Guest Post: Difficulties Writing Authentic Autistic People + Book Giveaway

Posted June 20, 2016 by shooting in Uncategorized / 12 Comments

A Bouquet for Adam: Difficulties Writing Authentic Autistic People

By K.T. Spence
In “A Bouquet for Adam,” my co-author, A. J. Marcus and I dove into the deep end when it came to writing a person with autism. For me, this had both simple and complex attributes.
My nine-year old daughter, N, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when she was 5. For two years prior to that, she spent time in occupational and speech therapy including hippotherapy (therapy on horseback) and a play-based therapy called Floortime. 
I felt well-versed in autism. At least, enough to write this character, Adam.
However, the longer A. J. and I wrote, the more I began to question the authenticity of the character. After all, I only have a nine-year old and I was trying to expand what I knew about autism from her behaviors into a thirty-year old male. 
TO BE CONTINUED ON…Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance!!!

I wanted to share a little bit of this guest post here, but instead of cross-posting, please continue on to my LGBT+ blog to read the rest AND enter the giveaway. All comments over there are treated like comments here; which means I will do my best to visit your blog if you visit/comment on mine! 

12 responses to “Guest Post: Difficulties Writing Authentic Autistic People + Book Giveaway

  1. It's so hard to write characters from different backgrounds or with different illnesses because authenticity and a true portrayal is so, so important. I'm glad that authors are not shying away from writing these characters, though, because they need their representation as well. Thanks for sharing this post! 🙂

  2. It's great that more authors are featuring characters with exceptionalities. Off the top of my head, The Rosie Project is a book that features an adult character with ASD that I thought was really well done.

  3. DMS

    This was such an interesting post. I can see how the more K.T. wrote the harder it was to know if she was writing the character correctly. I know some autistic children and a friend's sister-in-law is also on the spectrum. Each one is different, but certainly writing an adult would be the most difficult for me. I have read books written by adults on the spectrum, and that has helped me to see what life is like through their eyes. Thanks for sharing and best of luck to K.T. and A.J.

  4. I had no idea that therapy on a horse was called hippotherapy. Now I do. I have many friends with children on different levels in the autism spectrum and I know for them,of prime concern is how will this transition to adult hood. That would be tricky to write about for sure.

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