This blog post was written by Dawn Eberwein, Bookstore Manager for the Autism Society of North Carolina.
The ASNC bookstore is a unique place that provides information, resources, employment, and support for the ASD community. We are a place for parents, self-advocates, teachers, practitioners, or anyone in a relationship with someone on the spectrum to who wants to find out more about autism.
Many parents come to the bookstore for the first time just after their child has been diagnosed to look for information to help them, their family, their child, and their child’s teachers understand the diagnosis. Every transition in a child’s life brings new adventures and challenges, so parents return looking for information on topics such as social skills, behavior, communication, bullying, and friendships. Parents often let us know about new resources that they’ve found so that we can share them with others. We are thrilled when parents who stop by or call us to tell us about a milestone that their child has met. They know we feel a personal connection to their child’s success.
Often, we think of a child when we hear of someone being diagnosed with autism, but adults are diagnosed every day, too. Spouses stop by the bookstore looking for resources to help with their relationship with their husband or wife and for information to help their children understand their parent’s diagnosis. Recently, a spouse came by looking for information for her and her newly diagnosed husband on understanding and managing their relationship. We found a couple of books for her and one for her husband. She has been back several times to let us know which books were most helpful for her and to look for information on different topics as she and her spouse navigate their relationship.
Self-advocates contact us for resources, too. College students getting close to graduation want to learn more about navigating socially in the work place. Adults often want information to help their spouse better understand ASD and how it affects their relationship.
Three-fourths of our bookstore staff is on the spectrum. Our amazing staff members pack and ship our orders to families and schools all over the world and help us manage the daily operations of the bookstore. We also provide volunteer opportunities and summer internships for individuals on the spectrum. High school and college students on the spectrum volunteer and work summer internships to gain skills, experience, and a sense of confidence in the work place.
We are an important source of information for physicians, practitioners, and teachers. We supply pediatricians with resources for their patients’ parents. Recently, a group of teachers met with us to brainstorm about the most appropriate resources to meet their needs and the needs of their co-workers who work in self-contained and inclusive classrooms. We reviewed the latest materials on inclusion, social challenges, behavior, and reading comprehension. We scoured the websites of our suppliers to make sure that they got exactly what they were looking for.
All of our books, DVDs, and assessment kits are available online, and we provide personalized service and book recommendations via email, over the phone, or in person. We look forward to helping you during Autism Awareness Month!
You can reach Dawn Eberwein at 919-865-5087 or email@example.com.