So like I said in the last Articles of Interest post, in the spirit of putting my money where my mouth is I’ve spent the last few months reading books on autism, social skills, and coping mechanisms for living with neurotypicals.
So I read around a dozen books in total. I intended to write a short and sweet review paragraph for each, but some of them said some really useful things so I took notes, and then that became a whole thing. In order to not clog up my blog, I’m going to turn this post into more of a directory – click through to read an excerpt, my review, and a summary of useful concepts for my more extensive reviews.
In order of reading:
A Field Guide to Earthlings – Ian Ford
Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder – Sarah Hendrickx
Nonviolent Communication, 2nd ed. – Marshall B. Rosenberg
Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate – Cynthia Kim
Other books I’ve read but weren’t interesting enough to merit a full review
Because I’m insufferable, here is a quote from my boi michel foucault that aptly summarizes the underlying sentiment of the books that I liked the best:
The definition of disease and of the insane, and the classification of the insane has been made in such a way as to exclude from our society a certain number of people… Nobody is more conservative than those people who tell you that the modern world is afflicted by nervous anxiety or schizophrenia. It is in fact a cunning way of excluding certain people or certain patterns of behaviour.
In other words, having trouble coping with the rhythms and patterns specific to our society doesn’t mean that you’re defective as a human being. It means that society has not cared to make in itself a place in itself for you, because sometimes society flat sucks.
This is disability activism in a nutshell, and a good lens for self compassion. If you take nothing else away from this post, take that.
Major kudos to the r/aspergirls wiki, where I sourced many of these books. And once again a huge thanks to @mykola for writing the twitter thread that started it all.
It has also occurred to me during this binge that there are probably decent guidebooks for people who are neurodiverse in other ways as well, and I should probably hunt them down and give them a read. With decent curation, that doesn’t seem like the worst way to discover universal human experiences that I don’t have (perma). Further reviews possibly to come.