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Nurturing Your Autistic Young Person

A Parent’s Handbook to Supporting Newly Diagnosed Teens and Pre-Teens
Regular price £14.99
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As the parent of a child recognised as autistic as a pre-teen or teen, it can often feel difficult to find the answers you need. Children who make it to late primary/early secondary age before being picked up by the system tend to present with traits that are harder to spot, meaning it can be harder to engage professionals in the diagnostic process and gather the necessary support.

Cathy Wassell, CEO of Autistic Girls Network, has tailored this handbook to support parents with older children or teenagers who are at the identification stage, walking them through the basics in an engaging and accessible manner. She addresses key challenges for this age group, including co-occurring conditions, puberty, and safeguarding, as well as looking to the future, advising on schooling options, and beyond.

Designed to help parents become fully informed and ensure a nurturing and positive environment for our autistic young people, this is a guide with a focus on difference - not deficit.
  • Published: Dec 21 2022
  • Pages: 288
  • 214 x 138mm
  • ISBN: 9781839971112
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Press Reviews

  • Joanna Grace, author and founder of The Sensory Projects

    When a parent is told their child is autistic they instantly enter a world of misinformation and bias, often propagated by big organisations who claim to want to "help". Many parents inadvertently end up following advice that causes harm. Cathy's book offers the practical insight and guiding hand to help parents of autistic children navigate in what can be a confusing landscape as they journey to understand and embrace their child's neurotype.
  • Sarah Wild, Headteacher, Limpsfield Grange School

    Cathy's lived experience shines through - from the conversational tone and reassurance offered to the reader; the book is an easy to use, warm and wide-ranging guide to parenting an autistic teenager. I can see that this book will help countless families, and will be relevant for years to come.
  • Dr. Wenn B. Lawson (PhD) CPsych AFBPsS

    This guidebook does what it says! All of us need nurturing, we also need help to find our way. For our young people this book maps the way forward from wherever you are on the autism journey. It aids the avoiding of potholes, wrong turns and dead ends to open up a road to less stress and increased confidence.
  • Dr. Mary Doherty, founder of "Autistic Doctors International" and “Autistic Med Students”

    Autistic children and young people thrive when adults in their lives understand and support them effectively, but for adults new to the world of autism this can pose a confusing challenge. This wonderful book provides the answers needed by parents or teachers of a newly identified autistic child or young person. Accessible and comprehensive, full of practical examples and strategies, the neurodiversity-affirmative approach outlined here will promote wellbeing and help prevent future mental health problems for autistic young people.
  • Georgina Durrant, author of ‘100 Ways Your Child Can Learn Through Play’ and Founder of The SEN Resources Blog.

    Parents and teachers of autistic children, you need Cathy's book on your bookshelf! I'm genuinely excited about the positive change this book may bring in ensuring parents and professionals understand autistic young people better.
  • Beth Bodycote, creator of the 'Not Fine In School' Facebook group

    Cathy provides the information parents really want to find when they seek to understand how best to support autistic young people. This book offers a wealth of easy-to-follow explanations, reflections, and practical tips which are clearly based upon Cathy's extensive knowledge and lived experience. This is sincere parent-to-parent peer support in book form.
  • Claire Farmer, local government SEND advisor and co-Chair of Autistic Girls Network.

    Everything in this book resonates on so many levels. A must whether you're a parent, teacher or someone who, like me, reads it and is still astounded by how much feeling different shouldn't have to be so difficult. Affirming, passionate and timely if we are to explode the medicalised myths around autism.
  • Elizabeth Shea, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

    This is a hugely informative book that addresses with empathy and sensitivity the issues that autistic teens and pre-teens may have. The emphasis on strengths and differences rather than 'deficit' or 'disability' is brilliant and it is an inclusive read, embracing as it does, the neurodiverse universe. I am sure it will be a reassuring, supportive and invaluable resource for any family at the start of their autism journey.
  • Luke Beardon, Senior Lecturer in Autism at Sheffield Hallam

    Cathy's book is up to date, accurate, astonishingly rich, full of invaluable information, and I would put it in the bracket of imperative reading for any parent of an autistic child - and anyone who wants to have a better understanding of autistic children. I have rarely read such a superb autism-related book - more than highly recommended!
  • Ellie Costello, Director, Square Peg CIC

    No stone has been left unturned in this wonderfully accessible, comprehensive cornucopia guide for parents and carers. The inclusion of 'real people' voices in the case studies throughout is particularly powerful and combined with the almost limitless information, advice and resources, this book is a must have for anyone wishing to support their late diagnosed teen or young adult.
  • Dr. Felicity Sedgewick, Senior Lecturer in Psychology of Education at Bristol University

    This book is a fantastic addition to the literature out there on how to understand and support autistic young people. Getting your diagnosis after the early years still involves all kinds of difficulties, and Cathy Wassell talks through these in a friendly and informed manner, with personal insights and case studies which illustrate the challenges and the joys of being autistic. There is a wealth of knowledge and advice inside which will be invaluable for anyone working to help autistic young people thrive.
  • Judith Hebron, Associate Professor in Psychology with Education at the University of Leeds

    This fascinating book provides an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of autism for parents wishing to learn about autism and how to support their autistic young person. While not shying away from the challenges that an autistic young person may encounter, Cathy adopts a strengths-based approach that focuses on embracing neurodiversity and nurturing the young person to develop their true identity. The book is very readable, and the resources provided at the end allow parents to explore areas further if they wish.
  • Lynn McCann, Autism Specialist Teacher, Trainer and Author

    This book will help any parent and their autistic daughter understand autism and prepare for an assessment. The book is full of practical information about autism which allows you to explore together your daughter's own profile on the spectrum. The book is easy to read and would enable you to gather all the evidence you could require towards the diagnosis assessment. What I love about this book, is that it also gives you ways you can support your autistic daughter, now, before the official diagnosis. It is common for people to worry about doing the 'wrong' thing and as you understand your daughter, you will find the 'Living well with autism' section really helpful and positive. Because our autistic girls should feel positive about who they are and the future that is ahead of them.
  • Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

    This marvelous book is like a trusted friend who can relieve your worries and confusion while explaining the most promising approaches to raising a happy, healthy, and creative autistic young person. It condenses a tremendous amount of useful information into an engaging and friendly read. I'll be buying multiple copies to give away.
  • Theresa Baldry-Lee, family support adviser

    Positivity comes through on every page, and the inclusion of case studies from 'real people' only enhances the validity of this book. You feel from reading this book that the author is not only knowledgeable but that she is writing from the heart - it definitely is an au-some book!