Cover Image: The Awesome Autistic Guide for Trans Teens

The Awesome Autistic Guide for Trans Teens

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Member Reviews

I found this so helpful! As a guide it was well presented and clear, but also funny and engaging, and I could barely stop reading!
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This is an excellent and informative resource for anyone wanting to understand more about gender identity in the neuro divergent world. Written in an easy to understand way with practical advice. Highly recommend this title.

Thanks to Jessica Kingsley Publishers and NetGalley for the review copy.
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First the usual preface: I haven't been a teen in a good few years, however I am trans, and have some undiagnosed but pretty clear autistic traits. I know many folk who are both trans and autistic - and of course the discussion about whether this is correlation or causation or both continues apace. What's clear, it that many teenagers are both trans and autistic. But there is a severe lack of information and support available for these folk. This book exists to try and redress that balance.
It's a good book to read. Even being two decades out of my teens doesn't mean I can't learn both something new for me, and something new about the folk around me.
The authors do a really good job of bringing the issues and questions trans and autistic teens might have into the light, and looking at them properly. For all that it's a fairly short book, it covers a lot of territory.
That does mean it can't cover things deeply, but that's not a fault. It aims to be a jumping off point, and that's exactly what it provides.

The Awesome Autistic Guide for Trans Teens was released on 21st June 2022. You can pick it up at Amazon UK or US, or your favourite bookseller or library.
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What I liked about this book:
• Upbeat tone
• Takes absolutely nothing for granted and anticipates questions
• Non-excessive redundancy so it's easier to pick up and use
• Offers practice scripts for some situations
• Embraces broad definitions of both autism and trans/nonbinary identity

What I didn't like about this book
• Mostly I just wanted more, more more—it's pretty brief and bare-bones

What I don't like about this world
• That we need books like this (but I'm glad they exist)
• That life is getting more hostile toward trans teens and supportive family members
• That we need a section on bullying
• That the available pronouns don't match our actual diversity
• That cis-hetero-patriarchal structures exist all over the place, sending out messages about who does and doesn't belong.

I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley; the opinions are my own.
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I liked the intersectionality that is addressed in this book and the fact that it is written by authors who identify as autistic and trans.  There were lots of good explanations, and it was very much written for younger readers which will benefit many patrons in our library.  I think the book is a good source of information for all readers, whether they identify as Autistic or trans, and I look forward to adding it to our collection.
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Look, it is pretty neat that a huge percentage of autistic people are also trans, or do gender in a Different way than expected, and I think this is very cool. And this book thinks that’s really cool too! I think this book is written in a really accessible way, a really good “also we have experienced the same things you might be thinking and this is what we did” book, and again, I am really glad that this book is written as “nothing about us without us” (vs. Own Voices). I also think that this book doesn’t sound too ‘fake’ or enthusiastic, it feels genuinely helpful. Five stars. A great addition to any young adult library.
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As an autistic and gender divergent person, I was ecstatic to read this book. It did not disappoint! I think that this book is going to do a lot of great things for autistic and trans teens. I know that I would have loved to have seen this book on the shelves when I was younger because I never was able to see myself reflected in what I was reading. All of the "guides" being advertised to teens were things I couldn't relate to, and this would have made my life so much easier. I love how easy this book was to read (I read it in one sitting), as well as how accessible the information was. The use of real-life examples and also the presentation of solutions and resources for problems was great.

I only had two criticisms for this book, and in the long run they aren't that important. First, at some points when the authors were quoting celebrities they used the celebrities' first names, which authors aren't supposed to do unless they have a personal relationship with the person they are writing about. I also thought that the book could have spoken more about the autistic side of being trans and autistic, as well as more about the intersection between being trans and autistic. It talked more about being trans and didn't offer much in the way of support for being autistic besides a few sentences. It also didn't talk about ableism at all. However, I think this book will still be incredibly helpful to trans and autistic teens!

Thank you to NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for allowing me access to this wonderful ARC!
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This book is definitely filling a gap in the market that really needed measured information to be provided. I think this book is fabulous because it does not sensationalise what Autism actually is, but explains it in an accessible and non-judgemental way. It also links Autism to Transgender and clearly gives the most common terminology being used today with easy to follow definitions. Each section comes with questions/tasks you can work through to see if the explanations apply to you.

Both authors have a lived experience of this, which is why I think the book is so powerful. As I raise my teenagers, I hear them use the terminology in this book a lot and it has helped me understand a little more about something which is only just beginning to be discussed.

