Shake It Up!

How to Be Young, Autistic, and Make an Impact

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Pub Date 21 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 27 Jul 2022


When you see a problem go unsolved do you feel compelled to act?

Does seeing an injustice light a fire within your soul?

Do you have a burning passion to take action, or to witness change within your own life, your community, or the world? If so, you may have the makings of an advocate.

This inspiring book by autistic blogger Quincy Hansen encourages autistic teens to find their voice and make a difference in the world around them. Featuring interviews with young autistic change-makers and addressing issues like self-image, harmful stereotypes and communication barriers, Shake It Up! aims to build readers' confidence, and inspire them to take action to change the world to be a better place.

When you see a problem go unsolved do you feel compelled to act?

Does seeing an injustice light a fire within your soul?

Do you have a burning passion to take action, or to witness change within your...

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ISBN 9781787759794
PRICE £13.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 6 members

Featured Reviews

This is a great book for neurotypical and diverse to read. It gives an excellent description of the difficulties and sensations autistic people might experience in different situations and is filled with practical advice for dealing with situations. As a sendco working with young people with autism and other conditions, this is a book I will be recommending to them.

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A practical guide to advocacy written with autistic teens and young adults in mind, this handbook begins with description of the physical and emotional sensations of being an autistic person who feels intense empathy for social justice issues, a description which strongly resonated with me as an autistic reader. The author stresses that advocacy can take many forms, including the arts (the poetry of Amanda Gorman, for example) and that every individual can find a way that makes sense for them to contribute. While written with autistic young adults in mind, the framework for approaching advocacy presented in this book will be relevant to all young people (and some older people, too) with its emphasis on change at the local level, modest goals, and perseverance. Even some of the more autism-specific topics have broader relevance. For example, you don't need to have social communication deficits to feel at a loss for how to reach out to more seasoned activists online. This book provides practical guidance and case studies on this and many other topics, plus frequent reminders about safety and strategies for preserving mental health and dealing with ableism and bullying. I highly recommend this book to autistic readers and for YA nonfiction collections.

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While I'm not the target audience for this book - which is intended for teenaged autistic people - I got a huge amount out of it and I think it should be widely read. From an understanding that learning about advocacy is necessary for the autistic person to prompt them to learn about self-advocacy to explaining fundamental concepts of identity-first language (why person-first language is problematic) and - essentially - disrupting the notion that autism is something to be fixed.
The writing in "Shake It Up!" is notable for being beautiful, right from the first paragraph - that's not something you expect from a non-fiction book. The author has clearly cut his teeth as a writer during the longtime success of his blog "Speaking of Autism...". The language used is very clear and thoughtful. The format of discussing a topic and then following up with a young advocate/activist in that subject is really excellent.
Honestly, this is flawless - I really hope it's widely read, appreciated and understood.

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‘Shake it Up!’ - Review
Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

As many of you reading probably know, I am autistic and physically disabled. Disability advocacy is an extremely important part of my life - both self-advocacy and advocacy on a larger scale (including using this platform to spotlight disabled authors, and using my voice to help break stigmas surrounding disabilities). I’m also big on campaigning for environmental issues.

When I saw this book on Netgalley, I was so excited! I was especially excited that it was written for and by a young advocate, as I myself have grew up as an advocate, where I began advocating for support for military children and families - eventually leading to becoming the youngest (at the time) Points of Light award winner from the UK government in 2013, alongside an local mayor’s award shortly before.

It’s no secret that advocacy is hard, and this book does not attempt to sugar-coat this; instead, it offers detailed yet clear advice on everything from starting your advocacy platform, to staying safe when advocating, to avoiding autistic burnout derived from advocating. As autistic people, our brains and neurological structure work differently compared to neurotypical people’s do, which means that a lot of resources out there for certain activities aren’t applicable to us. Not many resources exist for aspiring advocates, and even fewer exist catered for autistic aspiring advocates, so this book is a god-send!

I would recommend this for any autistics looking to make a difference in their chosen advocacy field, whether that be related to their autism or not! The sheer amount of accessible information and not action throughout this book is outstanding, well done to Hansen.

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