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Learning From Autistic Teachers: How to Be a Neurodiversity-Inclusive School

$56.35  Paperback
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Rebecca Wood, Laura Crane, Francesca Happe, Alan Morrison, Ruth Moyse

  • Learning From Autistic Teachers

208 pages
ISBN: 9781839971266

In this strikingly honest collection, developed from a pioneering new research project, autistic teachers and other autistic school professionals share their stories of the challenges and successes of their careers. Contributors challenge assumptions and stereotypes whilst highlighting the unique strengths autistic staff can bring to schools when their own needs are accommodated.

The book explores exclusion and identity, understanding and acceptance, intersectionality and facilitating inclusion. It also celebrates the positives that come with being an autistic teacher, such as relating to neurodivergent pupils and conveying passion and enthusiasm for a subject through intense interests, or demonstrating particular skills in school leadership. It examines how workplace set up can sometimes exclude autistic individuals and lead to skilled teachers and those in other education roles, including visiting professionals, leaving the profession, and sets out the accommodations that can prevent this from happening.

"In this wonderful book autism is allowed to assume its rightful position as an exciting, challenging and enriching element to be celebrated in the diversity of our classrooms. Autistic teachers and school staff have so much to give; this book articulates the difficulties, certainly, but also shares the warmth, the enthusiasm and the humour that an open autism presence brings to our schools. Highly recommended."
- Dr Clare Lawrence, Senior Lecturer in Teacher Development and Head of Participatory Autism Research, Bishop Grosseteste University

"Rebecca Wood brings together stories from the autistic teacher community that will impact conventional autism narratives and cultures of schools. This book challenges lazy, or harmful stereotypes about autism, but from the 'inside-out', and invites the reader to experience perspectives that are rarely explored, and yet vital to cultural learning and change. It is a landmark publication in recognising the strengths associated with autism in the teaching profession, and mitigating the challenges faced by autistic teachers."
- Richard Mills, AT-Autism, The John and Lorna Wing Foundation, University of Bath

"A highly compelling and original book that is a 'must read' for anyone interested in inclusion and education. Insights gained from the personal narratives and experiences of autistic teachers provide powerful opportunities for discussion and reflection on what truly inclusive environments and practices could, and should, be. Written in a highly accessible and engaging style, this book helpfully challenges the dominant narratives of autism through illustrating inclusive practices and connecting these with current research theories and priorities."
- Sarah Parsons, Professor of Autism and Inclusion, University of Southampton, UK

"When it comes to autistic pupils, schools are crying out for support. There is no better way to engage support than to listen to and accommodate autistic voices; especially those of autistic teachers and other autistic staff. This book echoes so many necessary and informed experiences, practices and means for real inclusion. It should always be 'Nothing about us, without us'."
- Wenn B. Lawson