Writing and Autism: Build Confidence and Connection Through the Written Word

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Writing and Autism: Build Confidence and Connection Through the Written Word

Getting your kids to write anything down can feel impossible—especially if you’re the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, who may be minimally verbal or reluctant to use language in the first place. One recommendation that we often make to parents, particularly as their children enter the teen years, is to seek out stories and personal experience writing from other people with ASD.

While it’s important to talk to specialists and learn as much as you can from researchers, it can be just as important to listen to the stories of other people who are going through the same things that you’re going through. More importantly, for kids with autism, writing that reflects their thinking and their experience can boost their confidence, make them feel more connected to the world around them, and give them hope and a sense of belonging.

Best Autism Blogs and Other Resources

The voices of autism have traditionally been vastly underrepresented, but there are still a number of high-quality blogs and publications parents can use to learn more about how their children are processing the world and to help their children connect with a first-person account. Here are a few of our favorites:

Emma’s Hope Book

This blog is interesting, because it began as a way for Emma’s parents to share their stories and experiences, but soon became a way for Emma to express herself after she learned to type at age 12. Emma is a minimally verbal child with autism who also happens to be an amazing writer. We love her description of how she feels trying to get the right words to come out of her mouth: “There’s not a direct line between my brain and my mouth.  It’s more like an elaborate maze.” While her parents still contribute to the blog from time-to-time, it is now mostly a vehicle for Emma’s short stories, reflections, poetry, art, and experiences with autism.

James’ Diary

This online diary is written and maintained by a 17-year-old boy with Asperger’s. In his writings, James discusses things like sensory overload while trying to take a test at school, what it feels like when his routine is disrupted, and friendships and other relationships. In addition to writing, James also records video diaries from time to time. While the diary is a few years old and may now be a little dated, it’s still a useful resource for teens looking for a familiar story to connect with.

Pittverse Magazine

This is a quarterly online and print publication that’s written and produced entirely by adults (age 18 and older) on the autism spectrum. The articles include everything from reviews of favorite restaurants in town to personal experience stories from childhood. The most recent issue, for instance, includes an interview with a special education teacher who works with children with autism and an article about how to manage meltdowns as an adult with ASD. The magazine content is entertaining and informative—and the writers are paid for their contributions.

Willow Hope’s Vlog

For those who are more visual learners, vlogs can also be a fantastic way to connect with other people with autism. Willow Hope has a popular Youtube channel about living with Asperger’s. Her four-part series about what it’s like to be a woman with Asperger’s is particularly informative and helpful.

The Mighty

While there are a number of communities or aggregate blogs that focus on autism, The Mighty is perhaps the most diverse and the most popular. Bloggers at The Mighty write about all different kinds of disabilities and conditions, which are searchable by topic.

Wrong Planet

Forums can also create a great opportunity for children with autism to express themselves, to read other first-person accounts of the issues they’re facing, and to connect with people who have shared experiences. Wrong Planet maintains an active forum where people with autism discuss everything from sarcasm and dropped social cues to independent living and looking for work.

At the Springbrook Autism Program, we work with your child to discover which treatments and therapies will have the best result. Our goal is to promote growth and independent living for every child, using whichever means are most effective for each individual. Contact us today for a private consultation or to tour our campus.