Introducing Neurodiversity & Parenting Library of Long Island

We are so excited to share this great resource from Long Island, NY.  Thanks so much to Carrie, the founder  of Neurodiversity & Parenting Library of Long Island for taking the time to answer our questions!  You can visit their Facebook page here.   You can also check out Carrie’s other Facebook page Neurodiversity + Parenting.

Can you introduce and tell us a little about yourself? 

I’m Carrie.  I live in New York with my husband and our two children.  Before children entered our family, I was a public school teacher.  I have degrees in English and English Education.  Now I’m a full-time homeschooling mom.

 How are you connected to autism & the neurodiversity movement?

I discovered the neurodiversity paradigm and Neurodiversity Movement through Nick Walker’s blog, neurocosmopolitanism.com.  I was looking for information to help me better understand and support my child, who has since been identified as autistic.

I was disappointed and discouraged by many of the conventional “autism support” groups and pages I found.  I felt so much better once I found neurodivergent writers speaking the language of acceptance.  Listening to autistic people changed our family’s life for the better.  And, in the process of listening, I discovered that I am neurodivergent, too.

Civil rights and social justice have always been important to me, so I was very drawn to the words of autistic activists, and others in the Neurodivesity Movement. For parenting support, I found and still love the Respectfully Connected blog, and draw a lot of strength and encouragement from their words.

I now admin the Facebook page, Neurodiversity + Parenting, curate the lending library, and admin a local group for families looking for respectful support and education from within the neurodiversity paradigm.

What thing or things motivated you to want to start a library in your community?

I was frustrated that my local library didn’t carry many books about autism that were written by actually autistic people.  The new book request process was cumbersome, and my first request, for “The Real Experts,” was denied because no other local library had purchased it yet.  That experience, combined with wanting to share the books I bought with the members of my local group motivated me to get a library organized. I was also inspired by the Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library,  by Erin Human’s Little Free Neurodiversity Library Facebook pages.

 What goals do you have for your library?

I want to make these texts available for individuals and families who may only have had access to more conventional, pathologizing books about neurodivergence.  I want to help others find, as I have, that there is more value in reading the words of actually neurodivergent people.

I also want to model the idea that gentle and respectful parenting can support neurodivergent children as well as neurotypical children.  My library includes parenting books that promote gentle parenting for ALL children.

 How can people support this project?

Right now our library’s collection consists of books and DVDs from my own personal collection, as well as several donated by friends, family, and members of my local group.   We’ve also received some donations from the Autism Women’s Network.  People can support us by sharing our Facebook  page, and by donating new or used books for us to add to our collection.  We maintain an Amazon wishlist at http://a.co/5qXJSxo

How will you run the library? (space, dates, etc.)

Right now the library is organized online, with our Facebook page.  I figure out how to get materials out, and returned, with each individual borrower.  I’m hoping to set up a browsing/lending event sometime in the future.

 What has the response been from your community and others?

The response has been encouraging! Many of the parents in my local group have borrowed books from the collection, and now, with the public Facebook page, it’s been easier for others to learn about titles and collections they might otherwise not have known existed.  I’ve also received wonderful support from other “neurodiversity librarians.”

 Is there anything else you’d like us to know or want to share?

A nice and somewhat unexpected result of having this library, is that local individuals have gone on to request their public libraries order some of the titles in our collection, and some of those libraries have gone ahead and acquired the books!  I know that “All the Weight of Our Dreams” and “What Every Autistic Girl Wishes Her Parents Knew” are now available from two local public libraries. That has been a wonderful thing to see happening!

 

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About Lei

PACLA is an Autistic friendly space dedicated to guiding parents toward respectful supports and accommodations for their Autistic children through the concepts of gentle parenting and a belief in the value of neurodiversity.

Posted on October 30, 2017, in Parenting Autistic Children with Love and Acceptance. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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