Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

April is . . .

“We shall sit here, softly
Beneath two different years
and the rich earth between us
shall drink our tears” – Audre Lorde

April is Autism Awareness Month

Last week new statistics were released from the CDC that indicates that 1 out of every 88 children are now being diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum (ASD).  April is Autism Awareness Month.  Please take some time to read previous posts here at TLT about Autism and think about ways you can better serve teens in your library on the spectrum.

Teen Issues: Autism and Libraries

Teens, Autism and Future Horizons

On the Spectrum and At Your Library (guest post)

Autism and Libraries: a q & a with J. D. Kraus

April is National Poetry Month

April is also National Poetry Month.  I love poetry.  Don’t worry, I am not going to share any of my really bad personal poetry here with you (unless you ask nicely that is).  But I do have an outline of some great poetry activities you can do with tweens and teens and some posters to highlight titles that were inspired by or written in poetry.

TPIB: Poetically Speaking!

Since sharing that blog post somebody shared another poetry activity with me called Newspaper Black Out Poems by Austin Kleon.  The premise is simple: newspaper + marker = poems.  Take your discarded newspapers and have teens black out all the stuff they don’t want in their poem.  What is left, the exposed words, become a poem.  This was shared on the TLT FB wall and once again I am awed by what others now and how when librarians share we better serve our teens.

You can download this file at http://www.box.com/s/493c1c30c7ccc21db28f

You can download this poster at http://www.box.com/s/ffbf8300742cacd8f968

So let’s talk poetry for a moment, shall we?  Ellen Hopkins writes gritty, compelling fiction in verse.  In addition to writing novels in verse, which you should be reading, she also shares poetry on her website

One of my favorite books that I felt didn’t get the love it deserved that also involved some poetry is Bruiser by Neal Shusterman.  Bruiser is the story of a young man who literally takes the pain of others on to himself.  Because of this, he must keep his distance, both physically and emotionally, from others.  But what happens when he starts to fall in love?  If you have not read Bruiser, I recommend that you go check it out.  It is told in alternating voices and one of those voices uses poetry.  It is also an interesting metaphor for addiction.  And it addresses the topic of bullying.  And it is just a really good book.

My favorite nonfiction work about poetry is Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words.  This title talks about the art and craft of poetry and gives lots of fun exercises to do personally, or in a program, to live in the world of poetry.  I highly recommend it.

And finally, there are a ton of amazing poetry collections out there for people of all ages.  You can never go wrong with Shel Silverstein.  But one of my favorite poetry collections is What Have You Lost by Naomi Shihab Nye.  Perhaps it is because at some point in life we have all lost something that this collection is able to snake its way into your soul.  Whatever the reason, this is not the only poetry collection out there by Nye and I recommend that you take a look at them.

Okay, so I lied and I will share a poem with you in the spirit of What Have You Lost?  This is a poem I wrote in high school – my Junior year – after my best friend Teri died in a car accident.

My poetry journals

The Music Fades

She taught me to listen to the music all around
The wind rushing through the trees
The waves crashing against the shore
The water bubbling over the rocks in a brook
The hum of tiny insects
The chatter of life passing through unclinched lips
But alas, the song that was her no longer plays
The tune that she was weaving into this tapestry of life
is being played out in another time and place
And yet her song continues through the lives of those
that she touched along the way
And like those before her,
the song will never be the same.
 – Karen Jensen

So there you have it people, my cheesey teen angst poetry.  Although I must say, I still miss Teri all the time.  Please share in the comments what you are doing with teens in your library on the spectrum.  Or how you are using poetry with your teens.  You can even share your own poetry with me.  Don’t worry.  We’ll all be nice about it as our drawers are full of our own. 🙂

Autism and Libraries: A q&a and book giveaway

If I were to tell you this statistic – it affects 1 out of every 110 children – would you know what I am talking about?  The answer is autism.  Current research indicates that 1 out of every 110 children is being diagnosed as being somewhere on the autism spectrum.  If you are a boy, that statistic is even higher: 1 out of 60.  As these children grow up and enter into middle school and high school, their needs, like all teenagers, can be much more complex and aggravated by hormones.  The middle and high school years are very social times and marked by extreme peer pressure, which is a challenge for teens on the spectrum.  Thankfully, there are a lot of books out there on the market to help teens, educators and their families navigate the challenge of being a teen on the spectrum.  Keep reading for your chance to win 3 autism titles to add to your library collection.


