[Bookending Spring] Autism Acceptance Character Tag (Original)

Hello and welcome back to Bookending Spring on the Nine Tale Vixen blog! If you’re new to Bookending Events, they’re quarterly (seasonal) events aiming to bring the book blogging community closer together; this spring, the optional theme is organization and cleaning. If you’re new to my blog — hi, I’m Isabelle and it’s nice to meet you! If you’re a returner — welcome back, friend!

It’s easy, in hindsight, to talk about all the ways my life would’ve been better if I’d encountered autistic protagonists early on — I wouldn’t have had so many misconceptions, which would have led to less internalized shame when I was finally diagnosed at seventeen, and in fact I might have recognized myself and found helpful resources much sooner.

But in any case, autistic protagonists do exist now. Although it’s still a bit of a search and definitely not yet widely accepted, there’s some great #ownvoices representation and I wanted to shout it out!

Celebrate Autism Acceptance Month with prompts inspired by stories by and about autistic people. (You don’t need to have read the books or to identify as autistic/neurodiverse.)

This post is part of Bookending Spring 2020, which is organized by Sam & Clo!
Today’s prompt, originally titled “Neurodiversity Acceptance Tag,” is hosted by yours truly — if you do this prompt, don’t forget to link back to this post!

Stella – The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Stella prefers working with data to working with people. Tell us about an interesting subject that makes sense to you, but which others might find boring.

This is probably the epitome of “other people think it’s boring and difficult,” but I have long been fascinated by grammar. Although I’m fundamentally opposed to prescriptive grammar (“this is the single correct way to grammar”), I like learning about why certain sentence structures work and some don’t, why some phrases sound more natural than others, why you can or can’t stick a comma there, how many clauses I can stick into a single sentence, the differences between different languages’ grammar …

So it’s really no surprise that Syntax is one of my favorite classes that I’m currently taking, since we’ve been talking about all those things.

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Xandri – Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby

As part of her job as a liaison, Xandri has to learn about both verbal and non-verbal communication. Which language(s) do you speak/read? Are there any that you particularly want to learn?

I grew up speaking English and Mandarin Chinese; my parents are from Taiwan, so I learned to read/write Traditional rather than Simplified Chinese. Then in middle and high school I took Spanish classes, and last winter break I went through all the Duolingo lessons.

One summer I took an introductory Latin class, though I remember very little of it. I’ve also tried to self-learn Japanese on and off, but never gotten very far. I’ve wanted to learn American Sign Language (ASL) for years, though again maintenance/practice could be an issue.

Over the years everything except English has gotten kind of rusty, so I definitely want to review these skills. (I’d love to work in an environment where I get to regularly use each language but where the accuracy of my communication isn’t totally critical.)

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Denise – On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

Denise loves cats, spending a lot of time volunteering at a shelter and reading about them. What’s a cause or topic that you’re passionate about?

Though I’m still learning how to be an activist and advocate, intersectionality is incredibly important to me. As a demibisexual autistic East Asian-American girl [among other things], I’ve experienced firsthand how different aspects of my identity impact different aspects of my life; some of these things give me a relative amount of privilege in certain situations, while others make it harder to be taken seriously sometimes.

Maybe it’s idealistic, but it’s just so incredibly frustrating to me when people don’t recognize that privilege isn’t a straightforward topic, when people play Oppression Olympics, when people talk over others, when people straight-up invalidate others’ identity. 

I’ll get off my soapbox now, with the parting comment that we could all be a little more empathetic and tolerant of each other. The person on the proverbial other side of the screen is also a person, and all that.

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Sam & Avery – The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews

Even when they don’t have a stable home, these brothers at least have each other. Who are some of the people who matter most to you?

My family my mom, my dad, and my brother — has always been there for me, through my terrible teenage years and my heartbreaks and my college-major-induced quarter-life crisis. If I’m being cheesy about it, they mean the whole world to me.

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Taylor – Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Cosplaying as Queen Firestone helps Taylor channel her favorite character’s strength and confidence. What makes you feel empowered?

Ever since I discovered the concept of playlists (circa middle school), I’ve been creating Spotify playlists for just about every mood and occasion. Whether I want to have a bit of a pity sulk or pump myself up for an upcoming class presentation or unwind to fall asleep, I can just open the app and hit play. Plus, nostalgia has been a powerful mood-booster for me.

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Zofia – The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Zofia’s friends show they care by bringing her cookies, exactly the way she likes them. Tell us about something nice someone has done for you or something nice that you’ve done for someone else.

Not to get into the people just don’t listen to each other nowadays rant, but I’ve found it surprisingly effective to deliberately pay closer attention when I’m talking to my friends and to make an effort to remember what they’ve told me. Sometimes this comes out as the check-in text to see how their passion project is going, or as a “this reminded me of you” meme screenshot.

And, of course, I have some lovely friends who regularly do the same for me.

The Tag Prompts

Stella – The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Stella prefers working with data to working with people. Tell us about an interesting subject that makes sense to you, but which others might find boring.

.

Xandri – Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby

As part of her job as a liaison, Xandri has to learn about both verbal and non-verbal communication. Which language(s) do you speak/read? Are there any that you particularly want to learn?

.

Denise – On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

Denise loves cats, spending a lot of time volunteering at a shelter and reading about them. What’s a topic or cause that you’re passionate about?

.

Sam & Avery – The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews

Even when they don’t have a stable home, these brothers at least have each other. Who are some of the people who matter most to you?

.

Taylor – Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Cosplaying as Queen Firestone helps Taylor channel her favorite character’s strength and confidence. What makes you feel empowered?

.

Zofia – The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Zofia’s friends show they care by bringing her cookies, exactly the way she likes them. Tell us about something nice someone has done for you or something nice that you’ve done for someone else.

I tag: no one in particular since this is a BE Spring prompt post, but feel free to consider yourself tagged if you want to be! Just don’t forget to link back to this post.

  • Were you aware that April was Autism Acceptance Month?
  • What are some of your favorite books by/about autistic people?
  • Neurodiverse or not, what are some of the things that make you proud to be you?

5 thoughts on “[Bookending Spring] Autism Acceptance Character Tag (Original)

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