AARC Tip of the Month | April 2020 | View as Webpage
This Tip of the Month is about neurodiversity. What is neurodiversity? It is the idea that we all think differently and our brains work in different ways. Brain imaging studies have shown that individuals with autism have physical differences in how their brains process information. This is important to understand because these differences can change how individuals interact with and respond to the outside world.

All forms of diversity, including neurodiversity, are essential in today's society. Having individuals who think differently can lead to great things: new perspectives, different ways of analyzing data, innovative ideas on how to do something, and more! “The movement of Neurodiversity is about uncovering the strengths of neurodiverse individuals and utilizing their talents to increase innovation and productivity of the society as a whole.” ( Stanford Neurodiversity Project

Read More About Neurodiversity:
Neurodiversity Hub - https://www.neurodiversityhub.org/
Stanford Neurodiversity Project - http://med.stanford.edu/neurodiversity.html
April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month and today is World Autism Day! Even though we are all staying at home, we don't have to skip the opportunity to embrace acceptance and connect together as Alaskans. Help us celebrate with virtual Autism Spirit Days on facebook!

WHO can participate? Anyone!
WHEN? Every Thursday in April (or you can post before/after the event)
WHERE ? In the event on our Facebook page
HOW do I participate? Go to the event page and post your photo or video, GIF, comment, etc. of how you participated in the spirit day!
April 2nd
Wear your favorite autism/neurodiversity shirt or outfit. If you don't have one, find a fun or wacky outfit and show your spirit! Have fun being you!  
April 9th
Tell us what you like to do or learn about! Share your special interest or a preferred activity
April 16th
Walk, dance, or move in your favorite way! Share a video or a picture of you moving for autism

April 23rd
Share your favorite sensory activity or tool that helps you manage your sensory needs
April 30th
Share about someone that you relate or look up to who has autism or who is neurodiverse
Resources of the Month
The resources of the month are available in the Special Education Service Agency (SESA) Library. Search for items on the   SESA website , or contact the librarian, Anne Freitag, at   afreitag@sesa.org   or 907-334-1301 

Electronic books may be accessed from anywhere in the state. If you've used our ebooks before,   go to the login  page here.  If you haven't, please contact Anne so she can set up a username and password for you.   Learn more about ebooks here .

A note about the SESA Library and COVID-19:
The SESA Library is working on a plan to start loaning materials while following the guidelines for sheltering and the recommendations for safe handling. In the meantime, all Alaskans can access SLED. SLED is an amazing resource! It has databases for research, homework help, educational materials for all levels, practical helps (small engine repair, for example), and fun resources (arts and craft ideas).

Here is the website: https://lam.alaska.gov/sled

You can call this number to get the login and password: 1-800-440-2919, or you can contact Anne for assistance at afreitag@sesa.org.

If you have a phone that doesn’t have a 907 area code, but you are in Alaska, you can follow the instructions here
The Adolescent and Adult Neuro-Diversity Handbook: Asperger's syndrome, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and related conditions
By: Sarah Hendrickx; with a chapter on dyslexia by Claire Salter
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2010. ISBN: 9781843109808
Description: "Increasing numbers of adults are realising that they have been living with an undiagnosed developmental condition, yet most information and support focuses on children. This leaves many adults confused and in the dark. ... a handy first-reference point guide to the full range of developmental conditions as they affect adolescents and adults. Each chapter focuses on a different condition, describing its history, causes and characteristics, its implications for the individual, diagnosis and assessment, treatments and approaches, and strategies for providing support and self-support. A wide range of conditions are covered, including Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, OCD, Tourette's and Anxiety Disorders. ... an invaluable resource for health and social care practitioners, as well as for individuals who feel that they may be living with an undiagnosed developmental condition." - Publisher
Neurodiversity: Discovering the extraordinary gifts of autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other brain differences
By: Thomas Armstrong
Da Capo Lifelong, 2010. ISBN: 9780738213545
Description: "offers a revolutionary perspective that reframes many neuropsychological disorders as part of the natural diversity of the human brain rather than as definitive illnesses. Neurodiversity emphasizes their positive dimensions, showing how people with ADHD, bipolar disorder, and other conditions have inherent evolutionary advantages that, matched with the appropriate environment or ecological niche, can help them achieve dignity and wholeness in their lives." - Publisher
Neurotribes: The legacy of autism and the future of neurodiversity
By: Steve Silberman
Avery: member of Penguin Group USA, 2015. ISBN: 9781583334676
Description: "What is autism? A lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more—and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. Wired reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years. Going back to the earliest days of autism research, Silberman offers a gripping narrative of Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger, the research pioneers who defined the scope of autism in profoundly different ways; he then goes on to explore the game-changing concept of neurodiversity. NeuroTribes considers the idea that neurological differences such as autism, dyslexia, and ADHD are not errors of nature or products of the toxic modern world, but the result of natural variations in the human genome. This groundbreaking book will reshape our understanding of the history, meaning, function, and implications of neurodiversity in our world." - Publisher
The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the advantages of your differently wired brain
By: Thomas Armstrong
Da Capo Lifelong, 2010. ISBN: 9780738215242
Description: "ADHD. dyslexia. autism. the number of illness categories listed by the American Psychiatric Association has tripled in the last fifty years. With so many people affected, it is time to revisit our perceptions on this “culture of disabilities.” Bestselling author, psychologist, and educator Thomas Armstrong illuminates a new understanding of neuropsychological disorders. He argues that if they are a part of the natural diversity of the human brain, they cannot simply be defined as illnesses. Armstrong explores the evolutionary advantages, special skills, and other positive dimensions of these conditions ." - Publisher
Stewie BOOM! and Princess Penelope: Handprints, snowflakes and play-dates
Written by Christine Bronstein; Illustrated by Karen L. Young
Nothing but the Truth, 2018. ISBN: 9780997296280
Description: "At school, Penelope's teacher encourages the class to play with someone new at recess so that they can see that minds, like handprints and snowflakes, are one of a kind. Penelope chooses Eric and they have so much fun she invites him over for a play-date. Before he arrives, Penelope's Mom tells her that Eric's mind is called "on the spectrum," and so his unique preferences might be different from the ones she's used to. To prepare, they practice using quiet voices, listening with their eyes, and being flexible. As their play-date unfolds, Penelope and Eric show readers the many ways that families can embrace neuro-diversity." Publisher
Worlds of Autism: Across the spectrum of neurological difference
Edited by Joyce Davidson and Michael Orsini
University of Minnesota Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780816688890
Description: "Since first being identified as a distinct psychiatric disorder in 1943, autism has been steeped in contestation and controversy. Present-day skirmishes over the potential causes of autism, how or even if it should be treated, and the place of Asperger's syndrome on the autism spectrum are the subjects of intense debate in the research community, in the media, and among those with autism and their families. Bringing together innovative work on autism by international scholars in the social sciences and humanities, Worlds of Autism boldly challenges the deficit narrative prevalent in both popular and scientific accounts of autism spectrum disorders, instead situating autism within an abilities framework that respects the complex personhood of individuals with autism." - Publisher
Alaska Autism Resource Center | 866-301-7372 | aarc@sesa.org | www.AlaskaARC.org