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I asked 150 children/teens on the autism spectrum: "What do you love most about life?" Here are their uplifting, insightful answers.
I asked 150 children/teens on the autism spectrum: "What do you love most about life?" Here are their uplifting, insightful answers.
I asked 150 children/teens on the autism spectrum: "What do you love most about life?" Here are their uplifting, insightful answers.
518 backers pledged £14,481 to help bring this project to life.

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"What We Love Most About Life"- Autistic Children's Insights

£14,481

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The world is full of negativity towards autism. I think it’s time for a change.

Autistic children have an absolutely fascinating perspective on the world. Having grown up with autism myself, I know how unfair it is that we are often seen by our weaknesses before our strengths. So I thought it was time to turn it around, and share our positive insights with the rest of the world.

I went to my Facebook community, Autistic Not Weird, and asked as many parents as possible to go to their children and teenagers and ask them: "what do you love most about life?"

150 answers later, I compiled them into this book.

Being a former teacher with Asperger Syndrome (and a man who was once an autistic child) I have seen autism from both a personal and professional perspective. I know how isolating it can be when you grow up with an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). I also know how joyous it is when you realise you’re not alone, and that others all across the world can empathise with you. So with this in mind, I wanted to compile a book that would not only show the wonders of autistic perspectives, but also help people.

This book may be suitable for:

  • Young people on the autism spectrum who feel alone or isolated;
  • Families affected by autism, who value the uplifting moments and insights children on the spectrum can give;
  • Schools with autistic students;
  • Mental health clinics or hospitals;
  • Libraries and bookstores;
  • People who want a nice Christmas present for someone!
The answers within this book are just as varied as the children themselves. Some of the answers are humorous. Some of them are loving. Some of them are hilariously honest. Some contain fantastic insights into life itself.

Young people from all across the autism spectrum are represented in this book:

    The children hail from twenty different countries, which span across every continent on Earth (except Antarctica, if you want to be technical!).

This book is an anthology of awesome answers, but it’s also so much more than that. It is a statement: that children all across the autism spectrum have a wonderful understanding of this world's beauty. That an ASD is far from the life sentence of suffering that people are tricked into believing. That it's time to stop making negative assumptions about kids.

I hope you see this book as a worthwhile investment. I hope it helps shift worldwide attitudes to autism in a much more positive direction. And I hope these 150 young people have their perspectives heard and appreciated by many, many people.

Chris Bonnello

Autistic Not Weird's Facebook page

Autistic Not Weird's website

Book specifications: A5 (half letter) portrait, paperback, 150 pages (75 leaves), perfect bound, full colour.

Compiled by Chris Bonnello, designed by Nancy J Price.

The books will be split between British and American printers, in order to save North American backers some postage costs.

 

Risks and challenges

Honestly, I think the main two risks involved with this project are:

1) The project not being funded- in which case, there'll be no consequences for anyone except me (although I may have some bad news to break to 150 kids).

Or;

2) The project being enormously popular (which may affect fulfilment speed etc).

The other risks have been suitably addressed: I have done my homework with regards to printing and distribution costs, I have been in close contact with the families involved and the content of the book has been confirmed and agreed with each of them, and as I am studying creative writing at Nottingham Trent University I have plenty of contacts for extra publishing advice (not least those who are publishing some of my fiction work in an anthology).

Oh- and a couple of tiny disclaimers:

1) Images on this page, including those in the video, may not necessarily be identical to the published versions. However, they are certainly representative of the quality you can expect.

2) To those who pledge enough to claim the optional Skype chats or seminars: whereas I can absolutely guarantee a discussion about these events, their actual occurrence MUST depend on the practicalities involved- e.g. technology (for Skype), travel (for seminars), mutually available times, etc). Whereas I am willing to go to great lengths for others, both parties must respect practical limitations.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    Digital copy only

    This pledge gives you a PDF version of "What We Love Most About Life". For those who don't want a physical copy but want to support the project.

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    Pledge £9 or more About $12

    Give a book! (Comes with digital copy.)

    For those who don't want a book for themselves, but want one to be printed and given freely to a group/school/library/person who may need it.

    Backers for this get the digital copy as described above.

    Please choose United Kingdom for shipping.

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    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    1 copy of What We Love Most About Life

    One copy of the physical book sent to you.

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    243 backers
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    Pledge £19 or more About $25

    Get a book AND give a book!

    For those who want a book for themselves AND for one to be printed and given to someone who needs it.

    Please choose your own country for shipping.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $27

    2 copies of What We Love Most About Life

    Two copies of the book.

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    78 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $40

    3 copies of What We Love Most About Life

    Three copies of the book!

    (Postage gets proportionally cheaper from two copies upwards.)

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    24 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About $53

    4 copies of What We Love Most About Life

    Yep, four copies of the book!

    Postage is definitely proportionally cheaper here.

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    11 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £45 or more About $60

    5 copies of What We Love Most About Life

    Since if you're getting four, you might as well get a fifth for only a slightly higher pledge.

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    31 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £75 or more About $100

    8 copies and an optional Skype chat!

    This option comes with an optional free chat!
    Backers who pledge this amount will have the opportunity for a Skype conversation with me, where I will offer personalised advice to you or someone you care about affected by autism- from the perspective of an autistic former teacher. (Maximum time 45 minutes.)

    (Bear in mind that others charge this much for personalised Skype chats alone, and they don't give you eight books with it!)

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    Pledge £90 or more About $120

    10 copies and an optional Skype chat

    For those with large families or friendship groups!

    This one also comes with the optional free chat.

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    9 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £180 or more About $239

    20 copies, optional Skype, free seminar!

    Wow, you must REALLY love this book!
    Either that, or you supply hospitals, schools, libraries etc.

    This reward comes with an optional FREE SEMINAR! I will discuss coming to give a talk to an organisation you belong to, and if/when it happens I will charge nothing beyond travel expenses. Check Autistic Not Weird's YouTube channel for my demonstration videos.
    (Again, bear in mind that this would be a reasonable amount to hire an autism speaker alone- with this pledge you get 20 books too!)

    This also comes with the optional free chat.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £420 or more About $558

    50 copies, optional Skype, free seminar!

    To those who work with large institutions, know a LOT of people, or just want to share the positives of autism with as many people as possible!

    Comes with the optional free seminar, and optional free chat.

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Funding period

- (31 days)