Sincerely, Your Autistic Child:
What People on the Autism Spectrum Wish Their Parents Knew About Growing Up, Acceptance, and Identity
I am a co-editor and contributing author of an anthology on autism and gender published by Beacon Press. Sincerely, Your Autistic Child, which has received a starred review from the Library Journal and became a #1 Amazon bestseller during its first week of publication, features several contributors from a previous AWN work that was published by DragonBee Press with co-editors, Emily Paige Ballou and Sharon daVanport, who also edited the previous publication. The anthology also features a new group of contributing authors, and is available in softcover, hardcover, e-book, and audio book formats. It can be purchased anywhere books are sold – Barnes & Noble, Penguin Random House, Amazon, GoodReads, Waterstones, etc.
*All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism
All the Weight of Our Dreams is the first ever anthology on race and autism. Conceived of and led by activist Lydia X. Z. Brown, the book was co-edited by Lydia, E. Ashkenazy and myself; I also contributed some chapters as well as the preface. The following quote from the anthology provides a helpful synopsis: “Delve into poetry, essays, short fiction, photography, paintings, and drawings in the first-ever anthology entirely by autistic people of color, featuring 61 writers and artists from seven countries. The work here represents the lives, politics, and artistic expressions of Black, Brown, Latinx, Indigenous, Mixed-Race, and other racialized and people of color from many autistic communities, often speaking out sharply on issues of marginality, intersectionality, and liberation.” Currently, only a limited amount of copies of this book are available for purchase as this version of the book recently went out of print; a new edition will be published in the near future.
Neurodiversity en Noir: A Collection of Black Neurodiverse Voices (coming soon!)
I am currently acquiring and reviewing submissions for a book that will be published in early 2022. The anthology, which will be published by Jessica Kingsley Publishing, will feature several neurodiverse authors from multiple parts of the world sharing their perspectives and experiences living at the intersection of Blackness and neurodivergence. The contributors, whose cultural backgrounds include African American, Afro-European, Caribbean, Creole, Afro Latinx, multiracial, and various African ethnic and/or tribal groups, are a diverse range of age, gender, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds and share deeply personal reflections, poignant vignettes, and poetry.
Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement: Stories from the Frontline
I am a contributing author to this book about neurodiversity which was edited by Dr. Steven Kapp. Published by Palgrave MacMillan, it is an open source book that can be accessed electronically in full or in part by anyone for free! However, you can also obtain a physical copy of the book on Amazon if you’d like HERE. This book “marks the first historical overview of the autism rights branch of the neurodiversity movement, describing the activities and rationales of key leaders in their own words since it organized into a unique community a few decades ago. This critical analysis describes the formation of the autistic community and neurodiversity movement, progress in their influence on the broader autism community and field, and their possible threshold of the advocacy establishment, legendary actions which have shifted the landscape toward viewing autism in social terms of human rights and identity to accept, rather than as a medical collection of deficits and symptoms to cure.”
Knowing Why: Adult-Diagnosed People on Life and Autism
I am a contributing author of a chapter about intersectionality in this book which was edited by Elizabeth Bartmess. Knowing Why explores the experiences of Autistic people who did not receive their autism until adulthood. As described in the following quote, the book includes essays that “reflect the value of knowing why–why we are different from so many other people, why it can be so hard to do things others can take for granted, and why there is often such a mismatch between others’ treatment of us and our own needs, skills, and experiences. Essay topics include recovering from burnout, exploring our passions and interests, and coping with sensory overload, especially in social situations.”
From Hurt to Hope: Stories of Lived Experiences of Autism and Mental Health (Dec. 2021)
I am a contributing author of a chapter on intimate partner violence and autism in this forthcoming book (available NOW for pre-order!) on autism and mental health. Edited by Mair Elliott and published by Jessica Kingsley Publications, this anthology’s release date is December 2021. Current summary: “Almost 80% of autistic people have a co-occurring mental health condition, and this powerful book puts their voices front and center, showcasing the human experience beyond the medicalized language and diagnoses. This poignant essay collection shines a light on voices that often go unheard in our society…discussions include trauma, relationships, masking, healthcare, intersectionality and more…c challenge to change how our society treats and values one another.”
I am a contributing author of a chapter of an upcoming book which is edited by Scarlet Shay and Jessica Cruikshank for their 2021 collection. This latest Heady Mix anthology was released in spring 2021: “Dazzling Colours of Calm is a collection of writing by autistic adults and parents of autistic children that celebrates the neurodiversity of autism. Exciting and insightful novels, short stories, creative nonfiction and essays have been curated to challenge society’s insistence that autism is an irregularity that needs to be cured or tamed to fit in with what is seen to be normal. Why should an autistic person be forced to live with feelings of wanting to belong, to fit in and conform? This collection of works shows us that it is not the individual that needs to change, it is society’s attitude to neurodiversity and the need to recognise and celebrate difference.”
*The Real Experts: Readings for Parents of Autistic Children
I am a contributing author to this book which was edited by Michelle Sutton and published by Autonomous Press. In my chapter I share my disregard for social media/technology shaming. The following quote from the book’s intro provides a brief description of its content: “In The Real Experts, Michelle has collected writings from a dozen autistic authors, containing ‘insider’ wisdom on autism that has been invaluable to her family. The result is an extraordinary resource for families with autistic children, and also for educators, therapists, and other professionals.” Currently, only a limited amount of copies of this book are available for purchase.
The Morenike Monologues and related charitable and/or other writing projects
Previously, under a pseudonym, I contributed some work to a book of poetry and art created by survivors of domestic/intimate partner violence. The edited collection was intended as part of a fundraising effort for a program that provides services for parents who are starting over after leaving their abusers. Unfortunately, the editorial team has opted not to proceed with this project. However, it is my intention to still find a way to fundraise for this important cause (and additional causes that are of importance to me). As such, I *aspire* to develop a book and I plan for 50% of all of its proceeds to be utilized to directly support the critical, on-the-ground work of community groups and non-profits who are working with survivors and other marginalized groups, including youth and single parents.
I have no $ and no publisher for this endeavor yet. All I have is a title (The Morenike Monologues), an outline/summary of its proposed content, and a dream. But…I believe it will happen, even I don’t know when. I know how much I could have benefited from support and resources when I was in this situation; I will find a way to give to others what I wish I could have had. I also have ideas for similar projects that I hope to launch when I obtain support to bring them to life. Updates are forthcoming and will be available in the near future (hopefully).
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