Welcome to Book Club. This book is all about teenagers and autism.
This is a very small book. It’s really kind of a guide. I think this book is great in the sense that it touches upon certain topics. But it’s not really going into depth in anything.
If you’re starting to think about your child being a teenager and you’re wondering “what are things that I should be thinking about” then this would be a great book. If your child is already in their teenage years, I don’t know how helpful this book will be because you probably have very specific questions and this is really more of a guide.
This book has a chapter here on talking about autism and adolescence and what that looks like. There are different things that can change in adolescence, health-wise, right?
The body is growing and chemistry is changing – there is published research that shows that in children with autism when they hit adolescence, a percentage of them start to develop seizures. So there are certain things to look out for the book just briefly goes over.
Chapter 3 talks about navigating the hidden curriculum in middle and high school. Now, some of this is really geared toward people with autism who are on the higher functioning side. I know that’s not necessarily an ideal term, but for someone who’s in mainstream school and has autism, there is this hidden curriculum… How do you be social? How do you interact with kids? There’s a discussion here about video game addiction and how to start to address that, nothing detailed, but it certainly touches upon those topics.
The book also talks about executive functioning skills that are needed in middle school and high school. That school environment is very different, sensory overload happens a lot more in middle school and high school just because those populations are usually bigger, so there are usually more students, more noise, there’s less quiet space. Although schools are starting to carve out more and more sensory places for students to go to just kind of take a breath. But these are all different kinds of challenges that happen in middle school and high school and the book does just touch upon all of these different topics.
It also talks about peer-to-peer strategies of how to improve social skills. So if that’s something you’re thinking about, there’s a great discussion in here about that.
There is a great chapter here. It’s chapter six and it’s all about sex, safety, and self-care. So your teen might be interested in dating or not. There might be sexual activity, birth control might be a topic you want to talk about and all that stuff might make you cringe, right?
This book just goes into the topics a little bit. So, if this is on your mind, I definitely would recommend picking up this book so that you can start to figure it out. Dating certainly is a topic to talk about with your teen and it’s discussed here very briefly.
And one of the last chapters is about self-care for parents. And that is a very important topic, that is always important to strengthen more and more and more. Self-care as a parent, just as a parent in general, things are difficult. Certainly many times you can get worn out and then when you have a child with needs on top of that, you have to be extra diligent about self-care. So there is a great chapter here about self-care in case you need that reminder.
This book is definitely a good book for an overall feel of what teenage years are like. There are certainly better books that dive into very specific topics, but this is a very good overall book on autism and teenagers.