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What to Say Next: Communication strategies when one of you has autism

Diagnosed with ASD in her 30's, Sarah Nannery relied on her husband to help navigate social cues at work and home. Their book is a love story and a guide. #newdaynw

SEATTLE — Successful communication is not always easy, but add autism to the mix and there can be road bumps. Sarah Nannery was in her 30’s when she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

With help from her husband Larry, Sarah is navigating this neuro-typical world quite well.  Their book, What to Say Next: Successful Communication in Work, in Life, and Love with Autism Spectrum Disorder is both a love story and a wonderful reminder that not all brains work the same.

Follow the #ActuallyAutistic hashtag on social media for authentic voices and real-time community updates.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Sarah is a 30-something executive in the non-profit world and has recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Which now makes sense for her. Her husband Larry is neurotypical. This book was written to share with people on how to navigate the world.

When Sarah Nannery got her first job at a small nonprofit, she thought she knew exactly what it would take to advance. But soon she realized that even with hard work and conscientiousness, she was missing key meanings and messages embedded in her colleagues’ everyday requests, feedback, and praise. She had long realized her brain operated differently than others, but now she knew for sure: she had Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

With help from her neurotypical partner—now-husband—Larry, mostly in frantic IM chats, Sarah rose to Director of Development at one of the world’s largest nonprofits. Together they have tackled challenges in how Sarah navigates personal and professional relationships, how they navigate marriage and parenthood, all of which are differently challenging for someone with ASD. But she wonders, at times, how life would be different if she’d had to figure it all out herself. So, in WHAT TO SAY NEXT, she offers advice, empathy, and straightforward strategies from her own tool-kit—not only for others who see the world differently but for their families, partners, and colleagues.

Segment Producer Suzie Wiley. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.