Kate Winslet's book, The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism, will be in bookstores on April 3, 2012. Kate has amassed a collection of photos from an amazing array of her friends, all of whom put on a special "Golden" hat, took a self-portrait and uttered the phrase that would be their own first words if (like the nonverbal autistic children the book champions) they had never spoken before."
Why I Wrote This Book
The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism is about the importance of self expression. But I also want this book to help people understand the gravity of a situation where there is so little progressive therapy, teaching or research. The world is still struggling to know where to place people with non verbal autism. Often they are institutionalized and never experience being part of a community, especially one in which they can learn to communicate and realize their full potential.
Proceeds from the book will go to the Golden Hat Foundation, a charity Margret Ericsdottir and I set up. Our immediate aim is to improve awareness about the capabilities of people living with autism. Our longer-term goal is to provide assisted-living campuses where those with severe autism can receive educational direction and job training in an environment that takes their individual strengths into account. We hope these campuses will serve as models to demonstrate these individuals’ intellectual capabilities and in doing so encourage society to recognize how much we can learn from them. --K.W.