A new children’s book celebrating neurodiversity is the centre of a crowdfunding campaign to get it on the shelves and into the hands of the kids who need it most.
Some Brains, written by Melbourne author and former stand-up comedian Nelly Thomas, is $4,000 shy of her funding goal through crowdfunding platform Pozible, with two days to go.
A continuation of her much-loved ‘Some’ series, Some Brains helps children understand that everyone’s brain is uniquely different and was inspired by the autism diagnosis of a loved one.
Ms Thomas says her message to children is everyone’s brain is uniquely ‘ours’, just like our fingerprints.
“Even the positive books for kids all focus on autism being a disorder or a problem, rather than a critical part of our biodiversity.
“They look at the difference from a neurotypical point of view and, for example, assume that a non-verbal kid can’t communicate. What they really mean is “I don’t understand what they’re saying” - they are definitely communicating, just not in your way.”
She says one brain is not better or worse than another.
“The main message is to approach autism as a potential strength, not as a disorder.
“That doesn’t mean all autistic kids will be math geniuses, but it does mean that they will, as the book says, ‘show you an angle you just might not see’.
“If we keep telling kids with autism they need to learn to ‘blend in’ and ‘be like everyone else’ we are telling them that’s there’s something wrong with them. We also lose their insights.
Ms Thomas says Some Girls was brought to life after her youngest daughter was teased for having short hair and she says she wrote Some Boys to ‘create a world for them that is loving and kind’.
“Some Brains is just a continuation of the ‘Some’ series, but also points to difference without marking it out as normal/abnormal.”
“I firmly believe people on the Spectrum have valuable insights into things that us (me) neurotypicals just can’t understand yet - but need to try to.”
You can support Some Brains through Pozible here.
Some Brains is available for pre-order through Pozible, on Ms Thomas’ website or will be on shelves in March 2020.
You can also watch Ms Thomas read the whole book here.