One such book is The Aspie Teen’s Survival Guide by J. D. Kraus (published by Future Horizons).  Jeff Kraus knows what it is like to be a teen with Asperger’s Syndrome because he was one.  Now an adult, Jeff took the time to write this book and share his knowledge and experience to help other teens with Asperger’s.  The Survival Guide starts with a basic definition of Asperger’s and then goes on to address specific issues such as heightened senses, stress, driving, bullying, socializing and dating.  I appreciated Kraus sharing his difficulties in communication and the story examples he gives that highlight the lack of affect that is often associated with the spectrum; it helps builds understanding.

I recently had the opportunity to have a Q&A with author J. D. Kraus and ask him some questions that could help those of us working in libraries better understand how we can reach out to and meet the needs of teens on the autism spectrum.  Mr. Kraus was kind and gracious, but he was also quite literal which is a trait common to those with Asperger’s.  I appreciated his insight and valued the opportunity to pick his brains.  In the end, Mr. Kraus spoke more to the school experience, but the information translates to the public library experience as well. 

Libraries typically do various programs to get teens into the library. They can be gathering together to play video games, crafts, etc. Their goal is to bring groups of teens together in social environments.  What would this programming need to look like?

To answer your question, I think it’s a great idea for libraries to put together video games and craft oriented activities in a school environment to bring students together. This was unavailable at the schools I went to–I was pretty much a loner. You have to be careful on what kind of games you bring to the school environment, for instance, first person shooter games like Halo: Combat Evolved is inappropriate (that’s an at home thing). I recommend games that require co-op modes, in which the game requires multiple people to fulfill, such as Guitar Hero or Mario Party. Video games is a great way to bring people together; it brought many of my past friends together. However, video games are two-edged sword. People can very easily get wrapped up in the game and forget the person next to them. I know, b/c when I was younger, I would spend days just gaming. As an adult now, I get bored after an hour. Just keep this mind.

(Editor’s note: I think that the above question highlights how every one can have communication issues centered around language.  When I initially asked about library programming, Kraus was confused because he thought I was asking about computer programming.  I think that many of our patrons are confused because we use industry specific terminology such as programming, circulation, and reference.  Those terms means something to librarians, but don’t really convey our message to our audience.)

How can we best reach this audience?

It varies per each person. When I was a teen, my parents introduced me to a book called “Freaks, Geeks, and Asperger’s Syndrome.” I was hooked and read it within 2 weeks. It opened my eyes to my condition and I did not feel like such an oddball per se. What I’m getting at is that you have to alert students about their condition. Before doing this though, I’d advice talking it over with the parents first.

What items do we need to make sure we have in our library collections? In our teen spaces?

I’d recommend finding or organizing a “quiet place” for students who have AS or on the Autistic spectrum. When I was junior high and high school, I always had 3 safe areas to go when I was overwhelmed. These were: the Principal’s office, the councilor’s office, and the resource room. Knowing that such places were available in the school gave me an opportunity for my mind and stimuli to set at ease. Being AS, my mind can get overwhelmed very quickly, especially in a crowded school hall. Forming a place where just a student can go just for him or her I think is the best way to help out a student on the spectrum. This could be a corner in the library, or a chair assigned to him or her.

How can we best interact with teens on the spectrum at the public service desks?

Be patient and polite. I enjoyed almost all of my teachers in school because of this. A person that is inflexible or even sarcastic has never sit well with me.

(Editor’s note: From my understanding, it is a more common characteristic among those on the spectrum to be literal in their communication so they do not respond well to or even understand sarcasm.  Although they have never come out and said that he is on the spectrum, many people consider Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory to be an example of someone with Asperger’s and if you watch the show you know that he often turns to his friends to find out if someone is being sarcastic before responding.  I think one of the areas that we all could benefit from further training and experience is in interacting one on one with our teens who are on the spectrum.  We tend to operate from a certain set of expectations and these expectations are quite different from those on the spectrum.  Kraus highlights this well in the text of his book: I can’t translate body language any better than i can interpret slang.  I’m absolutely illiterate when it comes to reading hand and body gestures, eye motions, facial expressions, and postures (p.117).

