Sincerely, Your Autistic Child: What People on the Autism Spectrum Wish Their Parents Knew About Growing Up, Acceptance, and Identity

Sincerely, Your Autistic Child: What People on the Autism Spectrum Wish Their Parents Knew About Growing Up, Acceptance, and Identity

Sincerely, Your Autistic Child: What People on the Autism Spectrum Wish Their Parents Knew About Growing Up, Acceptance, and Identity

Sincerely, Your Autistic Child: What People on the Autism Spectrum Wish Their Parents Knew About Growing Up, Acceptance, and Identity


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A diverse collection of autistic voices that highlights how parents can avoid common mistakes and misconceptions, and make their child feel truly accepted, valued, and celebrated for who they are.

Most resources available for parents come from psychologists, educators, and doctors, offering parents a narrow and technical approach to autism. Sincerely, Your Autistic Child represents an authentic resource for parents written by autistic people themselves.

From childhood and education to culture, gender identity, and sexuality, this anthology tackles the everyday joys and challenges of growing up while honestly addressing the emotional needs, sensitivity, and vibrancy of autistic kids, youth, and young adults. Contributors reflect on what they have learned while growing up on the autism spectrum and how parents can avoid common mistakes and overcome challenges while raising their child.

Part memoir, part guide, and part love letter, Sincerely, Your Autistic Child is an indispensable collection that invites parents and allies into the unique and often unheard experiences of autistic children and teens.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807025680
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 03/30/2021
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 64,376
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Emily Paige Ballou is an old Millennial from the Midwest who currently lives and works in NYC, where she primarily stage manages off-Broadway new plays and new musicals, including works such as the Hello Girls with Prospect Theater Company, Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat at the Adirondack Theatre Festival, and Rose with Nora’s Playhouse. She graduated from the University of Georgia, where she was also a member of the Demosthenian Literary Society. Previous publications include pieces in the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, The Real Experts: Readings for Parents of Autistic Children, NeuroQueer, Barking Sycamores, and Fuckit: A Zine.

Sharon daVanport lives in the Midwest by way of their home state of Texas where they spent young adulthood writing short stories, poetry and serving as co-editor of their academic newspaper. After nearly a decade in social work, Sharon founded the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN). Appointed by their state’s board of education, Sharon served a full term on the SILC board of directors. Publications include co-authoring a paper in Sage Pub Autism Journal, a chapter in Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement: Stories from the Front Line, and pieces in Welcome to the Autistic Community, and Disability Visibility Project.

Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, MA, is a global self-advocate, educator, parent and disabled person of color in a neurodiverse, multicultural, serodifferent family. A prolific writer, public speaker, and social scientist/activist whose work focuses on meaningful community involvement, human rights, justice, and inclusion, Morénike is a Humanities Scholar at Rice University’s Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and a member of several executive boards. Publications include: Knowing Why: Adult-Diagnosed Autistic People on Life and Autism, All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism, and various peer-reviewed articles. Learn more at:

Autistic Women’s Network, renamed Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network, (AWN), was founded as the first organization that focused on Autistic women, girls, and nonbinary people. They are an essential resource for autistic people, parents, and allies for dispelling stereotypes and misinformation around autism. More information can be found

Table of Contents

Jess Wilson

Letter from the Editors

Early Memories, Childhood, and Education

Acknowledge Vulnerability; Presume Competence
B. Martin Allen

It’s Us Against the World, Kid
Brigid Rankowski

What Autistic Girls Wish Their Parents Knew About Friendship
Jane Strauss

What Your Daughter Deserves: Love, Safety, and the Truth
Kassiane Asasumasu

What I Wish You Knew
Katie Levin

Change the World, Not Your Child
Lei Wiley-Mydske

Empathy and Non-Verbal Cues
Dusya Lyubovskaya

The First Time I Heard of Autism

What I Wish My Parents Knew About Being Their Autistic Daughter
Heidi Wangelin

A Particular Way of Being
Karen Lean

Acceptance and Adaptation

A Daughter’s Journey: Lessons, Honesty, and Love
Jennifer St. Jude

Still Your Child
Ondrea Marisa Robinson

Perfect in an Imperfect World
Haley Moss

Who Gets to Be Diagnosed? And Who Does It Serve?
Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán

Amythest Schaber

I Wish I Wasn’t So Hard on Myself Back Then
Kayla Smith

Ten Things I Wish My Parents Had Known When I Was Growing Up
Amelia “Mel” Evelyn Voicy Baggs

I Am an Autistic Woman
Amy Sequenzia

The View from Outside the Window

Finding Me: The Journey to Acceptance
Morénike Giwa Onaiwu

Autism, Self-Acceptance, and Hope
Lynne Soraya

Intersectional Identity and Finding Community

Keep Her Safe; Let Her Fly Free
Maxfield Sparrow

Tell Me I’m Autistic

Autism, Sensory Experiences, and Family Culture
Mallory Cruz

Safe Harbors in a Difficult World
Kayla Rodriguez

Give Your Daughters Autistic Community
Jean Winegardner

A Parents’ Guide to Being Transgender and Autistic
Alexandra Forshaw

On Surviving Loneliness and Isolation, and Learning to Live with Loss
Lydia X. Z. Brown

There’s a Place
Emily Paige Ballou

Beth Ryan

About the Editors

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