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Category: autism
  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of books starring autistic girls and guides for autistic girls and their parents.

    For the first time in a decade, the classic children's television show Sesame Street introduced a new Muppet on the air last spring: an autistic Muppet named Julia. Even five years ago, it would have been almost unthinkable for a character with autism to appear on a mainstream children's television show, especially with the goal of inclusion and acceptance. But while Julia and other characters like her represent a major step forward, autism is still the subject of significant misunderstanding and prejudice. And the problems caused by lack of awareness are often magnified for girls, who are less frequently diagnosed and often show a different pattern of behaviors than autistic boys.

    Recent books like In A Different Key: The Story of Autism and NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity are helping adults understand that autism represents not just a set of problems to overcome, but a different way of thinking and experiencing the world. But kids, tweens, and teens, who will almost certainly encounter autistic peers during their lives, need to learn the same — so it's particularly important to share stories and resources about girls on the autism spectrum with autistic and neurotypical kids alike!

    In this blog post, we've showcased a variety of resources to foster not just awareness, but acceptance of people with autism. From fiction starring autistic characters, to guides for autistic girls, to books that can help parents and educators support and encourage autistic kids to achieve their full potential, these books serve as a reminder that, while autism may be an important part of a person's story, what's more important is for all of us to recognize them as talented, interesting, and unique individuals. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Our top picks of books for children and teens starring Mighty Girls with disabilities.

    disability-blog-webEvery child wants to see herself represented in the pages of her books — but if your Mighty Girl has a disability or special need, books featuring characters like her are few and far between. And when characters with disabilities do appear, they are often marginalized, only existing so that the main character of the book can show compassion towards them. In fact, from 1940 to 1970, of the tens of thousands of children's books published, only about 300 featured characters with any sort of disability — a far cry from the actual 10% of the population with some form of cognitive, physical, or mental disability.

    Fortunately, authors and publishers are starting to recognize the importance of representation and inclusion of people with disabilities, and in recent years more and more books have been featuring characters with disabilities. These books encourage children to be understanding and accepting of peers with special needs, while also providing children with disabilities all-too-rare role models who represent their struggles and triumphs. After all, a disability may change the way you live your life — but that doesn't make you any less Mighty!

    To help parents and educators find high-quality stories that include representation of a variety of disabilities, we've compiled a collection of books in modern settings starring characters with disabilities. While stories about historical figures like Helen Keller are important, these contemporary tales serve an equally critical purpose: showing all children that a disability is only a part of a person's story, not the whole. Continue reading Continue reading

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