This deck of cards is a resource to help professionals, parents and anyone working with autistic young people to have discussions about an Autism diagnosis in a personalised, positive and meaningful way.
The beautifully designed cards each show a strength - such as being inquisitive or honest - or a challenge - such as sensory difficulties or understanding emotions. The pack also includes reusable blank cards which can be personalised.
The accompanying booklet provides approaches and strategies developed by Dr Dura-Vila in her clinical practice. She also shares her personal (and occasionally humorous) experiences, including tips for discussing an autism diagnosis. These accounts within inspire readers to give their best to any young person when sharing an autism diagnosis, and in the conversations that follow.
Praise for The Amazing Autistic Brain Cards
How can something so simple be so brilliant? For years, one way to describe the diagnosis of autism was to liken it to a bagful of strengths and challenges. Each person reaches into the bag and grabs a handful that are unique to themselves. Gloria Dura Vila has created such a 'bag'. Her insightful cards, beautifully and sensitively illustrated by Rebecca Tatternorth make diagnosing and understanding the uniqueness of autism a pleasure.
- Kathy Hoopmann, author of All Cats are on the Autism Spectrum
Gloria has created a truly wonderful resource which will support so many practitioners and parents as they introduce autism to autistic young people and others. The strategies and approaches outlined in the accompanying booklet, presented with Gloria's humour and passion, ensure that young people are supported to understand and value themselves as an individual. I can't wait to use these cards with my students. -
- Clare Truman, teacher and education consultant supporting autistic students, author of The Teacher's Introduction to Pathological Demand Avoidance
No more nerves and clumsy conversations. The Amazing Autistic Brain Cards are a must-have resource for anyone involved in sharing and discussing an autism spectrum diagnosis with children and young people. Rather than giving a one-size-fits-all description of autism, I love that these beautifully simple cards can be used to tailor-make a portrait of autism that suits the child and celebrates their individuality.
Dr Glòria Durà-Vilà leads the way by reflecting on her extensive experience as a clinician, offering insight and guidance that I am certain will empower and equip parents and practitioners alike with the confidence to have positive conversations with children about their autism. I especially like that the cards can be adapted and revisited over time to accompany a child's own developing sense of self. This is a wonderful resource that will ultimately be of huge benefit to children and young people as they learn about themselves and what it means to be autistic...and amazing.
-Elaine Brownless, specialist autism liaison teacher and author of The Autism Detective
In addition to being an invaluable tool for professionals, Gloria's wonderfully empowering cards are a fabulous hands-on way for young people to build self-awareness, facilitate discussion and enable self-advocacy, creating a balanced and unique 'this is me' profile for themselves and others.
- Reuben Hoole (13 year old autistic boy) and his mother, Vikki Threlfall
Gloria has found a very practical and effective way to explain strengths and challenges to a population of young people when diagnosed with Autism. Using her humour and passion she touches all the key points so vital for young people and their parents, not only to understand, but also empower themselves in life choices. Brilliant!
- Dr S Marco Mura, NHS Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Surrey and Border NHS Trust
The Amazing Autistic Brain Cards are available to buy from your local bookseller and online internationally from Amazon.
Dr Glòria Durà-Vila MD, MRCPSych, MSc, PHD is a multi-award-winning clinician, academic and prolific author, and a renowned national and international expert in the field of Autism. She is a Senior Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and the Medical Lead for the NHS ASD Service in Surrey. Born in Spain, she trained in psychiatry in the UK where she has served in the NHS for over 20 years, and also works in private practice (psychiatryinlondon.co.uk). Her passion for communicating the Autism diagnosis to children in a personalised way, one that captures their strengths and difficulties within the Autism Spectrum, is central to her writing and her academic and clinical work.
Glòria is a prolific and established author in the field of Autism and PDA. Her passion for communicating the Autism diagnosis in the best possible manner compelled her to write My Autism Book: A Child's Guide to their Autism Spectrum Diagnosis in 2013, which has become a best-seller for Jessica Kingsley Publishers and is established as a widely-used, valuable resource for parents and professionals to explain ASD to an autistic child; it was translated into Indonesian in 2018. She has also authored the following books Me and my PDA: A Guide to Pathological Demand Avoidance for Young People (2018), The Amazing Autistic Brain. 150 Cards with Strengths and Challenges for positive Autism Discussions with accompanying booklet containing tips and advice (2021), and The Panda on PDA: A Children's Introduction to Pathological Demand Avoidance (2022). Dr Dura-Vila has another book coming up in a few months to explain to children about masking – and its negative consequences – encouraging them to be their true self (Camille the Chameleon on Masking: How to stop masking and discover your awesome autistic self); this book can be pre-ordered on Amazon. All Dr Dura-Vila’s books are available from Amazon and from Jessica Kingsley.
She was twice runner-up in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Professionals Awards and was awarded a Clinical Excellence Award in 2018 and a triple Clinical Excellence Award in 2020 for her NHS work in Autism. Besides her many clinical and academic commitments, a lot of her time is devoted to unpaid work with charities, national organisations and professional bodies. She is extremely committed to improving the standards of care and outcomes for autistic people, advancing research, providing training to professionals, and raising awareness. She is a member of the Expert Reference Group of the Autism Education Trust (AET), the co-chair of the Autism and Complex Needs Special Interest Group (ACNSIG) and a member of the Surry Autism Partnership Board. She has an active role at the Royal College of Psychiatrists where she often presents and organises conferences, and she is a member of the executive committee of the Special Interest Groups of the Royal College of Psychiatrists for Spirituality and Psychiatry.
Glòria has published extensive academic work, including papers in world-renowned peer-reviewed journals, the book Sadness, Depression, and the Dark Night of the Soul: Transcending the Medicalisation of Sadness (2017) and chapters in Culture and Conflict in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (‘The Mental Health of British African-Caribbean Children and Adolescents’, 2008 – part of the International Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions’ series) and ‘Common Mental Disorders’ in Spirituality and Psychiatry (Cambridge University Press, 2022).
You can learn more about the work of Dr Durà-Vilà by visiting her website www.psychiatryinlondon.co.uk