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The Spectrum Girl’s Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic

The Spectrum Girl’s Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic 2022-08-26


Random Member
V.I.P Member
VictorR submitted a new resource:

The Spectrum Girl’s Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic - Comprehensive and Candid Guidebook for Autistic Youth

This essential go-to guide gives you all the advice and tools you'll need to help you flourish and achieve what you want in life. With practical tips on friendships, dating, body image, school, and consent, as well as looking after your physical and mental health and coping with anxiety and sensory overloads, award-winning neurodiversity campaigner Siena Castellon uses her own experiences to provide you with the skills to overcome any challenge.

Siena Castellon was a 17 year old...

Read more about this resource...
Chapter List

1 About Me

2 The Invisible Autistic Girl

3 Embracing Who You Are

4 The Importance of Being Yourself

5 Managing Your Sensory Sensitivities and Sensory Overloads

6 Taking Care of Your Body

7 Understanding Your Emotions and Looking After Your Mental Health

8 Finding Your Fashion Style

9 Socializing and Making Friends

10 Crushes and Dating

11 Gender Identity: Androgyny, Gender Fluidity and Transgender Girls

12 How to Survive School

13 Bullying

14 Co-Occurring Conditions

15 Navigating the Perils of Social Media and the Internet

16 Celebrating Neurodiversity
Review #29

After being disappointed with the last book I read, I decided to return to the Jessica Kinsley (JKP) catalogue for my next reading, and I think it would be an gross understatement to say that I was delighted with this book. It is absolutely awesome (or as some might say, au-some).

Professor Temple Gradin, in introducing the author to us, reminds us that we are each more than autism, and that just as she is an animal scientist and professor first, and an autistic person and advocate secondly, she complements Siena as a gifted student in math and physics.

Now, this book was published by someone who was 17. How good might it be? Siena, while a young lady, is definitely wise well beyond her years, but just like everyone else on the spectrum, has had her share of bullying and setbacks which she very candid shares with us, so that we can learn from her tribulations. Her infectious enthusiasm shines through, and she also covers topics like online safety, dealing with bulling and gaslighting, consent, identity, and the importance of being yourself – for example, that if you’re fine with your own company, that you shouldn’t feel compelled, even at a teacher’s urging, to make friends. It’s better to have no friends (especially if you’re okay with that) than to have bad friends. For her to be fully comfortable with herself and to be a leader at her age is inspiring (yes, that’s cliché, but I mean it). So often I see autistic youth, especially those who grew up with a diagnosis, be a bit more sheltered and reserved, but Siena is definitely out there, and I look forward to seeing how her career and advocacy work progresses in the years to come.

While the book is targeted to girls, I would say that this is a must read for all teenaged autistic youth – the boys can just skip over the parts on feminine hygiene and brassiere fitting. There’s a lot of details on self care and relationships that to many would seem second nature, but for those of us on the spectrum, these are things that have to be learned (and if you had an autistic parent, there might be some things that you weren't exposed to or taught growing up), and so it’s nice to have a book that reads like you’re talking to a close friend or an older sister looking out for you. The illustrations come in the form of comics which make for a refreshing difference than the usual lists which serve as chapter summaries. Come to think of it, books on autism virtually never have illustrations, so this was really fun.

I have no hesitation in giving this my top 6.0 score and putting this in my top-5 must-reads for books on autism.
I agree with Aspychata. I wish this book existed when I was a teenager lol.
But I'm still going to buy it! Thank you for posting @VictorR
The chapter 14 title makes me want to read the book.

Co-ocurrence instead of co-morbility. Nice!

Conditions instead of Disorders. Great!

Words are great predictors. :)
It is nice to see resources for autistic females by autistic females, especially for teenagers. While the diagnosis gap is closing, autism is still seen as a predominantly male disorder and the resources reflect that. Across the gamut we are seeing positive shifts in awareness and acceptance, but also more research into the extent of the spectrum.

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