Leah-Anne Bott is an author and #actually autistic advocate, and we wanted to share some tips she has for young autistic individuals, as well as tell you about a new fundraising initiative Leah-Anne has for her latest children’s book.
Leah-Anne Bott’s top tips for young autistic individuals
“Consider a support dog. I’m living my best life thanks to my dog Leeson, pictured. I went through a really rough few years, but a mixture of growing up, being on the right meds, therapy and counselling, getting through puberty, the right support and this handsome boy has allowed me to spread my wings and fly! My gorgeous pup Leeson recently helped me take a bus ride after a trying morning. It took three attempts to actually get on the bus, but I did it, and he was a super star the whole time! I would add that assistance dogs aren’t for everyone though, and are a lot of hard work. They are animals not miracle workers; however can do amazing things!” Visit Support Dogs’ website.
“Remember, you never know what your autistic child is capable of. Never forget to celebrate the little things, because the little things are HUGE! If your child is expressing a want to start being more independent, these are the three things I’d recommend to help turn coping into thriving:”
1. Give them something to hold – it gives a sense of stability and continuance. No matter what goes wrong, you still have X to hold onto (I use Leeson’s grounding handle, but before him, I’d used a soft toy or a hoodie string).
2. Let them have something to stim with – it helps with self soothing and distraction (I use my chewigem sensory seeking chewy product, but before that, I used a tangle sensory toy).
3. Offer them something to provide or prevent sensory input – this will depend on if you’re a sensory seeker, e.g. seeking sensory input like pressure or movement, or an avoider (I use my wireless headphones or ear defenders for avoidance, but for sensory seeking, something scented like a bit of cloth with perfume sprayed on it may be useful).
Leah-Anne is currently raising funds for her latest kids’ book, Unique but United, in the Wagging Tales series.
“This is a children’s picture book that aims to support autistic children as they learn about their diagnosis,” she explains. “This is the sequel to Pesky Penguins, a story in which children learnt about anxiety and the penguins that are causing mayhem in their heads.”
“There are many books about autism, but few are written by an autistic author, and even fewer are written for autistic children, instead of their neurotypical peers,” she continues.
“As a young autistic woman, my voice has often been lost in the crowd, but as I grew, I found my voice.”
“I want to use my letters, my words, my voice to support young autistic children,” Leah-Anne concludes. Her books are Pesky Penguins and the new title, Unique but United.
Click HERE to help fund Leah-Anne’s Unique but United book. #actuallyautistic