By Stephie King
Are you one of those readers who devours material about autism with a dry well of content to drink from? Check out some of the books loved by autistic creator, Lizzie, as well as her own contribution to the book pile.
A new book project is looming on the horizon of completion you may be interested in and want to help see to its fruition. Stim: An Autism Anthology, is the new collaboration headed by fellow autistic, Lizzie Huxley “Hux” Jones. The plan began as a way to give people on the spectrum a chance to let their voices be heard rather than spread information about autism via family members or professionals. It is an authentic “our voices” project and it contains many contributions by women in the world of autism.
Lizzie, a stalwart reader from a young age, found out the autistic spectrum existed in her late twenties and noticed a lack of books featuring autistic people giving their own perspective. She wanted to foster an opportunity for individuals on the spectrum to showcase their talents and fill the demand for their creativity and gifts. She realized she was autistic by reading about what it feels like. In researching the spectrum to help friends who were diagnosed. Then she became self aware and pursued diagnosis.
Lo and behold, she was spot on in her self assessment.
Since she’s putting together a collective book I wanted to ask her about–you guessed it–books. Her go-to nonfiction list includes Naoki Higashida’s essays and Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham. As for noteworthy fiction recommendations, Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine and The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas are tops for the anthologist. There is also an incomplete yet still incredible list of reads available on her blog, Hux Tales.
Lizzie describes stimming as “self soothing behavior”; repetitive motions that calm or aid in the thinking process. People notice these movements and have stigmatized them since they are noticeable and seem strange. Lizzie is one of many autistic people who have been made fun of publicly for exhibiting stims. The book’s title, Stim, serves as a reminder that the behaviors are not dangerous and are a normal part of living with autism.
Stim is going to consist of essays juxtaposed to short stories and art. It is just over 40% funded and can be found on the indie DIY publishing company site, Unbound.
Stephanie “Rider” King is a millennial birth mother who has had worsening symptoms of ASD as an adult, but upon recovering a contiguous film-like memory due to therapy for trauma realized she has visuospatial and pattern recognition savant skills in her art. Currently learning to code to prove it with science, she is on public assistance and would like to sell her art for a living. She has been in and out of homelessness her whole adult life and is unable to work due to PTSD and cognitive visions that take her completely out of the room without any light or walls around her. Once formally diagnosed, she might one day sue her parents for traumatizing her as her savant syndrome helps prove her recovered memory was real and is evidence that they kept her away from therapists and doctors deliberately in order to abuse her.
She can be found at www.gofundme.com/savantofillusion, www.savantofillusions.com, https://www.facebook.com/savantofillusion, and @illusoryart on twitter.
Picture in Header is of Lizzie Huxley Jones.