ASLA April Webinar 2023: AUTISTIC-FRIENDLY LEARNING: How to make the library a haven for autistic students (and everyone else)! Presented by children's author Kate Foster

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In this webinar, Kate spoke openly about her day-to-day life as an autistic person, both now and when she was a child. Following this, she shared ideas on how to make the library itself a welcoming space for autistic children that allows them to feel safe, calm, and comfortable to be themselves. This led on to further ideas of how librarians can work alongside and support other teaching staff to ensure autistic students work to the best of their ability and maintain strong mental health, which in turn allows them to have a positive learning experience. Kate discussed her new books, their positive representation of autistic children, and how these can be used in schools. Kate Foster is a children's author writing about friends, family, and dogs. Originally from a small town in the southeast of England, she now lives on the stunning Gold Coast in Australia with her family and second-hand dogs. She is passionate about encouraging and teaching a wider understanding of autism and mental illness via a positive approach and representation in both her books as well as her presentations and talks. Her debut middle grade novel, PAWS was published in 2021 in Australia, 2022 in the UK, and will be released in the US in 2023. Her second novel, The Bravest Word was published in 2022, and her first early reader series illustrated by Sophie Beer, Harriet Hound along with two further middle grade novels are coming in 2023. She has also written a guided reader as part of a new neurodiverse series from Collins Big Cat for 2023. AITSL Teaching Standards: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.5, 3.4, 6.2 Access the PowerPoint slides here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1uvnpAm0gDQMRsEMSzvOHnImLgpHUOJAf?usp=sharing

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