Really useful book to have to hand for any child who is feeling unsure or questioning their gender, and bewildered parents trying to make sense of a new landscape.
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I could see this being used as part of a comprehensive health program for autistic teens. On its own however, I'm not sure how useful it would actually be for most teens. The writing style and tone are very introductory level, but the content, terminology used, and context could have used a lot more exploration than they are given here. And, frankly, I'm not sure how useful this book will be for the majority of autistic queer youth who are non-white and living in unsafe environments.

I do really appreciate that this book exists and I think the information that is presented is very good. I appreciate NetGalley and the authors offering a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the digital advance copy.

This book was a delight, explaining in clear and understandable terms the intersections and relations between trans and autistic identities, struggles, and joys. A wonderful read.

Mx Purkis and Mx Rose’s book is friendly and not in any way condescending. It goes into discrimination, dysphoria, transness, gender divergence, neurodivergence, and so many other things.
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Helpful information for those who don't know a lot about autism and/or gender identity! Helps connect youth with resources and lets them know they aren't alone.
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This is such a great little book and perfect resource for young audiences. It feels comprehensive and accessible. 5 stars!
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This is a really great starting point for people just learning about autism and gender diversity. It does a good job explaining complex terms in a simple and easy-t0-grasp way. Most people who have done even a little reading about gender diversity will know most of what is covered in this book, but as a starting point I think it works well for adults and teens.

However some of the terms are defined *too* simply or breezed past which can lead to confusion. I definitely wouldn't recommend this as the *only* source of information. As a starting point and supplement to the journey, it works well. I am even thinking of giving it to my mom as a way to help her understand me better (even though I am an adult instead of a teen).

I found the second half of the book less interesting and helpful for me mostly because I am not a teen. If I were a teen just beginning to explore my gender identity then the information about hormones and how to access therapy and how to come out would be very helpful. In fact, if I had had this as a teen it would have been amazing and saved me a lot of stress and confusion during high school and college.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for providing an e-arc for review.
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This is such an important and needed book. It's going to have an impact and is very informative in a simple, easy-to-understand way without being condescending or repetitive. 

I'm not a teenager, so I'm not the exact targeted audience of this book, and as such it did read as a little too simplistic for me but that's partially because I already knew most of the things talked about and am older than the target audience but I can still see how great of a resource this book is. It covers a lot of different topics in a forthright way that is easy to read and comprehend. 

This is a great book and I'm so glad it exists. It's much needed. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an arc of this in exchange for an honest review.
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Just like Sam and Yenn said, there weren't books like this available when I was growing up, so it's nice to see something being put out for kids to be able to read and understand as they grow up. The way they explained that there's not just the Western idea of gender and a variety of pronouns beside she/they/he was great, as well as providing a list of well known people who are trans and or autistic.

There was a weird disconnect between the way things were explained and the age range the book seemed to want to reach. It's a lot of text, but the way the book "talked" felt more like it was aimed for "tweens" or parents of autistic or trans kids than teenagers.
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I wish this guide had been around for many people I knew growing up. Considering there's a higher percentage of  trans folks in the autistic community than in the neruo-typical community, this is a necessary and fun book!
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The Awesome Autistic Guide for Trans Teens is an informative and enjoyable read that I think would be very useful for young people and would make a good addition to the school library and books available from the wellbeing office. I particularly liked that the authors have included practical advice for what to say or do in situations that gender diverse young people may find themselves in and the language is inclusive and affirming. At the end of each section, there are workbook style questions for readers to complete which some readers may need help with. I would recommend this for students/schools and parents/carers.
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I received an advanced reader copy of The Awesome Autistic Guide for Trans Teens by Yenn Purkis and Sam Rose in exchange for an honest review.

This may come as a surprise to some people, but autistic people are significantly more likely to be trans than neurotypical people. There is a huge portion of the trans community that is neurodivergent. I think a book like this, the Awesome Autistic Guide for Trans Teens, is an excellent resource for young people who may be just discovering their own neuro- and gender-divergence.

The Awesome Autistic Guide for Trans Teens is a straightforward read, easy to understand for someone first learning about trans and autistic identities. It is concise and to the point, and could easily be read in a single sitting. Acting as a starting point, or a first resource for its intended audience, this book contains a plethora of definitions for various identities and labels, and even repeats them in a glossary in the back for easy access.

I appreciate that this book acknowledges the discourse surrounding identity-first and person-first language. Many large organizations, such as @utism $peaks (which is a hate group by the way, trying to eradicate autism rather than support autistic people), preach that we must use person-first language: person with autism rather than autistic person. However, all of the autistic people I personally know say they prefer identity-first language, because their autism is a part of their identity, just like their gender or sexuality. This book explains this distinction, and encourages the reader to choose for themselves which they prefer.

