Out of the myriad of resources in the status quo for families facing a confirmation of an autism diagnosis, relatively few exist aimed at autistic children themselves.
Fortunately, Living Outside the Box is one notable exception.
This charming picture book introduces us to Cort Rogers, who explains that he decided to write Living Outside the Box in the hopes of helping other newly diagnosed autistic children “feel like they are not alone.”
Cort, the youngest of three, identifies that his older brother, Cayden, also has autism, and the family proximity to the diagnosis is the backbone of the story. From beginning to end, Cort takes the audience on a crash course understanding what living with autism is like through his eyes.
With careful but precise language, he addresses many of the topics endemic to autism: grappling with social challenges, coping with change, and weathering meltdowns that result from being overstated.
At just 12, Cort’s personality is threaded throughout the pages—in one memorable excerpt, he explains his hatred of pickles is so intense that he intends to sue whatever company invented them—and crafts a narrative that showcases children with autism have vibrant, charming personalities of their own.