TLT is committed to raising awareness about the special issues of teens with autism and is very excited to offer this prize package of 3 books to add to your library collection.  Each book is designed to help teens on the spectrum better understand themselves and the world in which they live, and to help parents and educators better understand and meet the needs of teens on the spectrum.

The Aspie Teen’s Survival Guide by J. D. Kraus (discussed in this post)
How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger’s by Jennifer McIlwee Myers

Asperger’s in Pink: A mother and daughter guidebook for raising (or being!) a girl with Aasperger’s by Julie Clark
To enter to win, please leave a comment and “like” this post.  To help raise awareness about autism and libraries, please share this post with your friends.  If you are a teen or a parent please enter to win so you can donate the books to the school or public library of your choice.

Previous posts on Autism and Libraries:

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Teen Issues: Teens and Autism and Future Horizons

As many of know, I am the aunt to 3 boys on the autism spectrum, one of whom is now officially a teenager.  His life is very different from the teens we usually see in our libraries.  He won’t be coming to any library programs or telling you what he thinks about the books he reads. He communicates through a Dynavox. He bites himself when he becomes frustrated about his inability to communicate or if he become overstimulated. He likes to go for rides in the car and play on the computer. And like most young teens, he likes to ride his bike.

I don’t know what the future holds for my nephews, but I know that current statistics indicate that 1 out of 110 kids are being diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. If you look at just boys, 1 out of 60 boys is on the spectrum. The library world, like the rest of the world, has started to take note of these statistics and really started to examine what they can do in their communities to reach out to teens on the spectrum, and their families.  One of the ways we can reach out, of course, is by providing quality information. Meet Future Horizons.

http://www.fhautism.com/ You can request a free catalog

While at ALA Midwinter in Dallas, one of the publisher booths I stumbled upon was for Future Horizons.  Future Horizons is the “world leader in publications and conferences on autism and Asperger’s Syndrome since 1996” (catalog cover).  They offer a wide variety of materials on autism and Asperger’s, including materials on reading comprehension, social skills training, and help understanding the basics of spectrum disorders. They have a wide variety of people writing for them, from people on the spectrum themselves to educators and doctors who specialize in working with ASD individuals.

The President of Future Horizons is Mr. R. Wayne Gilpin and he is also the father of a young man on the spectrum named Alex.  The Future Horizons objective is to “focus on the positive and the progress these special people can make.” The emphasis in their materials is not on finding a “cure” (if there is one to be found), but upon helping us all see and empower these individuals in positive ways.

Some of the titles you may want to consider adding to your collection include:

Apps for Autism: An Essential Guide to Over 200 Effective Apps for Improving Communication, Behavior, Social Skills, and More! by Lois Jean Brady, M. A., CCC-SLP

Many people are finding that there are a wide variety of apps that can help individuals on the spectrum develop important skills and better communicate. This title helps to highlight some of those apps and cut down on the trail and error (and financial burden) of trying to find those apps.

Asperger’s and Girls by Temple Grandin

The Way I See It by Temple Grandin

Dr. Temple Grandin is a recognized authority on life on the spectrum because she herself is indeed on the spectrum. She is also one of the world’s leading experts in livestock facility design.

They also have titles on inclusive programming for Middle School and High School students with Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome.

The catalog is divided into categories to help make collection development easy. The categories include diagnosis, sensory issues, family issues, behavior, social skills, education, and growing up for example.  They also offer book bundles like the Asperger’s Syndrome Package or the Dr. Temple Grandin Library. These packages include a variety of titles on the topic at a reduced price.

If you know anything about Autism and Asperger’s, then you are familiar with the name Dr. Temple Grandin and I think it speaks volumes to the quality and integrity of this publishing house that this is who she chooses to write and publish with.

If you are not actively doing so, I hope that you will spend some time getting to understand Autism and Asperger’s and seek out ways that you can reach out to those on the spectrum in your community. You can visit the Future Horizons website at http://www.fhautism.com/ to find out more about the resources and conferences that they offer.  Please visit the Autism and Libraries page to learn more about the initiative to better serve the autism community in our libraries.

I have contacted Future Horizons and they were kind enough to set up an interview for me with J. D. Kraus, which will be coming soon. J. D. Kraus is the author of The Aspie Teen’s Survival Guide.  Kraus is a young man on the spectrum and he will be sharing with us some insight into living a life with Asperger’s and some of the things libraries should know to better help understand and meet the needs of teens on the spectrum.

