a book, soon to be updated. Link:

Deej: Inclusion Shouldn’t Be a Lottery. This Peabody-award winning documentary covers 6 years in the life of D.J. Savarese, a young, nonspeaking autistic writer. This film exploring the power of inclusion and what it is like to mediate the world as a nonspeaking person. As Savarese writes: “I won the lottery when my parents adopted me from foster care; I won it again when they included me in regular education.” Don’t miss this film! Streaming or DVD available here.

Unspoken. This is a point-of-view documentary film about the life, ideas and perceptions of Emma Zurcher-Long, a 14-year-old autistic girl with unreliable speech. It focuses on the right to—and the importance of–communication access, as well as covering complex issues of family, friendship and the stories we tell in our culture about what autism is–and isn’t. Streaming here.

Wretches & Jabberer. This film chronicles the world travels of disability rights advocates Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, who faced a future of social isolation in adult disability centers until their lives changed when they got access to AAC. It follows them on a world tour to educate about autism and AAC. As Larry observed: “nothing I did…convinced people I had an inner life until I started typing.” Available to stream here.

This podcast is by Autistics United Nova Scotia chapter leader Alex Kronstein and is dedicated to neurodiversity, shifting perceptions, and changing the conversation about all forms of neurodivergence. So much to learn from this diverse, divergent podcast! On Soundcloud here

Noncompliant. This podcast by Anne Borden King explores children’s rights, disability rights, neurodiversity, pseudoscience and social control. Interesting guests from a range of fields, all neurodiversity-positive! Launched 2019, ongoing on iTunes, Stitcher and on its website.