Published

25 March 2022

Educom academic Dr Rebecca Wood's new book, Learning from Autistic Teachers: How to be a Neurodiversity-Inclusive School, will be published on 21 April, and celebrated with a subsequent book launch on 27 April.

Dr Rebecca Wood is a Senior Lecturer in  Special Educational Needs and Principal Investigator of ASSP (Autistic School Staff Project) in the School of Education and Communities.

The new book is developed from a pioneering research project which involved autistic teachers and other autistic school professionals sharing their experiences of the challenges and successes of their careers. Contributors challenge assumptions and stereotypes whilst highlighting the unique strengths autistic staff can bring to schools when their own needs are accommodated. The book is co-edited with Dr Laura Crane (University College London), Professor Francesca Happé (King's College London), Alan Morrison (Autism Rights Group Highland) and Dr Ruth Moyse (UEL).

The book explores exclusion and identity, understanding and acceptance, intersectionality and facilitating inclusion, and celebrates the many positives that come with being an autistic teacher. It also describes the circumstances and training needs that can enable the whole school community to benefit from the unique skills and insights of neurodivergent educators.

 

Dr Wood's new book follows on from her first book, Inclusive Education for Autistic Children: Helping Children to Learn and Flourish in the Classroom.

Inclusion in School: Learning the Lessons from Autistic Pupils and Teachers

 

The new book has already received many endorsements. Among them, the following:

"Rebecca Wood brings together stories from the autistic teacher community that will impact conventional autism narratives and cultures of schools. This book challenges lazy or harmful stereotypes about autism, but from the 'inside-out', and invites the reader to experience perspectives that are rarely explored, and yet vital to cultural learning and change. It is a landmark publication in recognising the strengths associated with autism in the teaching profession, and mitigating the challenges faced by autistic teachers."

Richard Mills, AT-Autism, The John and Lorna Wing Foundation, University of Bath

As well as the co-editors, the book also has contributions from autistic  experts, including consultant, speaker and advocate Kieran Rose and published authors Elkie Kammer and Andrew Miller.

The book launch, organised by Katie Ketcher and Silhouette Bushay of Educom, will take place on 27 April in the School of Education and Communities, from 4-6 pm.

Register here to attend the launch. 

Dr Wood will speak alongside EdD student, writer and teacher Eiman Munro,  advocate and writer Pete Wharmby and musician and Madge Woollard.

Like all of the other chapter authors, Eiman, Madge and Pete are autistic teachers. Eiman will discuss her experiences of teacher training as a Muslim, Madge will discuss issues faced by autistic peripatetic music teachers, and Pete will describe the particular aptitudes of autistic teachers, as well as what colleagues should understand if they want to be supportive. The event will be introduced by Dr Paulet Brown-Wilsher of Educom.

On 7 April, Rebecca will present on her research into autistic teachers at the Centre for Research in Autism Education webinar series at University College London.

You can also read about the project and the book in an interview with Rebecca in Share magazine, run by Scottish Autism.

Dr Rebecca Wood book cover

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