By Florida Frenz
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Extra resources for How to Be Human. Diary of an Autistic Girl
Every session included social skills and learning through play. ” Having an effective team working with Florida over the years was crucial to her success, but it would not have been nearly as effective if Florida herself had not been motivated to change. When she was younger, she was not really aware that she was so different from other children. After her experience with kindergarten, she was sure that she was different, but she did not know why. She figured it out herself when she was seven. She was watching a television show about service dogs.
Many tears and tantrums later, Florida decided that she wanted to work hard to overcome those parts of her autism that kept her shunted aside from the rest of the world. It was that decision that made change truly possible. The work that you see in this book started during that year of discovering what being autistic meant to Florida. She is a gifted artist and writer so using art seemed like an obvious tool to help her work through understanding what, to her, were foreign concepts. Each picture represents hours where we discussed or read about or roleplayed different scenarios.
When I got to the client’s house I met an adorable four year old girl, Florida, with a mop of hair and bright eyes that saw the world in black and white and red. The black and white part were the rules and rigidity that she lived by. The red was there because she had decided that red was her favorite color so she believed that her clothes should be red, her food should be red whenever possible, and she would only use the color red for her art projects. Her mother told me her history. She had been diagnosed with autism at age three.
How to Be Human. Diary of an Autistic Girl by Florida Frenz