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The Autism Spectrum According to Autistic People

Autism neurodiversity

The Guide is here! Understanding the Autistic Mind 1

image is colorful and resembles the header with rainbow color broad strokes of paint. features the book title.

It’s time that we finally release the first notebook, Understanding the Autistic Mind, Volume 1. We believe that if you are a parent, teacher, service provider, partner, or even autistic yourself, this guide will really make a difference in how you understand autism.

Originally written in Spanish and translated to English, the collaborators and endorsers of this guide— linked on page 2— hope you enjoy this labor of love and journey to acceptance.

You can download the full version from below, but here are links in case your device is not displaying it for any reason:

Download Understanding the Autistic Mind 1 in English:

Full version (PDF)
Accessible version with larger text and fewer images (PDF)
Plain text version for screen readers (ePub)
Plain text version for screen readers (PDF)

Descargar la guía Comprender la Mente Autista 1 en Español:

Click aquí para descargar la versión completa (PDF)
-Click aquí para descargar la versión de texto plano para dispositivos de lectura (ePub)
Click aquí para descargar la versión de texto plano para dispositivos de lectura (PDF)

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25 Responses

  1. It’s really great!

    Odd question… do you have one without the grid pattern in the background? I’m not used to reading text with backgrounds like that and I’m finding it kind of challenging.

    1. Hi Please can you post without the background, its messing with my brain.. Irlen syndrome and grid lines are not a good mix.. Thank u

  2. this is amazing, thank you! are there/could we start projects for translations into other languages? (for instance i can help with german)

  3. Hey, I’m pretty sure your link to what should be the Spanish epub is just the English one again.

  4. As the neurodiverse mother of an Autistic young man, I found this guide to be right on point! I’ll be sharing this far and wide!

  5. I’m autistic and an expert in autism. I have a graduate degree in psychology and worked in counseling. I’m a certified secondary education teacher with fifteen years of experience working directly with autistic students. I’m married to an autistic man. I parent an autistic child. I am autistic. I work with hundreds of autistics regularly and have interfaced with thousands. I am the CEO of an autistic led nonprofit corporation with an autistic board, administrators, editors, leaders, and 300 contributors. I am also a regular for PsychCentral, where I write about issues related to autism.

    I endorse this guide entirely as being representative of the autistic experience.

  6. I love this! As a psychologist who works with autistic people and has an autistic son myself, this is golden and sorely needed. This will be my go-to resource for my clients.

  7. I’m an Autistic adult with two Autistic children that I homeschool. I am a pastor and community organizer with a lifelong focus in psychology, sociology, particularly trauma-informed approaches and mental health advocacy. This is a fantastic resource! I read the descriptions to my twelve year old daughter who immediately responded with, “how do they already know me so well?!” This is the kind of content we need because far too much of what describes Autism gets it drastically wrong, leading to compounded trauma for many of us, including medical trauma from ignorant professionals.

  8. I am an autistic professor and occupational therapist and will give this to every new family I meet as a resource.

    Disabled people are the experts on disability. This guide is critical in recalibrating supports and services to be truly client-centered.

    I am thrilled for allied professionals to have such in-depth insight into autistic living.

  9. I am autistic and a parent to three autistic girls. I am also clinical psychotherapist and supervisor and this guide speaks to my loved experiences and those of my children and the clients I work with.

  10. I’m a late-diagnosed autistic mother of two strikingly different autistic teens. For the past 20+ years I have worked with many neurodivergent young people as a registered psychologist.

    I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this guide, as it is only by listening to actually autistic voices that we can understand what it’s actually like to be autistic. Whet helps us and what doesn’t. If you take anything from this, it’s that you must LISTEN to the autistic person in your life, and TRUST that their experiences are true and valid. Remember that many autistics preferred communication method may not be speaking, especially when stressed. Respect this too. Allow and respect other forms of communication as necessary and valid.

    Although I did not know I, too, was autistic until about 18 months ago, I always knew from my connection with the young people I worked with and then by parenting my own neurodivergent children, that the much of what was being taught to the medical and other professional communities about autism just didn’t jell with what I was seeing through my own experiences with autistic people.

    The deficit-based stereotypes of autism only applied to a small subset of autistic individuals, and those who varied from those stereotypes were just being missed. Or misunderstood. Or incorrectly diagnosed. And especially, had the motives for their behavior or actions judged harshly and incorrectly.

    Please. Listen.

    Please.

  11. As someone who was diagnosed later in life, and is in the early stages of discovering who I am as an autistic person, I found this guide informative, reassuring, and thought-provoking. I have already shared it with a lot of people I know, and am definitely going to make sure that I go through the whole guide with my wife so I can point out the things that most describe my experiences. This really is a great contribution.

  12. As a parent to an autistic child, I think this is very excellent and helpful. Well done!

  13. This guide describes me quite adequately. Especially in the empathy part, because when I see someone else in pain or going through certain things, I basically feel a similar sensation. Like when someone’s using a needle, I have to look away because I feel as if I’m receiving the needle too by watching them go through it.

  14. I thought the content in this guide is excellent and highly recommend it. I have worked with autistic children over the last 13 years and am an autistic mother, consultant and speaker. I look forward to reading more material in this series!
    (I echo some of the concerns regarding the background graphics, but great this is being addressed.)

  15. Thank you for 2 things.
    1. for posting this. I’m a self-diagnosed autistic female and over the past few days I’ve realized just how many traits I shared, with this confirming a lot of it.
    2. For posting plain text. I’m not visually impaired, but the original document created visual overload for me.

    This is amazing. Will share.

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