April is Autism Acceptance Month. You may remember my blog post from last year. (If not, that’s a good place to start with general autism reads). This year I want to focus on #OwnVoices, a hashtag created by autistic author Corinne Duyvis in 2015. #OwnVoices is defined by Duyvis as a tool to recommend “kidlit about diverse characters written by authors from that same diverse group.” (Original tweet)
I have seen the topic becoming more well known, and expanding to more than just Children’s literature (and even beyond just literature). Representation matters. #OwnVoices is not at all saying people shouldn’t write characters from groups they don’t belong to, but rather emphasizes the importance of seeing oneself accurately represented in media and having the jurisdiction to represent your cultural identity against stereotypes. Duyvis’ own book, On The Edge of Gone, is a fantastic example of autistic people writing autistic characters (and, in my opinion, a captivating read).
Below are some more suggestions for autistic #OwnVoices books to dive into: