How do I tell my child they are Autistic?
A common question that I have been asked and so I wanted to create a workbook or space for children aged 9 to 15 or thereabouts to explore their identity.
Instead of telling kids and teens what Neuodivergence means to them I wanted to create a book that gives young Neurodivergent folx space to explore that for themselves while giving an alternative to the negative medical model that pathologises very human differences.
This book is not just for Autistic kids and teens but for kids who are in anyway Neurodivergent.
How do I tell my child they are Neurodivergent?
Here are the things we talk about in the workbook:
Complex topics are broken down in a child- friendly manner to give children and teens space to reflect on what their Neurodivergence means to them.
- A little intro for kids and teens
- A little intro for adults using this book with kids and teens
- Myths about Neurodivergent people
- Section 1: What is Neurodiversity?
- Section 2: Stuff we find easy
- Section 3: Doing things differently
- Section 4: Stuff we find difficult
- Section 5: What does it mean to be Neurodivergent
- Section 6: Exploring the double empathy problem
- Section 7: How do we co-exist?
- Section 8: How do you feel about Neurodivergence?
- Section 9: Well known Neurodivergent People
- Section 10: Special Interests
- Section 11: Being treated differently
- Section 12: All about me
Who is this book for?
It’s for parents, professionals, teachers, teaching assistants or schools to use with Neurodivergent kids and teens
If you’d like a book to help other people, like peers and school staff understand Neurodiversity then Include is a wonderful program to do just that
Is it all writing?
I’ve left space for sentences and drawings but that’s just for people who like to write and draw so it’s important that other ways of thinking and communicating are supported throughout this book.
It might happen that some parts are filled in, other parts are left blank and other parts are explored through song, art or dance. It doesn’t really matter how sections are explored, it matters that they are explored in ways that suit the child or teen using this book.
What does this book look like?
Here’s an extract:
What is Neurodiversity? What does it mean to be Neurodivergent?
It’s a pretty big word to explain quite a simple idea! We’ll explain it later on in this book. First let’s look at another word because it will help explain Neurodivergence.
That other word is Neurodiversity. This is a word to describe the fact that the world needs all different kinds of people so that we can work well together. Some people are excellent problem solvers, some people are extremely kind and thoughtful, others are great inventors and others are wonderful teachers and carers. And of course there are plenty of other qualities too and different combinations of these.
Some people talk about us having different brains, and that’s true – no two humans have the same brain! Neurodiversity is more than just our brains though and we have a terrible habit of looking at things in segmented ways instead of holistically or as a whole. Neurodiversity means brains, neurology, biology, thinking, feeling, sensing, communicating, interacting and just being.
The problem is that our world isn’t quite set up for all these different ways of being – that’s because of a long history of people in power dividing people by placing one group of people ahead of another. This is called discrimination or prejudice. We’ll talk about these things later on.
If you can think of other qualities and talents that people bring to this world can you write them below or if you don’t like writing much you could talk about them or draw pictures or symbols to show your thoughts. We’ve left the next page blank for you to do that.
Also you don’t have to do this right now. You could take some time and see what you think of maybe in a few hours, days or however long you need to think about it. There is no rush to do any of this work, it’s supposed to be a fun journey for you so you do it whatever way is best for you.