Reading Pile: Sensory: Life On The Spectrum HC
Organized and edited by Schnumn (also known as Bex), Sensory is a Kickstarter project that collects the works of over 40 autistic creators as they share their various experiences to educate and inform. It's a truly engaging presentation that I think deserves to be stocked in both schools and libraries as it offers a diverse range of voices, offering representation we don't often see enough of in this medium. It would also help countless neurotypical people in learning more about the subject and potentially aid in people learning whether or not they are on the spectrum as well.
There's a huge range of styles throughout the book and most creators have about two to four pages of content. Some take on a more formally educational style as they offer insights on terminology and resources, while others may take on a more symbolic style to get across the emotional impacts of other people's misunderstanding and treatment.
There's a strong balance between the informative aspects of the book, the parts that focus on various coping elements, and the sequences that are heart warming and humorous as they tackle day to day life and interactions.
Sequences that get a little bit more into the details and terminology of various traits do a great job of presenting things in an engaging and memorable manner. As we're getting a lot of information that will potentially open the door to doing more research and deeper dives, I feel like this is a great approach. Plus, it can just be plain cute.
Some creators also tackle issues of race, gender, sex, and more. The only downside is that most have just two to four pages to relay this important information. On the plus side, the book does give you a full listing of each creator's social media info so you can check out more of their work and possibly reach out if you have questions on a particular topic.
The most engaging aspect of the book though is simply the heart and genuine emotion put into it. Regardless of style or how much space each creator is limited to, each voice comes through and really gets across their experiences and intentions. Which is another reason I think this should be considered a 'must stock' kind of book and a necessity for a lot of institutions to carry.
The trick though is that this is a UK import, and at the moment they are just finishing up the shipping on the Kickstarter campaign. The initial print run looks to be limited, so digital copies may be the most accessible format down the line. Last I checked they did not have a webstore set for it just yet, so I would follow Bex's social media for future announcements.
Books like this are one of the many reasons why I love this medium, so I was pretty excited to see it pop up on Kickstarter. The more books like this the better, not only for the sense of representation and outreach but also for helping other people grasp different perspectives and to engage more empathy and better understanding. So yes, more like this please and remember to support projects like this often.