Please visit my previous posts about autism for more information on libraries and autism:
Teen Issues: Autism and Libraries
Guest Blog Post: On the Spectrum and @ Your Library

Guest Blog Post: On the Spectrum and @ Your Library.

Today’s blog post is brought to you by Matthew Ross, he is the director of the Bucyrus Public Library in Ohio and the father of 3 children, one of whom is Autistic.  Alex’s mom, Angie, is also an MLS librarian.  Together they write this blog post for us with a unique perspective for librarians to consider when serving our tween and teen patrons on the spectrum.

On the Spectrum and @Your Library
Our son rubs his hands together in a ritualistic flurry. It’s called “stimming” and it is a strategy Alex uses to calm himself down when things get a little too intense for him to handle. Right now things are intense. Apparently, the lady in front of us at the circ desk is concerned because she has fines—she is sure she returned them on time.   Alex’s stimming grows faster. Sometimes that happens when he is really happy, but since we have been waiting for a good five minutes to get our movies checked out and be on our way, I’m pretty sure that happiness is currently not an issue. In fact, I get the feeling we are just moments away from a full-on autistic meltdown.
For a child with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), a simple trip to the library can be a difficult adventure. Sure, the library has lots of great stuff, but to access it, you have to pay a pretty big price in terms of anxiety. What if they relocated the movies? What if someone else is sitting in your chair? What if the books are not in the right order? When ASD is involved, things are never simple.
Alex was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder at age two. Taking him to the library was a challenge even when he was in a stroller. Let’s just say Alex was never too good at displaying proper reverence in Mr. Carnegie’s Temple of Quiet Reflection. As he got too old to be easily corralled, we were forced to stop taking him altogether outside of rare, quick trips in and out.
It still seems strange that we cannot go to the neighborhood library as a family and enjoy browsing the shelves before enjoying some of the great programs they offer. Maybe that’s because we know what we’re missing. Each morning, I commute a few miles up the road from my home to my job as the Director of the Bucyrus Public Library. My wife, Angela, spent six years as a Reference Librarian at the Lima Public Library before we decided that it was best for Alex if she stayed at home to take care of him. We are a family that loves libraries. I just wish my son could enjoy them.
If the statistics are accurate, chances are that you know a kid like Alex too. Since one in every 80 boys and one in every 240 girls are dealing with a disorder on the spectrum, that’s a lot of patrons who may find it difficult or impossible to enjoy the services, materials and programs you work so hard to provide. In fact, it’s more than the total number of people diagnosed with breast cancer and childhood diabetes each year combined. It is my hope that the profession will increasingly realize that this rapidly growing and often misunderstood segment of our community is underserved—and that is unacceptable.
Fortunately, librarians do seem to get it. They want to help. No one wants to see a population excluded from the library, but many staff members do not feel like they have the training or the tools to serve individuals with an autistic spectrum disorder. In New Jersey, Fanwood Memorial Library and the Scotch Plains Library have teamed up to create “Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected,” an awesome outreach for ASD individuals. Be sure to check out their training video to pick up great tips for staff interacting with the ASD community.
As I mentioned though, my wife and I are not just librarians. We’re patrons and parents and autism looms large in our lives. So I would like to leave you with a few tips from that perspective. Hopefully, they can make your library a welcoming place for families like ours:
1.     Be Sensitive: Teen Librarians are used to some pretty bizarre patron behavior, but a child dealing with a particularly difficult ASD moment can raise that to a whole new level. These kids and their caregivers are used to seeing shocked stares and obvious disapproval everywhere they go. Don’t let the library become associated with that scene.  If a behavior cannot be ignored, a simple, sincere offer to help would be appreciated.

Image from http://www.displaysforschools.com/autism.html
2.     Offer Targeted Programming: For many kids with ASD, a typical library program might be intolerable. Literally. Too much stimulation—loud noises, too many moving bodies, crazy lights—can be painful and overwhelming. Consider spending a little of your programming time and effort on offerings tailored to the needs of kids dealing with autism. It could be as simple as doing a movie night with the lights on, the sound a little lower, and the expectation that there will be interruptions.  It is really hard to find appropriate activities for kids on the spectrum. If you make the effort, we will notice.


