Being autistic, you might come across more challenges than others around you, such as dealing with ableism, discrimination in employment or difficulties in your relationships. Learning to successfully self-advocate will help you to build confidence, strengthen your relationships and ensure your needs are met.
Written by two autistic activists, this book will give you the tools and strategies to advocate for yourself in any situation. It covers specific scenarios including work, school, and family and relationships, as well as looking at advocacy for the wider community, whether that's through social media, presentations or writing. Additionally, the book provides advice on building independence, developing your skills, standing up for others and resolving conflict.
The authors also explore the overall impact of self-advocacy in all areas of your life, building a sense of confidence, resilience and control. Drawing on the authors' extensive experience, this book will help you to successfully prioritise your needs and rights, challenge what is unfair or unjust and make your voice heard.
The ability and opportunity to self-advocate for themselves has been a basic right that has often been denied to many autistic and neurodivergent people. Although these sentiments have begun to shift, there is still relatively little research or information that provides autistic or neurodivergent people or family members with specific guidance for how they can take steps to self-advocate in different contexts. The Autism and Neurodiversity Self Advocacy Handbook goes a long way to fulfilling this gap. The use of practical cases and examples and clear points would be very useful to both autistic and neurodivergent people as well as the professionals and family who work with them. In addition, this book describes self-advocacy in areas of life that have not often been discussed. Particular highlights include chapters on advocacy in old age, social media and relationships. This book makes a significant contribution to current knowledge and is a must have for autistic and neurodivergent teens and adults, and for anyone who supports them.
--Amanda Webster, Ph.D. Associate Professor, University of Wollongong and author of Life on the Autism Spectrum.
Barb Cook and Yenn Purkis are respected advocates who write in an accessible way. This book could be useful for people wishing to become an advocate. We thought the book was most illuminating when the authors share their insights on foundational issues in self-advocacy such as self-awareness, self- determination and awareness of rights. The book has a broad scope and the authors helpfully consider a range of environments such as schools, workplaces or relationships.
--Ainslie Robinson, Working in Partnership Officer/Research Assistant (Autistic Person) and Tom Tutton, Executive Manager, Aspect Practice both at Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)
About the Authors:
Barb Cook is a Neurodivergent Developmental Educator and holds a Master of Autism degree from the University of Wollongong. She is a published researcher on autism and mental health, and recent projects of self-determination and self-advocacy for autistic adults and youth suicide prevention. Barb is a prolific writer, speaker, and advocate on neurodivergence, and is founder of Spectrum Women Magazine, NeuroEmploy and the NeuroDiversity Hub, based in Gympie, Australia.
Yenn Purkis is an autistic and non-binary advocate, author and presenter. Yenn has a Masters degree in Fine Art from RMIT University. Yenn has given a presentation for TEDx Canberra and has been a frequent keynote presenter at autism and disability events for several years. Yenn has a number of awards, including the 2016 ACT Volunteer of the Year award and a number of other awards for community leadership including being nominated for the Australian of the Year award in 2017. Yenn has worked full-time for the Australian Public Service since 2007. They have facilitated a support group for autistic women and gender diverse folks in Canberra since 2011. Yenn has featured in media interviews for many years and was one of four autistic adults featured in the ABC TV documentary Alone in a Crowded Room. Yenn lives in Canberra, Australia.