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Learning From Autistic Teachers

How to Be a Neurodiversity-Inclusive School
Regular price £22.99
Regular price Sale price £22.99
In this strikingly honest collection, developed from a pioneering new research project, autistic teachers and other autistic school professionals share their stories of the challenges and successes of their careers. Contributors challenge assumptions and stereotypes whilst highlighting the unique strengths autistic staff can bring to schools when their own needs are accommodated.

The book explores exclusion and identity, understanding and acceptance, intersectionality and facilitating inclusion. It also celebrates the positives that come with being an autistic teacher, such as relating to neurodivergent pupils and conveying passion and enthusiasm for a subject through intense interests, or demonstrating particular skills in school leadership. It examines how workplace set up can sometimes exclude autistic individuals and lead to skilled teachers and those in other education roles, including visiting professionals, leaving the profession, and sets out the accommodations that can prevent this from happening.
  • Published: Apr 21 2022
  • Pages: 208
  • 228 x 152mm
  • ISBN: 9781839971266
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Press Reviews

  • Dr Clare Lawrence, Senior Lecturer in Teacher Development and Head of Participatory Autism Research, Bishop Grosseteste University

    In this wonderful book autism is allowed to assume its rightful position as an exciting, challenging and enriching element to be celebrated in the diversity of our classrooms. Autistic teachers and school staff have so much to give; this book articulates the difficulties, certainly, but also shares the warmth, the enthusiasm and the humour that an open autism presence brings to our schools. Highly recommended.
  • Richard Mills, AT-Autism, The John and Lorna Wing Foundation, University of Bath

    Rebecca Wood brings together stories from the autistic teacher community that will impact conventional autism narratives and cultures of schools. This book challenges lazy, or harmful stereotypes about autism, but from the 'inside-out', and invites the reader to experience perspectives that are rarely explored, and yet vital to cultural learning and change. It is a landmark publication in recognising the strengths associated with autism in the teaching profession, and mitigating the challenges faced by autistic teachers.
  • Sarah Parsons, Professor of Autism and Inclusion, University of Southampton, UK

    A highly compelling and original book that is a 'must read' for anyone interested in inclusion and education. Insights gained from the personal narratives and experiences of autistic teachers provide powerful opportunities for discussion and reflection on what truly inclusive environments and practices could, and should, be. Written in a highly accessible and engaging style, this book helpfully challenges the dominant narratives of autism through illustrating inclusive practices and connecting these with current research theories and priorities.
  • Dr. Wenn B. Lawson (PhD)

    When it comes to autistic pupils, schools are crying out for support. There is no better way to engage support than to listen to and accommodate autistic voices; especially those of autistic teachers and other autistic staff. This book echoes so many necessary and informed experiences, practices and means for real inclusion. It should always be 'Nothing about us, without us'.
  • Annelies Verbiest, co-author of The Everyday Autism Handbook for Schools.

    This book provides a wide range of insightful and illuminating perspectives from rarely heard voices: autistic teachers. The authors not only discuss their own personal experiences but give practical suggestions on how to support autistic teachers and how their particular interests can be used to benefit the school. This polyphonic work is hopefully the beginning of a larger and long overdue discussion of how we can make our schools a more inclusive place for all.
  • Chris Bonnello, autistic advocate, author and specialist education teacher

    This excellent anthology of voices from autistic professionals and academics is an immensely valuable read, and one which fills an urgent gap in autism understanding. This book will be a vital tool not just for teaching staff aiming to understand autistic perspectives, but for increasing the expectation within educational fields for the voices of autistic professionals to be heard, valued and learned from.
  • Peter Vermeulen

    If there is one place where we can start building a more inclusive society, it is at school. It is the children of today who will shape society tomorrow. Of course, this mission can only succeed if today's school itself is inclusive. And it's not just about the students, it's about the teachers as well. Like no other, this book shows the added value of autistic teachers.
  • Charlene Tait, Deputy CEO of Scottish Autism

    An essential read for any education leader or professional. It will open your eyes to the benefits of opening your ears and listening to autistic staff members. You, your school, and your learners will be the richer for it.
  • Kabie Brook, Autistic activist and advocate, Co-founder of Autism Rights Group Highland, National Autistic Taskforce Director

    An honest insight into the world of autistic educators, sharing their passion for the profession and showing the true depth of empathy that they have for their students. This book is a valuable resource for all educators, parents and policy makers, as well as autistic people considering a career in education and those wishing to support their autistic pupils and colleagues. We must nurture our autistic and otherwise neurodivergent educators and recognise their true value not just to autistic students but to the profession as a whole.
  • Professor Liz Pellicano, Macquarie School of Education, Macquarie University

    This is a wonderful and hopeful book. The powerful, perfectly crafted chapters reveal the crucial contribution that autistic teachers can make to education. The inspiring and diverse range of contributors also means that those lessons are drawn from many with their own experience and insight. It is a vital read for all those who care about autism and education.
  • Meghan Ashburn ~ Creator of Not an Autism Mom and That Au-Some Book Club, Educational Consultant, author, and teacher

    Finally, a book that harnesses the professional experience and personal insights of autistic educators! Learning From Autistic Teachers is a must-read for anyone dedicated to making our schools more inclusive and accessible.
  • Fergus Murray, autistic teacher and co-founder of Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh (AMASE)

    This book offers a rare degree of insight into what autism is, and what it means in a school environment. These autistic educators have seen what autistic children go through in education, from both sides. Schools will always be neurodiverse places, both among the children and the staff; to be truly inclusive, they need to get to grips with what neurodiversity means in practice. The writers here are exceptionally well placed to help them to do that.
  • Professor Sue Fletcher-Watson, Professor of Developmental Psychology, University of Edinburgh

    Schools that aim to be informed by the neurodiversity paradigm must engage with neurodiversity amongst school staff as well as pupils. Harnessing the expertise of neurodivergent school staff can promote creative and effective solutions to the challenges of true inclusion. This must-read volume of perspectives from autistic educationalists makes an essential contribution to that effort.
  • Dr Prithvi Perepa, Lecturer in Autism Studies, University of Birmingham

    There are a number of books which focus on how to make a school setting inclusive for students who have been diagnosed with autism. This book focuses on the experiences of autistic teachers where each individual shares their struggles and successes and provide information on what worked for them to be successful teachers. It is also about self-discovery and the importance of understanding autism at a personal level. This is a useful book for anyone who is interested in understanding lived experiences, and for those who are considering of making organisations inclusive for staff with different needs and strengths.
  • Kristen Bottema-Beutel, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Special Education at Boston College

    This book should be on the syllabus of any teacher training program. Each chapter provides expert insight into the strengths and challenges faced by autistic educators with vivid and empathic illustrations of their day-to-day lives. Contributors make compelling calls for systems-wide adaptations of school environments to accommodate sensory, communication, and other differences. It also provides the next generation of autistic educators with practical strategies for navigating educational contexts, and using autistic strengths to benefit the most marginalized students. Both autistic and non-autistic school professionals will learn much from this book.
  • Barbara Sandland, University of Birmingham, MA Autism (Children), PGCE Special Educational Needs

    When we consider autism and education, the focus is inevitably on children and their learning. The authors of this book challenge this by bringing together an array of autistic voices from the UK teaching profession. Contributors share their diverse experiences; in doing so, they demonstrate the importance of recognising autism across the ages and the impact a culture of diversity and inclusion can have on both staff and students alike....This book would be useful to educators, researchers and autistic people wishing to gain an introductory understanding of the strengths and challenges of being an autistic teacher in the UK education system.