World Autism Day is April 2nd and we are here to share some information on what you can do today and every day to be in solidarity with the Autistic community.
Some important information to note, is that historically speaking many people have supported Autism Speaks, an organization who has looked for a cure for Autism for many years. Many autistic individuals have asked to step away from supporting an organization who lacks Autistic leadership roles and supports finding a cure as opposed to supporting Autistic individuals. Autism does not need to be fixed; it should be met with understanding and learning. As opposed to wearing blue and supporting Autism Speaks, consider donating to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and wear read instead (an initiative started by autistic individuals in opposition to the light it up blue movement started by Autism Speaks). In honor of today and every day, here are some books we recommend having in your classroom/at home library:
Liam’s First Cut by Taye Jones is a fun and relatable story that weaves together the beauty of fatherhood, community, and neurodiversity. With the barbershop as the backdrop readers follow Liam approach a major milestone - his first visit to the barbershop. as Liam, an autistic Black boy, prepares for a day he has been waiting for- for quite some time. With the help of his Dad and use of other supports, watch Liam manage expectations and process sensory information as he prepares for his big day. It is a story that embraces differences, while also celebrating the things that unite us.
Alex and the Drummer: An Inclusive Story Featuring an Autistic Child by Laura Hales is a beautiful book about a young boy on the spectrum and like many ASD children, routines are important to his day. One part of his routine is greeting the inflatable drummer that stands outside a store. But when the drummer is unplugged and that routine is disturbed it takes Alex, his mom, and a kind worker to bring the drummer back to life.
Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book by Celeste Shally is a book about Matt. Matt’s autism doesn’t keep him from having fun! Even when he struggles in social situations, his friend is there to help him out. The two boys love playing sports watching movies, reading books, and talking about animals. By working together, a best friend’s understanding and compassion change Matt’s frustration into excitement. This is a beautiful look at supporting autistic children as opposed to fixing them.
My Rainbow by Trinity and DeShanna Neal is the beautiful story of a Black trans girl on the autism spectrum. When Trinity wants long hair like her dolls her family comes together to find her a wig that represents the beauty of Trinity. This book is a celebration of people being their authentic selves and the people in their lives celebrating them for who they are.
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