World Autism Awareness Day

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Did you know today (April 2nd) is World Autism Awareness Day? Autism awareness is something close to my heart.

Some facts about Autism:

1 in 100 children have ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

Autism is thought to have genetic links (it is NOT caused by vaccines).

Some symptoms include:

  • sensitivity issues (eg: not being able to cope with lots of noise, dislikes being touched)
  • inexplicable meltdowns (often caused by sensitivity issues or inability to cope with change)
  • specific interests/obsessions (which they may talk about non-stop even if you try to change the topic)
  • not using eye contact
  • may not like being touched (or alternatively may have no concept of personal space)
  • may exhibit unusual/repetitive motor movements (eg: flapping arms)

You can find out more here: Autism Spectrum (Australia) fact sheets

Did you know?

My superhero character Spectrum’s powers were inspired by some of the characteristics of those on the Autism Spectrum (hence her name). You can read about Spectrum, including a piece of flash fiction about her, here on my blog: Spectrum. Or, alternatively, in the charity anthology SuperHERo Tales (all proceeds go towards the Because I am a Girl charity).

SuperHERo Tales cover

In honour of Autism Awareness Day on my Facebook page I’m asking everyone to share the titles of books about characters on the spectrum or which have ‘blue’ in the title (as people are encouraged to sport blue for Autism Awareness today). Share some titles in the comments below and I will share them on my Facebook page!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “World Autism Awareness Day

  1. Dear Jo,
    I would love to get hold of a list of those favourite characters on the spectrum. I was trying to find it on facebook but had not luck. can you pass on the link??? h
    Having Apspergers myself, it is very hard to relate to anyone I see in books or films. However, those characters that have resonated with me were Adam, from the film ‘Adam’, Sherlock Holmes’ character from TV series ‘Elementary’ and Will Grahman from the TV series ‘Hannibal’.
    Books like the ‘Rosie Project’ and ‘The Case of a Dog in the Nighttime’ are fine for a meander but don’t allow the reader access to the character, as of course, the author really has no idea what it’s like being inside an AS head. Film seems to show it much better. One day people will stop ‘observing’ us and just ‘listen’ to us instead. Then they might uncover something worthwhile.

    • thegracefuldoe

      Hi Alyssa. I didn’t get much response on Facebook (mostly because Facebook doesn’t seem to be showing up page on my followers’ newsfeeds lately). The couple of responses I did get were:

      The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (which, of course, you mentioned).

      Just Another Kid by Torey Hayden. (I haven’t read it, but the person who suggested it said it’s a true life story by a teacher of kids with special needs and one of the kids is autistic.)

      The Asperger’s Awareness Community Facebook page quite often posts topics on book recommendations and is worth following as they get a lot of responses. https://www.facebook.com/aspergersawarenesspage?fref=ts

      Have you read any of the Sherlock Holmes books/stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? I found his character in the books comes across as Asperger-like.

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