Hello internet, it’s been a while. To those of you who are still following my blog, thank you so much for sticking with me. A while ago I disbanded Seeing Double in order to focus on my role as a skills mentor for adults with learning disabilities and autism. I don’t regret that choice in the slightest. I love my job, but it’s difficult work, and requires my complete focus if I’m going to do it properly. I still dabble in a bit of poetry and autism awareness though, and I am planning some blog articles for the future (just as soon as I get my laptop working again).
In the meantime, I’ve got something very exciting to tell you about. Jessica Kingsley Publications have published two of my articles! I submitted both pieces quite a while ago, so it was a shock when I opened a parcel last week and found, not the Death Note t-shirt I’d been expecting from Amazon, but two books with my name on the contents table. Love, Partnership or Singleton on the Autism Spectrum and Bittersweet on the Autism Spectrum are both part of the Insider Intelligence series. Each contains autobiographical articles by autistic adults, depicting life on the spectrum through their eyes.
The working title for Bittersweet on the Autism Spectrum was actually Aspie’s on Positive Experiences… how we got from that to Bittersweet on the Autism Spectrum I’m not quite sure, but it contains some fantastic, insightful and life affirming reads. You can find my article “How Volunteering for Bradford Autism Support Gave me Confidence and Helped me Come to Terms with My Own Diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome” (phew! What a long title!) on page 25 of Bittersweet on the Autism Spectrum, available for purchase now on Amazon:
Here’s an extract from Luke Beardon’s introduction to my work:
‘This is a great read- inspirational, really. Gwen’s journey to discovery via her voluntary work is an insightful and uplifting one, despite the lows she has obviously been through; in fact, Gwen demonstrates the tenacity and will seen in so many people on the spectrum to fight against difficult times and give back to the world’- Luke Beardon, Bittersweet on the Autism Spectrum, p.25
Love, Partnership or Singleton on the Autism Spectrum is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a collection of articles by people on the autism spectrum reflecting on their love life. You can find my article “Love (and sex) is Just a Game” on page 233. A little warning to anyone considering purchasing this book, “Love (and sex) is Just a Game” does contain some information on my sex life. If that makes you feel uncomfortable (or if you happen to be my Dad, Grandma or anyone else related to me) then don’t read it. It was important for me that I was open about my sexuality in this article, as I wanted to dispel the myth that autistic people are always loners with no interest in sex or relationships. Love, Partnership or Singleton on the Autism Spectrum is available for purchase now on amazon:
Receiving my copy of this book was a pretty surreal experience for me, as the front page contains a review from Sarah Hendrikx! I’m a huge fan of her book Women and Girls With Autism Spectrum Disorder, which helped me to understand my own experience of growing up with Asperger’s and reassured me that I’m not the only girl in the world that has autism. I never imagined Sarah Hendrickx would read my work. In fact, when I opened Love Partnership or Singleton on the Autism Spectrum and saw her review I got so shocked I had a mini asthma attack. Here’s Hendrickx’s thoughts on the book:
‘A brilliant collection of essays from autistic writers giving us personal insights into thoughts on relationship preferences and also valuable guidance for autistic people and those who love them. Demonstrating that autistic people often want to share their lives with others in a wide variety of set ups, this book finally puts to bed the age old myth of autistic people as isolated loners’- Sarah Hendrickx
I feel absolutely thrilled to be part of this project. I’ve had my work published online, and in a couple of small magazines, but to see two of my articles in a book… an actual book produced and published by a real company instead of a book I printed off myself and sewed together on the kitchen table at home, just means so much to me. It’s actually kind of scary.