3.     Offer Targeted Materials: Individuals on the spectrum, as well as their caregivers, have unique information needs. Things that typical teens take for granted—such as handling simple social situations—can produce a lot of anxiety for patrons dealing with ASD. Parents are likely to find all kinds of materials on raising a young child with autism, but information on raising autistic teens can be a lot harder to come by. Get to know the specialty publishers and find out what’s out there that should be on your shelves. In an age of gaming, programming, and computers, we sometimes forget that a simple book on a shelf can be a real lifeline for our patrons. As a parent, I can tell you that a copy of Meeting Autism’s Challenges for Dummies does not come free with your child’s diagnosis.
Matt mentions in his post targeted programming with a special emphasis on adapted movie screenings; some big chain movie theaters are doing programs of this nature with great success.  There was recently an Autism friendly screening of Breaking Dawn for teens and adults on the spectrum.

Matt also suggests doing targeted materials; Toys R Us gives us a good example of a helpful list with its autism friendly toys list.  Without a doubt libraries could make the same type of lists highlighting books in their collections for people on the spectrum.  You can read my previous blog post on Teens/Tweens with Autism and Libraries which has a link to the Toys R Us list.


It is an honor in my life to be able to call Matt and Angie not only co-workers and fellow professionals, but friends.  I have gotten to spend time with them and Alex and not only appreciate him as a person but see the challenges that autism brings to a family.  They have recently started a special church ministry with their church to allow families with children on the spectrum the opportunity to go to church.  I appreciate them taking the time to write this blog post for us and help us understand from both a parent and librarian point of view some insight into what libraries can be doing to help kids and teens of all ages on the spectrum.

Teen Issues: Autism and Libraries

It is hard these days not to hear about and think about Autism.  Statistics indicate that 1 out of every 110 children are now diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum (ASD).  Statistics also indicate that if you look at only boys, it is 1 out of every 60 boys.  Over the years the rate has slowly been getting higher, which has tremendous immediate and long term implications for all of society, including libraries. (National Autism Association)

I am not a doctor.  I don’t even play one on TV.  But I am the aunt to 3 boys on the spectrum, including 1 that is a teenager.  I am also friends to many families that have autistic children, some of whom are on the higher end of the spectrum, lower functioning.

At times lately I have heard and read about autism and libraries, and I think it is a necessary discussion and frankly we, as a profession, have probably been slower to take part in the discussion then we should have been.  But the truth is, it is a hard discussion to have.

Autism in Teen Fiction

When someone was asking recently about teen fiction titles that deal with autism, a good list was put together.  And yet, I was stirred with a strong sense of conviction to point out what I thought was a fundamental flaw with the way current teen fiction portrays autism.  You see, most of the depictions portray characters with high functioning autism or a type of autism called Asperger’s (not necessarily the same thing).  These depictions do not represent the whole of the spectrum.  They fail to look at life with kids on the high end of the spectrum who are lower functioning.  Those kids that will possibly never leave their homes to live on their own.  These are not the Sheldons from Big Bang Theory (who is often discussed as possibly being on the spectrum in online articles), but more like one of our first popular culture introductions to autism, Rain Man.

I always find teen fiction with autistic characters interesting because they never seem to match my personal experience with autism; the poop smearing, running out of the house naked, will never talk and barely function in society kind (this is not my only experience with autism, it is simply the end of the spectrum that I feel is often ignored in pop culture).  Of the books that I have read, the characters are always milder on the spectrum.  I found The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and Al Capone Does My Shirts to be the most informative.  I love how in The Curious Incident the main character talks about what he sees in a field compared to what other people see, and I love how he discusses his sensory issues and coping strategies.  There is tremendous to value to any and all depictions of autism in teen literature; teens need to read and understand the wide variety of personalities and challenges living on the spectrum.  It is important for us all to dive into the world of others and develop compassion and understanding and that is true of autism as well.
 
Teen Fiction Reading Lists: Autism
 
Here author Nora Raleigh Baskin discusses her title Anything But Typical about a high functioning, nonverbal 12 year old boy.
 
Here is a presentation on autism in various pop culture mediums including television and literature.
 
