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I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.
Because of the intensity with which many autistic people experience empathy and the focus and depth of commitment that is common for autistic people, we can be particularly well-suited for activism. While not every autistic person will achieve the same international platform as Greta Thunberg, autistic teens can get involved in everyday advocacy in their local communities and contribute toward broader change.
A practical guide to advocacy, this handbook begins with description of the physical and emotional sensations of being an autistic person who feels intense empathy for social justice issues, a description which strongly resonated with me as an autistic reader. The author stresses that advocacy can take many forms, including the arts (the poetry of Amanda Gorman, for example) and that every individual can find a way that makes sense for them to contribute. While written with autistic young adults in mind, the framework for approaching advocacy presented in this book will be relevant to all young people (and some older people, too) with its emphasis on change at the local level, modest goals, and perseverance. Even some of the more autism-specific topics have broader relevance. For example, you don’t need to have social communication deficits to feel at a loss for how to reach out to more seasoned activists online. This book provides practical guidance and case studies on this and many other topics, plus frequent reminders about safety and strategies for preserving mental health and dealing with ableism and bullying. I highly recommend this book to autistic readers and for YA nonfiction collections.