Books

Books by autistic authors

Caroline Hearst (Ed.) Being Autistic – Nine adults share their journeys from discovery to acceptance.
Welcome book for people newly identified or diagnosed as autistic, produced and written by autistic people. The book contains the stories of very diverse autistic adults who share their responses to discovering and accepting their autism. It offers an insider view of the autism constellation to people becoming aware they inhabit it. This book is published by AutAngel. Visit the book’s web page for more information.

Luke Jackson. Freaks, Geeks and Aspergers Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence
Written when the author was thirteen, this is readable and informative, although with some over-generalisations.

Jean Kearns Miller (Ed.) Women from another planet?: Our lives in the universe of autism.
Highly recommended stereotype buster. Written by many different autistic women, this is a colourful weave of stories about what it means to live life on the spectrum as a woman.

Kamran Nazeer. Send in the idiots: stories from the other side of autism.
Nazeer started life as a “low functioning” autistic, and grew into a high status civil servant. He writes entertainingly about his visits to some of his classmates from the school for the autistic he attended. Some are highly successful, others less so; all are interesting to read about.

Dawn Prince-Hughes. Songs of the gorilla nation: My journey through autism.
A beautifully written book, the autobiography of a “misfit” who remarkably became an academic and an international authority on gorillas and also on autism despite her earlier difficult life.

Donna Williams. Nobody Nowhere and Somebody Somewhere.
In these autobiographies Donna writes of her struggles to integrate her sense of self with the “real world” and create a life worth living while coming to terms with her autism and its needs. Compelling reading.

Clare Sainsbury. Martian in the Playground.
Many first-person accounts of the experiences of children growing up on the autism spectrum.

Lucy Blackman. Lucy’s Story.
This is the autobiography of a non-speaking autist with an impressive academic record. She has a brilliant way of portraying life as she experiences it and how this affects non-autists.

Liane Holliday Willey. Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Liane writes of her childhood and growth into adulthood and her search for a sense of self: how she used coping strategies such as copying others to appear normal; the effects this had on her until she came to be diagnosed and created for herself a stronger concept of who she was and what she wanted to be. This is a great book to be read along with her other book “AS in the family”.

Dinah Murray (Ed). Coming out Asperger: Diagnosis, disclosure & self-confidence.
Subtitled “Diagnosis, Disclosure and Self-Confidence” this book is a useful mixture of pieces by people on the spectrum, parents and professionals edited by a professional who herself came out as autistic later in life.

J. Elder Robison. Look me in the eye: My life with Aspergers.
An excellent and well written account of a young man growing up knowing he was different but not knowing why.

Books by authors who don’t identify as autistic

Steve Silberman. NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently
An erudite and engrossing book giving an overview of autism in a broad social context.

Kelly Mahler. Interoception: the Eighth Sensory System.
A very useful book describing the physiological basis of some autistic traits and giving practical suggestions for addressing challenges.

Self-help books

Valerie Gaus.  Living Well on the Spectrum. This is a detailed strengths-based approach to the challenges of autistic life that many will find invaluable.

Emma Sargent & Tim Fearon  How You Can Talk to Anyone in Every Situation. Not specifically written for autistic people but more useful than many social skills workbooks.

Other resources

Autism Matters has a comprehensive resource page which you may find useful.

Videos and podcasts

1800 Seconds on Autism From home and family to humour and epic geekiness, this is a funny and enlightening podcast about thinking differently. With autistic hosts Robyn Steward, Jamie Knight and guests.

St. Clement’s Practical Autism is a set of twelve short video guides written, produced and narrated by Yo Dunn on practical autism topics such as diagnosis and identity (that video includes our book ‘Being Autistic’ as a recommended resource), communication both pre-verbal and verbal, coping with change, gender identity, social skills, etc.

My Story

My story is a lovely presentation made for 7 year olds (and heart-warming for any age) of how Anne Moxom experienced growing up autistic.  Anne has generously allowed Caroline to share this – please thank her (email address at end of presentation) if you find it useful; it will mean a lot to her.

Organisations

Autscape organises an annual 3 day conference/retreat run by and for autistic adults. Please note that for 2020, the conference is online only.

ARGH (Autism Rights Group Highland) is an inspiring advocacy group run by and for autistic adults in the Scottish highlands.

National Autistic Society (NAS) website has wealth of information and great resources but there is so much that it can be hard to navigate to find what you want. They operate a free helpline from 10 – 3 on Mondays to Fridays on 0808 800 4104 but it can be hard to get through as it is so busy. NAS can also be contacted for enquiries online.

Network Autism is an NAS-sponsored forum and site for anyone who works with autistic people in a professional capacity.

Courses

University of Kent Understanding Autism course.

Nikki, an AutAngel director, says: “The future learn understanding autism course gives a good grounding in the current understanding of autism and is presented by autistic presenters. The course is appropriate for anyone wanting to learn more and being able to message other learners through the platform adds to the learning experience.”

Posters

NAS posters about autism for staff in GP’s surgeries, useful basic information to offer any health provider.

Apps

Apps which are not specifically designed for autistic people, but which may be useful.

Habit tracking apps

Loop Habit Tracker (Android)

HabitShare (Android and iOS)

HabitBull (Android and iOS)

Bar code alarm clock apps

Bar Code Alarm Clock (iOS)

Sleep as Android (Android)

Forums

AutAngel private Facebook support group. This is a small group, open to AutAngel members. If you would like to join this group, please contact us.

Constellation model

The autism constellation model was designed by AutAngel’s founder Caroline Hearst and made by an autistic woodworker to demonstrate to participants in her autism awareness courses why autism is best described as a constellation.

Autistics are often classified along a spectrum with abilities on a linear scale. This neat continuum, however, does not match the more complex reality. Some autistics will find some tasks very easy some days and impossible to do at other times; individual profiles tend to be spiky and changeable. The constellation model offers a more comprehensive representation. The autism constellation model is a wooden model representing the human constellation (the autistic people are represented by the balls at all the different extremes of the model) and shows the diversity of autistics and their spiky profiles.

Constellation model

The springs and the balls can be rearranged. ​The picture below shows what can happen to autistic people when support or a suitable environment is removed:

For information about the making of the autism constellation model visit every-inch.

Material: wood and metal for the model
Dimensions: 215mm (w) x 170mm (d) x 190mm (h)

The constellation model is not currently available for sale. If we find ways to make it available again, we’ll update this page.