To coincide with my 200th blog post, I have some BIG NEWS to break! I can confirm that I have officially written a book: Approaching Autistic Adulthood: The Road Less Travelled. It will be published by Panoma Press, it is due to be released in October 2021 (exact date TBC), and it will be available on Amazon as a paperback and eBook. Alternatively, you can buy one directly from me, as I will receive 100 copies nearer the time. If you are interested, you can message me via Facebook (Unwritten Grace – autism and writing) or Instagram (unwrittengraceblogs). Please stay tuned for more information on other available outlets and for the exact release date.
The book is aimed at young autistic adults, and is an informal guide to dealing with topics such as: explaining autism, overload, friendship, dating, college and university, work, being out and about, and disrespectful behaviour. From autistic masking and burnout, to autism and intersectionality, to dealing with patronising and “neurotypical-splaining“, this book covers a range of issues commonly experienced by autistic people.
Throughout the book, I include my own life anecdotes to back up what I am saying and to give the audience something they can relate to. I like to think I’ve packed in a few laughs too! I also include quotes from several autistic friends and acquaintances of mine. They have been immensely helpful to me, and their contributions have enabled me to portray a variety of autistic experiences that my perspective alone would not be able to offer.
Because the way we talk about autism is changing all the time, I have set myself a few rules of thumb. One: I mainly use identity first language, but occasionally use person first language for the sake of autistic people who prefer it. Two: I use the word “Asperger’s” when describing my diagnosis or another situation where that word is specifically used, but say “autism” most of the time. A lot of people are dropping the term “Asperger’s Syndrome” due to Hans Asperger’s association with the Nazi regime, and I am careful to acknowledge this in the intro. Three: I try to avoid any words that make autism sound like a disease.
Finally, please spread the word either online or by word of mouth, and keep an eye on my blog and social media for more information. I am super excited to share with you this project that has taken over my life for the past 15 months. Any support of my book will mean a lot to me, and even more importantly, there are so many things in there that I wish more people understood. Panoma have been really helpful and efficient throughout the process, and I hope to be able to tell you more soon. Until then, here is a picture of the front cover (designed by Panoma):