Book review: The Awesome Autistic Go-To Guide: A Practical Handbook for Autistic Teens and Tweens

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Authors: Y.Purkis & T.Masterman
Illustrator: G.Masterman
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN: 978-1-78775-316-7
£12.99

The authors of this short publication both have personal experience with autism and are advocates for the condition in their roles as keynote speaker, author, coordinator of a national support group in Australia and event coordinator for an organisation that supports autistic girls and women.

The book is written from the perspective of two adults who have been diagnosed with autism. They set out to enable the reader to actively engage with their own experience of this learning difference. Its aim to engage with tweens and teens is evident in terms of the book’s layout, vocabulary and overall presentation. It’s short, engages the reader and includes activity sheets to encourage the reader to identify and reflect on how they manage aspects of their condition.

The book addresses the sensitive issue of how people identify. The authors say that they are happy to describe themselves as ‘autistic’, although they recognise that others may prefer other related terms. This is a really uplifting book that recognises the difficulties that its audience is coping with. It provides positive and realistic strategies and support for families and schools in supporting teens and tweens in terms of dealing with issues such as meltdowns and shutdowns. It also helps them explore and recognise positive aspects of the ways that they understand themselves.Families and schools may find this a useful source of support

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