One of my favorite parts of this book was the list of trans and/or autistic celebrities and notable figures. Having a list like that is important for an introductory text like this, so that the reader can know about specific other people like them and that they are not alone. It gives them people to look up to that they otherwise might not have known about.

Throughout the book there were activity pages, encouraging the reader to do some self-reflection about the subject of the chapter. If utilized, these will help the reader to better understand their own identities.

One thing I wish this book had touched on was the prevalence of self-diagnosis in the autistic community. Self-diagnosed autistic people are embraced by the autistic community for many reasons. Getting a diagnosis can be difficult, especially when many of the guidelines for diagnosis are discriminatory against women and people of color. There are a lot of autistic kids out there who go undiagnosed, and this would be a great tool for them, if they knew self-diagnosis was valid. 

Overall I think The Awesome Autistic Guide for Trans Teens is a book that will potentially help a lot of people, and I am glad that it is being published. Thank you NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for the advanced reader copy.
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4.5 stars 

First, I would like to thank the possibility to read this book! As someone questioning their gender, this book was somewhat helpful and was another piece to add to my inner discourse surrounding gender presentation and neurodivergency. I would like to start by acknowledging the tone of the book. At first, I thought it might have been too soft, not addressing the kind of discrimination and trauma that both autistic people and trans people face. But then, I understood that I was doing that thing that adults do, the “I’m only preparing them for the violence of the real world” and I stepped back. Now, I believe the tone is brilliant! Autistic trans kids deserve kindness, softness and a moment of silence and since this guide will also be read by parents, educators and practitioners, it models this kindness in their treatment. It's interesting the things you discover when reading. Continuing with the positives, I adore the idea of a coming out script and the scripts for answering questions. First, it should be indispensable in neurodivergent non-fiction and self-help to have them. Second, they are so helpful and kind, focusing on respect. The only thing I would include is non-verbal scripts, for non-speaking or overwhelmed autistics. I’m aware you said we don't have to answer but sometimes the answer should be told non verbally. Now for the things I wish to comment on. One of the resources you used Genderbread, while an amazing concept and incredible tool, seems a bit incomplete due to the lack of androgynous or neutral alignments and intersex options. But I still applaud the use of this type of tool, because I have used it in the past and found it incredibly important but it is still important for it to be inclusive. The second thing is while I like the idea of activities, maybe it shouldn't include numbers. As an autistic, it can induce anxiety when I don't know all of the answers and this might be the case for more people. Perhaps, just a line for answering would be preferable and a square for you to cross if you feel you need to research the topic more. That way if the guide and the activities are used in the classroom, there is space for continuous learning or possible project touching on these activities. Another thing is the enumeration of bipolar disorder as a mental illness when bipolar is a neurodivergency. This connects to a point missed relating to self-awareness of other neurotypes in case the reader has a hybrid neurotype. Awareness of how our brain works is essential to calm anxiety. The last thing I would like to write about is something that I wished was included in the book. The guide talked about hormones, pronouns, names and gender dysphoria but missed one huge topic for autistics. Clothes, concerning gender expression and sensory differences. Masking through clothes would have to be discussed, and while the readers may be a bit young to deconstruct their masking, the knowledge would be valuable. The chapter could also discuss passing and how a change in wardrobe needs to be a compromise between ideal self-expression and sensory differences. Overall, this is a really good book and I hope it changes many people’s lives. This is a kind of book that its own existence makes the world richer and better. Thank you, authors, for making it!
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The Awesome Autistic Guide for Trans Teens is a self help book written by autistic and trans writers. It gives a basic overview of what it means to be trans and what it means to be autistic, and everything is explained clearly and simply. 

The book features activities, making it engaging for teens, with a structure that will help autistic teens get the most from it. There are helpful scripts for social situations such as coming out or encountering rude questions, which I wish I'd had when I was a teen! There are also examples of autistic and trans role models, giving trans autistic teens role models, and showing them that they aren't alone, and that they can achieve their potential.

At times, the way topics are treated with a broad overview sometimes feels a little vague, and the book expects teen to have the ability to do their own research. Obviously many will be able to, but there are varying levels of disability amongst autistic people so some teens may need more help than others. Unfortunately the vagueness is probably an unavoidable side effect of trying to make the book apply to as many geographical regions as possible, and there are some further resources provided at the back of the book.

My favourite thing about this book is that it doesn't describe autism as a negative or deficit. Instead, autism is described using positive or neutral language. 'Passionate interests' rather than restrictive, 'heightened sensory experiences', 'logical approach to life'. This is super refreshing. It's really nice to read something that doesn't pathologise autism.

Given the way that people have been attacking the trans community lately, and actively trying to stop autistic trans people from accessing transition, a book like this is a blessing.
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