Central Library has a Certified Autism Specialist on Staff

Two years ago, Library staff member Zso Michele realized they were on the autism spectrum.

When a doctor confirmed Zso’s self-diagnosis, they were able to understand past experiences, and move toward a new and exciting professional path.

Becoming a Certified Autism Specialist

As a Library staff member for 12 years and as a parent, Zso was very familiar with the benefits of following the call of one’s curiosity.

Zso searched online for information about autism. They found something unexpected: Sesame Place, the first theme park in the world to be designated as a certified autism center.

IBCCES (International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards) had helped Sesame Place reach its goal of being a safe and understanding space for people on the autism spectrum. And it provided certification for individuals.

With Library support, and a lot of dedicated studying, Zso became Halifax Public Libraries’ first Certified Autism Specialist. They had found a way to turn a personal perspective into a professional opportunity to help others.

Benefits of a specialist at a Library

With a certified specialist on site, Central Library has a valuable new resource.

Zso Michele is able to open the conversation, with colleagues and community members, and speak from real experience. This opens new areas of exploration at the Library: how to be a self-advocate, where to find representative voices, and how to advance the interests of adult perspectives.

Right now, Zso says people can, “Read on!” with the following resources.

Current resources

Halifax Public Libraries has worked with Autism Nova Scotia to develop programming and services for parents with children on the autism spectrum, such as sensory-friendly events and autism tool kits.

Articles

It Takes a Community to Raise a Reader: Autism Friendly Libraries

Autism Speaks needs to do a lot more listening by Steve Silberman

Books

Fall Down 7 Times Get up 8

In My World

Look Me in the Eye

The Loving Push

Neurotribes

Odd Girl Out

Uniquely Human

Other resources

Autism Nova Scotia

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network

Lydia X. Z. Brown, Autistic Hoya