That was the question I asked to 150 autistic children, teenagers and adults. This book is an anthology of their uplifting, insightful answers.
For decades, autistic people have been on the receiving end of some very bad press. And unfortunately, the first thing most people learn about autism is that “it’s supposed to be a bad thing”. But the autistic participants in this book – including me – have our own ideas about that.
What Do You Love Most About Life? is a blast of well-deserved autism positivity, with each page featuring an autistic person sharing their answer to the question in the book’s title. Some of their answers are insightful, some are humorous, some are loving, some are downright delightful, and all of them offer insight into the amazing autistic mind.
In making this book I sought answers from autistic people of varying ages and backgrounds – hailing from twenty-two different countries worldwide – and combined them to form the most positive autism-related book you’re ever likely to read.
And since the autism spectrum is so vast and autistic experiences are so personalised, I have featured as much diversity among the 150 participants as possible. They include:
Representatives from 22 countries, covering every continent on Earth (except Antarctica);
129 autistic children/teenagers and 21 autistic adults (ages ranging from 2-49);
A suitably diverse range regarding ethnicity, gender, diagnoses, and disabilities;
Non-speaking participants who typed their answers;
Participants with a wide range of co-existing conditions including rare diagnoses;
Participants with complex learning disabilities;
Autistic siblings, parent-child teams, and an Argentinian family with four autistic members;
And a Rubik’s cube speedsolving world record holder.
This book would be the perfect gift for:
Autistic people – young and old – who want to feel less alone, and may be reassured by the knowledge of just how many other autistic people are out there all over the world.
Autistic children coming to terms with a diagnosis (or who just want to read about 150 reasons why life is awesome);
Parents who are worried about their child’s future and want to see positive autistic perspectives;
Schools with autistic students (as in, all schools);
Clinics and hospitals;
Libraries and bookstores;
Anyone in general who is curious about autistic perspectives on life.
Customer feedback for What We Love Most About Life:
“I presented my mom with her copy at lunch the other day, and she cried in the restaurant. She says it’s one of the best gifts she’s ever received.”
“Thanks so much, already had a flick through with my Son who is just going through a diagnosis. On days where I worry about the what the future may bring this is going to be my first port of call for a dose of positivity. Thank you.”
“We have had some family members asking to see the book, and they loved it. Scrolling through the pages, and asking questions about peoples diagnosis’ and acronym meanings, etc. These family members were not the quickest to get on board with our autism world, but they have been trying, and your book has been a help in that journey. As every page is filled with joy and a different tale to tell in this world. Thank you.”
“These are the most spectacular people ever!”
-Egan, aged 14
After a very successful Kickstarter campaign and thousands of copies printed, What Do You Love Most About Life? is now available to all.
In order to get a copy, send a message to Autistic not Weird’s Facebook page with your email and postal addresses, or send an email to chris [at] autisticnotweird [dot] com.
The world is full of negativity towards autism. I think it’s time for a change. And for those who order a copy/copies of this book, I hope these people can help you find even more things to love about life.
Underdogs, a near-future dystopia series where the heroes are teenagers with special needs, is a character-driven war story which pitches twelve people against an army of millions, balancing intense action with a deeply developed neurodiverse cast.
Chris Bonnello is a national and international autism speaker, available to lead talks and training sessions from the perspective of an autistic former teacher. For further information please click here (opens in new window). Autistic Not Weird on Facebook