Autism Warrior: Jessica Kingsley
Formerly Managing Director and owner of Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Jessica Kingsley Publishers is a publishing house committed to social change. The autism list is foremost amongst its extensive publishing program across the social and behavioral sciences and is pre-eminent in this field.
Specializing particularly in books on Asperger’s syndrome (autism level one), the focus has always been on knowledge, demystification, and empowerment. Books are published for parents, professionals, researchers—and people on the autism spectrum, including books for children.
JKP’s main office is in London, UK, with a smaller office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but the books are available all over the world, and many of them in many languages
Jessica names being part of changing the way people think about autism, and helping make it part of the everyday world, where people are different in a multitude of ways as her accomplishments. She also lists helping to get the world to understand that people with autism have incredible strengths as well as challenges.
She is proud to have published some amazing authors including Tony Attwood, Kathy Hoopmann (All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome, etc.), Luke Jackson (Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome) to name but three. “JKP has never dodged the difficult issues, but has always tried to publish books that open up the world to a better understanding of autism and appreciation of what creative and enlarging things autistic people have to offer the world,” Jessica said.
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Jessica’s list of inspirations include the courage, creativity, integrity, and sheer determination of people on the autism spectrum, the love and dedication of the people who understand, help and support them, and the wonderful surprises that can come out of an autistic view of the world.
Her aim, she said, is to keep on working to transform the world into one that truly understands autism.
Advice for families affected by autism:
“Never give up! Fight for your child’s right to be understood by the people they come in contact with. Remember you are not alone – there is an autism community out there rooting for you,” Jessica said. “And remember if you can that if your child finds it impossible to express what they feel for you, it doesn’t mean they don’t feel it.”
This article was featured in Issue 90 – Practical Ways to Build Skills for a Lifetime