M is for Autism – Book Review

Book Review of
“M IS FOR AUTISM”
Students of Limpsfield Grange School

Vicki Martin
Jessica Kingsley Publishers

ISBN Number 978 1 84905 684 7

I don’t know how many of you saw the television documentary of the Students of Limpsfield Grange School (and a link to it if possible) and this is a book that is written by and for teenage girls with Autism, however not only would I recommend this for any teenager with Autism, but also for parents of children with Autism and certainly professionals. It is beautifully illustrated with lots of wonderful colour and lots of wonderful coloured pages (including purple!).

It is clearly written with not too many words and certainly no jargon or terminology, making it an accessible book for everyone. It talks very much about the anxiety of the young teenager with Autism, as well as the struggles to gain a diagnosis and the impact of the diagnosis, not only on the young girl herself, but on her mother and father. It also talks about the relationship between her and her brother and in very few words, in my opinion, manages to convey in particular, the anxiety and confusion that surrounds people with Autism living in the world that is at best confusing and at times frightening.

I wholeheartedly recommend this and brought the book along to our August post diagnostic support group meeting and gave to Autism Inclusive. As always the books can be borrowed from Autism Inclusive, there is no charge but donations will be gratefully received.

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Posted in Book Reviews
One comment on “M is for Autism – Book Review
  1. Carly Bailey says:

    Here are some comments on reading the book from a woman on the spectrum whose experience of life including when she was diagnosed is very different from the people in the book.

    She makes the interesting observation that M: In typography the capital letter M is usually the widest letter in a font and in early fonts it was normally cast on a square body. It was felt that it was a really good idea, a girl’s journey of discovery and here I quote verbatim:

    I read the short story first in no order, admiring the artwork.
    Then through and re- read.
    M explains why she’s called herself M.
    I felt that the story should have started with M’s diagnosis, not pretend she hadn’t already been diagnosed.
    Then I would have liked her to take the reader back
    Her childhood, her mother’s initial worries and concerns.
    M’s love of playing with her building blocks. Not interacting with other children. A quiet and placid infant, who was a bit picky about food.
    M’s primary school notices that M suffers from anxiety,
    A spelling test and so she is referred to see a counsellor?
    Over some time.
    She’s now 13. M wants, but doesn’t know what.
    M seems confused how to behave, immature, insecure and lacking confidence.
    When the life changing day arrives, M’s referral to see a specialist,
    IT IS RUSH HOUR What was the hospital thinking?
    No tears at the bus stop, but M feels very Anxious.
    They have to let the first bus go. Can’t get on the bus
    She composes herself
    M doesn’t mention the stress of having to get off the bus.
    Stressed about running late.
    Arriving at the hospital then having to go up 7 floors
    (You cruel professionals)
    They take the lift NO WAY! “Doors Opening”
    Would M miss the view from up there?
    M is diagnosed “Doors Closing”
    The return journey, is unmentioned but her mum is happily texting family and friends I WAS RIGHT she’s AUTISTIC.
    Her happy Mum bombards M with leaflets
    Her Dad doesn’t seem to care
    Then Entitlements. A Special School, why?
    M is now Labelled and very unhappy
    The counsellor says:
    “You are a wonderful teenage girl and have autism ”
    So that’s that

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