Fi 1 Reading Un Typical

What We’re Reading: Untypical by Pete Wharmby

Published by
12th April 2024

For Autism Awareness Month, we have secured ourselves a copy of Untypical: How The World Isn’t Built for Autistic People and What We Should All Do About It by Pete Wharmby.

Pete was diagnosed with autism in his adulthood, and after spending the majority of his career as an English teacher, he is now a full-time author and speaker, advocating for autistic inclusion.

The crux of Untypical is all about remaking the world, and the target audience for this book is any neurotypical adult – whether that be an employer, a parent, a romantic partner…the list goes on! Told through the lens of Pete’s own experiences, and woven with various theories and studies surrounding autism, this book is a great way for those who think neurotypically to gain a deeper understanding of how the world can be fundamentally inaccessible for someone who is neurodivergent.

Pete uses his own experiences to bring the reader into the mind of an autistic person, helping them to understand what it means to be autistic, what to do to be supportive of this, and what to try and avoid doing. It’s a fantastic exploration in empathy, further strengthened by the inclusion of the experiences of a range of autistic people, shedding a light on the intersectionality of autism.

The book offers practical advice for how to better support autistic individuals in key areas of life including personal relationships, in the classroom, and in the workplace. So, for employers, they can expect to find both ‘easy fixes’ and longer-term solutions for making working life for autistic workers easier, in turn optimizing their capabilities, with many of these adjustments having been shown to make the employment experiences of neurotypical people better, too.

Overall, Pete captures the autistic experience expertly, and shines a light on the fact that the world is very much built for neurotypical people. By recognizing the everyday changes that can be made, life for autistic and neurodivergent individuals can become so much more accessible – you just have to know where to start.

If you would like to discuss how OrgShakers can help with optimizing neurodiversity in the workplace, please get in touch with us.

And to grab a copy of Pete’s book, head over here if you’re in the UK, and here if you’re in the US.

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