As March comes to an end, Amazon have presented a new challenge in sifting through books on autism. Now there’s not just notebooks to skip past, there are multiple books which appear to be either erotic fiction or outright porn in German and French. With titles that translate to things like “Love for beauty” and “Just look sec in one wanted love” (I feel like something was lost in the translation of the latter one…). And none of them appear to have any relevance to disability or autism!
Also, with the recent news that Amazon were removing books which promoted dangerous ‘cures’ for autism, there seemed to be less books wildly claiming that CBD oil and mindfulness will cure children of autism so that was positive!
Mostly to amuse myself, I decided to keep a running rally this month as I scroll through the search terms. That’s total numbers of Notebooks, Porn and Cure books, with the grand totals tallied at the end of this post.
In an effort to highlight autistic writers, I decided to split up the post into more manageable sections and start with autistic authors. Obviously, I can only go by the information I have available on the book entry online or by quick Googling so some people, especially those not particularly vocal about their autism, may be missed. Happy to move people into this section where I have missed them.
‘Got ASD? Give it a go’ seems to be a short memoir written by autism adult Dan Trott, interestingly it seems he went into sales as a career. Daniel Williams also has a memoir out this month in ‘My Voice: Faced with Autism’ and has a similar premise of wanting to share how challenges in life were overcome. There’s also ‘Misfit: autistic, gay, immigrant, changemaker’ by
Annie Bowes writes about ‘Dogs and Autism’ and how her love of animals shaped both her life and her career path, including looking into how dogs can be good companion animals for autistic people. Stephen Bloom has written what seems to be an autobiography and hints and tips type book for autistic people based on his own experiences in ‘You are not alone’ and a book about more general autistic experiences in ‘The World Through Autistic Eyes’. ‘Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic’ is written by comedian, Michael McCreary, and his experiences growing up and becoming a stand-up comedian.
Disability activist, Alec Frazier, released the 2nd edition of ‘Veni! Vidi! Autism!’, which brings together a collection of essays, interviews and literary analyses, and Barbara Moran released her autobiography after receiving a late diagnosis of autism in ‘Hello, Stranger!’. A children’s book called ‘Little Parrot’ was released by Shayna P. Stipakov.
‘Becoming an Autism Success Story’ seems like it should be an empowering book written by an autistic adult, Anita Lesko, but there’s some parts of the summary which just make me squirm. Such as “Visualization and neuroplasticity to “rewire” the brain for success”.
Given that I will be Tweeting about #AutisticAuthors through April, I will add these to my every growing excel sheet which is to keep me organised for April!
‘Gingerly’ I think is a romance book where the son of the love interest is autistic so autistic representation is possibly not front and centre for this book. The reviews mentioned that the main character has PTSD so perhaps a sensitive portrayal of disability/mental health could be a part of this. Then there’s a second romance novel out in March which looks like it has a similar plot-line (and an autistic child), ‘Lola & The Man’. I anticipate more in April…
Not romance, but yet another book featuring an autistic child – this time involved in some kind of key plot-point and whether that is done well would await to be seen – is crime novel ‘The Man with No Face’. I’m always looking for new crime novels to read so it’s possible I’ll end up reading this and seeing how well the autistic child is written. And I’m not sure if there’s romance in ‘Stars so Bright’ but it’s about a single mother trying to navigate disability services in Hollywood…unusual premise at least.
There’s the forth volume in a series I hadn’t seen before called Planet Ripple, which is a Sci-fi comic where the main character is autistic and an amputee. The first volume has some favourable reviews from autistic people so I will see about checking this out.
‘It’s Not Easy Being a Superhero’ is a book about Sensory Processing Disorder which aims to help children with SPD understand their senses and why they might be different to their peers, as well as why the world around them can be confusing or overwhelming.
Children’s book, ‘Bat and the End of Everything’ continues the short series of Bat and the skunk kit Thor – I reviewed the first book in the series in February. And Sesame Street’s Julia is back in ‘Julia’s Circle of Friends’ where she stands up for another child with autism at summer camp.
My New School: A Transition Book to Personalize is a template book for supporting school staff making transition books for students. It is 14 pages long and the Kindle version is over £7. Unless they are the most amazing 14 pages in the history of visual supports, that sounds like a bit of a cashing in on misinformed staff/parents maneuvre. I’ll be giving that a miss. More intriguing is ‘Autism: What Does It Mean to Me?‘ which seems to be a workbook for autistic people to accept their differences and needs and communicate that to the rest of the world.
Parent biographies are multiple again this month – some sounding better than others. ‘Living Life Through Their Eyes, Our Journey On The Autism Spectrum‘ sounds disjointed and confusing from the synopsis alone, for example, though there is certainly an abundance of enthusiasm from the writer about working with his daughter to meet her needs. ‘Never Give Up: Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster of an Autism Parent‘s summary reads like a standard hints and tips of being an parent of an autistic child type book. ‘Beyond the Diagnosis’ seems like a similar book, although the author has children with disabilities other than autism as well. A book written about an adult son is ‘A Normal Family: Everyday adventures with our autistic son’, and I am certain I have seen the second part of that title in another book…unless this is a rerelease and that’s where I remember it from.
A sibling biography this month touches on the topic of death as Jeremy Morantz writes about the life and unexpected death of his autistic brother in ‘What Does He Dream About?’.
Tangentially linked to autism is a book called ‘Ricochet’, about an “assistive aid dog” who surfs with veterans and disabled people. It claims to be about how Ricochet became a support dog and the training involved so that could be interesting. There’s another surfing and autism book out as well this month, ‘Waves of Healing’, but it sounds very cure/recovery based.
There’s a text-book which appears to combine case studies and research about the sensory experiences of autistic adults, ‘A Sensory Sociology of Autism’ which is, as many textbooks are, incredibly expensive. Maybe I’ll locate it in a library somewhere!
There’s a resource book for drama for autistic children, aimed primarily at teachers and therapists, ‘Using Drama with Children on the Autism Spectrum‘. ‘Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women’ was released to mixed reviews – it seems to be an introductory guide rather than a more in-depth offering. ‘Simple Autism Strategies for Home and School’ claims to be written from a child’s point of view of life with autism but I couldn’t find anything online to indicate whether the author was autistic herself or not.
Out of 973 books the amount which were:
Cure Books: 6 (0.62%)
Erotica/Porn Count : 18 (1.84%)
Notebook Count : 710 (72.97%)
That is correct – over 70% of the “books” in the autism search result were in fact notebooks or journals…no wonder it’s so awful to go through these pages every month!