This book – Living Independently on the Autism spectrum : What you need to know to move into a place of your own, succeed at work, start a relationship, stay safe and enjoy life as an adult on the Autism spectrum, is written by Lynne Soraya, who was chosen as the top 50 most inspiring Autistic people, She writes Psychology Today’s very popular Asperger’s Diary blog. If you are a therapist or a parent of a teenager on the autism spectrum, who is on his/her way to college education, job and living independently, this book will be of immense help to you! Throughout the book, thereis a section called – In our own words, where several adults on the autism spectrum express their views.
The first chapter – skills for self-advocacy, talks about the crucial skill of self-advocacy for setting goals in life, making strategic choices regarding your abilities and expectations of others. It also talks about the developing self-awareness skills through mindfulness practices, reading, observing, theatre and seeking input from others.
The second chapter is Managing emotional and sensory issues, which talks about mindfulness practices and visualization and thinking about your thoughts about anxiety. Lynne goes onto explain the various types of thoughts like black or white thinking, ‘should’ thoughts, catastrophizing, personalisation, overgeneralization, focusing on the negative and relying too much on your emotions. She suggests various ways to overcome these thinking patterns. I really liked this chapter. Differences between autistic and non autistic ways of thinking, developing clarity in communication and many more topics are discussed in this chapter.
The third chapter – Safety, talks about the basics of safety, boundaries, staying physically safe, body language, handling money safely, etc. The next chapter, moving away from your family, has topics like choosing the right living arrangement, time management and prioritization, housework, building a support system and many more.
The chapter – Setting career goals, talks about assessing your own abilities, finding job opportunities, etc. The next chapter – Interviewing for jobs, covers many aspects like preparing for the interview from dressing to resume to how to behave during the interview to post interview. The ninth chapter, Navigating the work place, deals with grooming, niceties, body language, communication, diplomacy and many more. The next chapter – Meeting and making friends deals with strategies for finding friends, keeping friends, etc. The next chapter is all about Dating and Romantic relationships . The book ends with a glossary of Idioms and expressions.
A very thorough and comprehensive book that is very helpful in making the transition from teenage to adults on the autism spectrum. You can purchase it on Amazon India
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