From a Sibling Point of View
 
I did appreciate getting the siblings point of view in Al Capone.  But what about the teenager living in a home with a family member that is higher on the spectrum, lower functioning?  Where are those books depicting what it is life for a teen to grow up in a home with a sibling that they can’t come home from school and discuss their day?  Where they are woken up at 4 am by a sibling who can’t get back to sleep and is starting to wander outside the home and they try to gently lead them by the hand back into the house and calm them down?  What is life like for a teen who can’t invite their friends over after school out of fear that their sibling will strip naked, start flapping their arms out of stress, or act out aggressively?
 
When children grow up in homes with special needs siblings, their life experiences can be dramatically different.  A lot of time and financial resources are spent taking care of ASD kids, whether that be for unique medical needs, therapies, or simply trying to calm them down.  There is often a need for routine and predictability in ASD kids, which would put a lot of additional stress on siblings.  Family outings and social activities can become very limited.
 
Many people don’t understand what life with a low functioning autistic child is like for one simple reason: these families can become prisoners to their child’s autism and don’t spend a lot of time navigating grocery stores and malls because their child can’t take the difference in routine and stimulation.  Autism Speaks created a 13 minute video that tries to better explain what life with an autistic child is like called Autism Every Day.  This is a depiction of younger children, but they grow up to be teens and although there can be improvement through therapies and other interventions, there are still teens who appear higher on the spectrum.  Plus, for many teens, this is their experience of autism with siblings.
 
One of the things I would like to see in teen literature is more discussion and depictions of what life is like for teens living in a world impacted by more severe types of autism.  These teens need to see their experiences and feelings validated in the stories that they read.  They need to know that they are not alone.  And they need to know that what they think and feel as their lives are touched by autism is normal.
 
What Can Libraries Do?
 
Even as someone whose life has been touched first hand by autism, I recognize that I am not an expert at all and find it difficult to come up with practical ideas for libraries.  There are so many who are better trained and equipped to provide libraries with the information they need to work ASD kids and teens.  I really recommend reaching out and tapping into their expertise.
 
I think libraries should reach out to specialists in their communities (contact your local schools) and ask them to come in and do training with staff.  Help staff understand what autism is and to help those families that come in with children on the spectrum.  Help staff to understand that not all instances of problem behavior in the library necessarily means that bad parenting is involved; sometimes when that child is throwing themselves on the floor and throwing a fit they are experiencing an actual physical pain as they take in too much stimulation.  An essential part of serving our communities is understanding them and their needs.  People from your local community can also help you understand the make up of your local autistic community: what percentage is there, what ages, what services are offered, etc.
 
Check with your community to see if there are any autism support groups.  Allow them to meet in your library’s meeting rooms and offering programming for teen siblings in another on site location while these meetings take place.  Siblings need an opportunity to have support, too.  And sometimes, they just want to meet with a group of peers and have fun like all teens do.  You can give them those opportunities while supporting their families.  These families are also one of the best resources to tap into for information and training as they are living it every day.
 
ALA has put together some training called Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected.  There are a lot of resources here so please check it out.  I think this resource talks more specifically to what libraries can do for teens on the spectrum and does it well, so I won’t repeat it here.  Please go check it out.
 
And as always, have a variety of resources available to your patrons.  Put together a list of resources in-house, nonfiction and fiction titles for family members of all ages, and some contact information for local agencies.  Toys R Us in an example of someone who does this well; they have put together a sheet online and in their stores highlighting specific toys that work well with children on the spectrum.  Libraries can create the same type of informational resources for families highlighting library resources and services that meet the needs of these families. 
 
April is Autism Awareness Month.  This is a good time to do displays, training and seminars to the public.  It is also a great time to do special programming for kids on the spectrum and their siblings.  Autism has tremendous impact on families and the community as a whole, so spend some time making yourself and your staff aware of this impact and learning how to meet the unique challenges presented.  You want to make sure to address everything from customer service at the front line services desks to programming and community outreach.  Autism is not going away (although I do hope they find a cure, and soon), we need to be proactive in serving our teens affected by autism.
 
Other Resources:
Blog post: What pop culture has taught me about autism
The Altantic: When autism stars
School Library Journal: The Voices of Autism
School Library Journal: The Equal Opportunity Disorder
School Library Journal: Remarkable Reads: Autism
Service on the Spectrum: Mediating the Information Needs of Teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Public Library
The Curious Inciden of the Dog in the Nighttime discussion group questions
Scholastic: Al Capone Does My Shirt discussion guide