Neurodiversity Celebration Week and Neurodiversity Pride Day are worldwide celebrations of individuals who think, move, communicate, and process information differently. This global initiative aims to transform how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported by recognizing their unique strengths and talents and designing an inclusive and respectful culture that honors differences and empowers all people.
In recognition of #NeurodiversityCelebrationWeek and #NeurodiversityPrideDay, we encourage people everywhere to discover more about the power of neurodiversity and how we can best support our neurodiverse peers.
To get started, check out these books and webinars written and presented by some of ARI’s neurodiverse collaborators. They cover topics such as masking, learning styles, education, co-research strategies, and more.

Neurodiversity Books

Taking off the Mask: A Practical Guide for Managing Autistic Camouflaging and Mental Health

By Dr. Hannah Louise Belcher 

taking off the mask book cover'I realised I had been camouflaging my whole life - I'd been trying to mask my autistic traits and fit in with all the non-autistic people around me.'

Growing up autistic can often feel as though you have to become a chameleon in social situations, camouflaging yourself to fit in with a seemingly neurotypical world. Combining lived experience with scientific research and practical advice, this book is the essential guide to understanding why you mask and how to feel confident without one.

Focusing on diagnostic devices like the Camouflaging Autistic Traits Questionnaire (CAT-Q) to discover the situations in which you mask the most and why, alongside a range of techniques, from CBT, compassion-based therapy, DBT, and mindfulness to relieve anxiety and reduce stress, this guide gives you all the tools and confidence you need to re-connect with yourself, the things you love and finally, take off your mask.

For more content related to this author: 

  • Read our article on Women in Autism, which includes quotes from Dr. Belcher.
  • Watch this webinar on Delayed and Missed Diagnosis of Autistic Women, presented by Dr. Belcher.

Different Not Less: Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism, Asperger's, and ADHD

By Dr. Temple Grandin

Temple’s primary mission is to help people with ASD and ADHD tap into their hidden abilities. Temple chose contributors from a wide variety of skill sets to show how this can be done. Each individual tells their own story, in their own words, about their lives. From relationships, bullying, making eye contact, honing social skills, and eventual careers, these stories have something everyone can learn from.

Different ... Not Less shows how, with work, each of the contributors:

  • Found mentors
  • Learned skills necessary for employment
  • Became successfully employed
  • Developed self-con¬fidence
  • Faced the challenges of forming and maintaining relationships and sometimes raising families

If you’ve read the first edition, you’ve only gotten half the story. Temple Grandin and these amazing contributors proudly display their growth as they take us along on their journeys.

For more content related to this author: 

The Passionate Mind: How People With Autism Learn

By Dr. Wenn Lawson

Dr. Lawson examines traditional theories about the autism spectrum (AS) and reveals their gaps and shortcomings. Showing that a completely different way of thinking about AS is needed. He sets forward the theory of Single Attention and Associated Cognition in Autism (SAACA), an approach that explains autism in terms of the unique learning style of AS individuals. The SAACA approach suggests that whereas neurotypical people can easily shift their attention from one task to another, those on the autism spectrum tend to use just one sense at a time, leading to deep, intense attention. From the perspective of this new approach, Dr. Lawson describes practical outcomes for individuals, families, and places of education and employment and shows that when the unique learning style of AS is understood, valued, and accommodated, AS individuals can be empowered to achieve their fullest potential. This is a fascinating read for anyone with a personal or professional interest in the autism spectrum, including clinical practitioners, educators, researchers, individuals on the spectrum and their families, teachers, occupational therapists, and other professionals.

For more content related to this author: 

Concepts of Normality: The Autistic and Typical Spectrum

By Dr. Wenn Lawson

For those with autism, understanding 'normal' can be a difficult task. For those without autism, the perception of 'normal' can lead to unrealistic expectations of self and others. This book explores how individuals and society understand 'normal' in order to help demystify and make accessible a full range of human experiences.
Dr. Lawson outlines the theory behind the current thinking and beliefs of Western society that have led to the building of a culture that fails to be inclusive. He describes what a wider concept of 'normal' means and how to access it, whether it's in social interaction, friendships, feelings, thoughts, and desires, or various other aspects of 'normality.' Practical advice is offered on a range of situations, including how to find your role within the family, how to integrate `difference' into everyday society, and how to converse and connect with others.
Accessible and relevant to people both on and off the autism spectrum, this book offers a fresh look at what it means to be `normal.'

Neurodiversity Webinars

Maximizing Neurodiversity: Education & Jobs

In this webinar, scientist and psychiatrist Lawrence Fung, MD, Ph.D., discusses what neurodiversity is and how increased awareness and support benefit not only neurodiverse individuals but the global population as a whole. He outlines the Strengths-Based Model of Neurodiversity and presents the newly implemented Stanford initiatives for neurodiverse student and employment support.

Watch Webinar

Webinar Screenshot

Autism Research: Nothing About Me Without Me

In this webinar, ARI board member Dr. Wenn Lawson discusses the concept of neurodiversity and how it relates to creating a more inclusive society. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing that there is no "normal" brain and that everyone's brain is wired differently. This diversity in thinking and processing information should be celebrated and used as a strength. The concept of neurodiversity applies to all people, not just certain individuals, and we need to create environments where everyone can thrive and be successful, regardless of their unique differences. The video also discusses the broader concept of diversity and how it's important to recognize and celebrate the unique strengths and talents of each individual.

Watch Webinar

Let’s recognize the heroes among us!

April 10th, 2019|News|

Last April, for autism awareness month, we encouraged individuals to share the heroes in their lives. The response was overwhelming! We received hundreds of photos from around the world. We loved reading