After an adult autism diagnosis I hear these questions:
“What should I read?”
“Do you recommend any resources?”
Whether they’ve been reading everything they can find or they’re brand new to learning, they all want to know more.
Narrowing down the best resources grows harder every year, as I read and consume more and more by neurodivergent authors and creators. Below are my current top recommendations for folks with a new diagnosis… but there are sure to be new favorites in the days to come!
1. Neurotribes by Steve Silberman
Silberman’s journalism skills and personal passion for learning about autism come together in this beautiful, far-reaching book written from an neurodiversity-affirming perspective. (Note, he is not autistic.) He takes you on a journey from the early days of research to our modern understanding of what it means to be autistic.
2. Unmasking Autism by Devon Price
Price, who is autistic, is also a social psychologist and professor deeply invested in helping other autistics learn to unmask. This book is both educational and illuminating. I couldn’t stop reading. (Masking is the phenomenon of camouflaging and assimilation to typical culture as best as one can, at the great risk of harming oneself in the process.)
3. We’re Not Broken by Eric Garcia
Garcia, a well-known political journalist, began writing about autism to change the narrative in the media. Autistic people aren’t broken, and they aren’t all white males who work in tech. Garcia’s book speaks to his own experience but also brings in the varied profiles of other autistic adults to round out his excellent work. I especially loved learning how autistics seek help in their areas of challenge in order to shine in their strengths. (A great lesson for us all, I think.)
4. I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder by Sarah Kurchak
As you can tell from the tongue-in-cheek title, Kurchak has a wonderful sense of humor. I love this description of her book: “Kurchak examines the Byzantine steps she took to become ‘an autistic success story,’ how the process almost ruined her life and how she is now trying to recover.”
5. Divergent Conversations, a podcast by Dr. Megan Neff and Patrick Casale
The day I learned they were joining forces on a podcast, I swear I heard angels sing. Dr. Neff and Patrick are AuDHDers (autistics who have ADHD), mental health therapists, and entrepreneurs. They tackle the hard topics everyone is talking about and do so with such grace and authenticity that I sometimes smile, sometimes tear up, and always – always – nod my head in agreement or appreciation. My clients are loving this one.
Remember – You’re already amazing.
After your or your loved one’s adult autism diagnosis, you’ll likely have questions. Take them at your own pace. Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Start with one resource, maybe even one short blog post, and learn as you go. And remember – you are (or your loved one is) still the same person as before; now you have a new way of understanding your strengths and challenges and accepting yourself just as you are.
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