Produced in conjunction with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), Australia’s largest provider of services with people on the autism spectrum, this new text explores the experiences, needs and aspirations of adults on the spectrum. The volume utilises the structure of a recent survey (the only one of its type in Australia and one of few conducted internationally) and presents data from the study with contributions from adults on the spectrum to illustrate the findings with first person accounts and case studies. By drawing on these unique experiences, this valuable resource is presented in a way that will be both engaging and accessible for a wide range of readers.
Table of Contents
Preface What is Autism? 1. Introduction and Overview 2. Physical and Mental Health 3. Education 4. Social and Community Connections 5. Employment 6. Independence and Daily Living 7. Future Focus: Experiences and Aspirations 8. Research Methods and Demographics Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Appendix 3 Appendix 4 Glossary References
Debra Costley, PhD, is National Director of Aspect Practice at Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) with responsibility for strategic leadership of research and development of national models for sharing Aspect evidence-informed practice. She is a researcher and special educator with thirty years of experience in special education teaching, consultancy and research.
Susanna Baldwin, BSc, MSc, is a former Research Officer at Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), where her role centred on planning, supporting and implementing research and evaluation for the continuous improvement of Aspect services. She was part of the team that designed and carried out the inaugural We Belong study, and has co-authored two peer-reviewed journal articles based on the findings.
Susan Bruck, PhD, is the Aspect Practice Research Officer, Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect). She is an Aspect Practice Specialist and is responsible for undertaking evidence-informed research and disseminating findings. Susan is a researcher and educator with extensive experience in the not-for-profit and tertiary education sectors.
Kaaren Haas BSc, MA, is a Research Assistant at Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) with responsibility for assisting with design, implementation and reporting of research and evaluation projects at Aspect. She has extensive prior experience in corporate communications and public policy, and is the mother of a young adult on the autism spectrum.
Kerry Ritzrow, BA, is the Research and Administration Assistant at Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) with responsibility for coordinating the dissemination of Aspect evidence informed practice through Aspect Practice workshops and consultancies. She is also a trained counsellor and professional supervisor.
“The voices of the adults on the autism spectrum tell us that their support needs are disregarded because they do not fit into conventional structures. Their stories provide clues into how these structures may be altered to create a society that values diversity and provides support for all its citizens. After reading this book we will be able to act less in the dark; as it is indeed Shining a Light on the Autism Spectrum.”—Dr. Torbjorn Falkmer, program director, Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC); Professor of School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University in Western Australia.
“At last, a book fully representing life with autism; a golden opportunity to access understanding of life as a non-intellectually disabled autistic, with unexplained ‘issues.’ As professionals, families, and individuals on the spectrum look beyond the typical and explore life from the autistic view, they will connect to the reasons we do the things we do. Now, there is no excuse. This book is an overdue resource that will be your bible!”—Wenn B. Lawson, PhD, AFBPsS. MAPS., psychologist, University of Birmingham, UK; AutismCRC Australia.
“Achieving a perfect balance of research informing practice and real life examples of individuals on the autism spectrum, the authors shine a bright light on the current state of the experience of people with autism. In doing so they lead the way on suggesting what can be done to make fulfilling and productive life for those of us on the autism spectrum the rule rather than the exception. A must read for anyone wanting to gain greater understanding of how to best support individuals on the autism spectrum.”—Stephen M. Shore, Ed.D., internationally renowned professor of special education, author, consultant, and, individual on the autism spectrum.