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My Top 10 Books About Neurodiversity

"We don't know what we don't know". I always like to broaden my understanding of various topics, and I believe it's important to try to absorb as many perspectives and experiences as possible. For me, this comes via the medium of books and audiobooks. Currently, I am trying to widen my understanding of neurodiversity so that I can also spread awareness so here are my Top 10 (so far!).

Women with ADHD are frequently misdiagnosed. Because their symptoms were neglected or discarded, too many women grew up being labelled as lazy, selfish, spacey, or unintelligent. Women tend to internalise shortcomings as character failures. This attitude affects one's self-esteem and feeds a sense of shame and frustration. The turning point is understanding the mechanics and gaining the necessary knowledge about your condition. Accept and embrace the syndrome, stop trying to be "normal," and be proud of yourself. You don't need a mask!

The mission of this book is to empower you to achieve your goals. When you recognise all the fantastic qualities and strengths ADHD gifted you, you are ready to shine. Use your talents to live the life you always wish for.

In What I Want to Talk About popular autism advocate Pete Wharmby takes readers on a journey through his special interests, illuminating the challenges of autistic experience along the way. Funny, revealing, celebratory and powerful in equal measure, this is a book that will resonate with many, and which should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand autism with more accuracy and empathy.

"This engaging, witty, and bracingly honest book brings to light the life-giving passion and intensity of autistic 'special interests,' describing with the vividness of lived experience the distinctive ways that autistic people explore and make sense of the world."

Many parents fear an autism diagnosis, worried about this label that their children will have to wear. But getting a diagnosis and early intervention is the best thing that could happen. Your concerns are validated and above all, you can access the help and services available. Here comes the big but! A diagnosis can take months, usually years. And this can be detrimental to your child’s well-being. Yet, there is an array of things you can start doing at home to better understand the needs of your child and support their development—without the need for qualifications and professional experience. This book offers so much support for parents of autistic children and what they can do at home to support their child's needs before professional help is an option.

Neurodiversity at Work is a practical guide that explains what neurodiversity is, why it's important and what the benefits are. It covers how to attract, recruit and engage neurodiverse talent and provides guidance on how to adapt HR policies, processes and workplaces to ensure that all employees, including the 2 in 10 employees in the UK who are neurodiverse, can reach their full potential. Also featured are interviews with prominent figures in the neurodiversity community and people who have successfully adapted their HR processes for neurodiversity, including members of the ND@IBM Program and the Head of People and Culture at Autotrader.

Many of us experience adversity and trauma during childhood that has lasting impact on our physical and emotional health. And as we’re beginning to understand, we are more sensitive to developmental trauma as children than we are as adults. ‘What happened to us’ in childhood is a powerful predictor of our risk for physical and mental health problems down the road, and offers scientific insights into the patterns of behaviours so many struggle to understand. Through wide-ranging and often deeply personal conversation, Oprah Winfrey and Dr Perry explore how what happens to us in early childhood – both good and bad - influences the people we become. They challenge us to shift from focusing on 'What’s wrong with you?' or 'Why are you behaving that way?' to asking 'What happened to you?'.

The modern world is built for neurotypicals: needless noise, bright flashing lights, small talk, phone calls, unspoken assumptions and unwritten rules – it can be a nightmarish dystopia for the autistic population. In Untypical, Pete Wharmby lays bare the experience of being ‘different’, explaining with wit and warmth just how exhausting it is to fit in to a world not designed for you.

But this book is more than an explanation. After a late diagnosis and a lifetime of ‘masking’, Pete is the perfect interlocutor to explain how our two worlds can meet, and what we can do for the many autistic people in our schools, workplaces and lives.

Diagnosed with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) in his teenage years, Harry Thompson looks back with wit and humour at the ups and downs of family and romantic relationships, school, work and mental health, as well as his teenage struggle with drugs and alcohol. By embracing neurodiversity and emphasising that autistic people are not flawed human beings, Thompson demonstrates that some merely need to take the "scenic route" in order to flourish and reach their full potential. The memoir brings to life Harry's past experiences and feelings, from his torrid time at school to the peaceful and meaningful moments when he is alone with a book, writing or creating YouTube videos.

If you have anxiety now, or have battled with it in the past, this book will help you understand yourself better and give you the tools to stop anxiety dominating your life.

The advice in this book is simple, straightforward and easy to implement. BUT there is no magic to it. You need to read this book with an open mind and try as many of the strategies you can to find exactly what works for you!

Following on from his groundbreaking article 'The Geek Syndrome', Wired reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years. Going back to the earliest autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle while casting light on the growing movement of 'neurodiversity' and mapping out a path towards a more humane world for people with learning differences.

Have you ever had a strange urge to jump from a tall building, or steer your car into oncoming traffic? You are not alone. In this captivating fusion of science, history and personal memoir, writer David Adam explores the weird thoughts that exist within every mind, and how they drive millions of us towards obsessions and compulsions. 'One of the best and most readable studies of a mental illness to have emerged in recent years . . . an honest and open and, yes, maybe life-changing work' – Matt Haig, Observer Told with fierce clarity, humour and urgent lyricism, this extraordinary book is both the haunting story of a personal nightmare, and a fascinating doorway into the darkest corners of our minds. David has suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) for twenty years, and The Man Who Couldn't Stop is his unflinchingly honest attempt to understand the condition and his experiences.

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