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Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women - Book Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt www.femlitica.com jennifermuirhead.wordpress.com/
Published February 18th 2019
On "pretending to be normal"
camouflage, autism, autism in girls, autistic women, autistic girls, books about autism, books about autistic women, graphic novel


Many people believe that autism affects mostly, or even only, boys and men. This graphic novel, written by Sarah Bargiela, and illustrated by Sophie Standing (illustrator of the philosophical graphic novel Forgiveness is Really Strange), seeks to offer an insight into the way autism affects women and girls.

Using straightforward language, with bright, simple illustrations, it explains factors contributing to autistic girls and women being overlooked, such as stereotypes about autistic behaviour and biases in the questionnaires used for assessment. It uses real-life case studies and lets autistic women talk about their lives in their own words.

Camouflage, pretending to be normal, masking, autism, neuroatypical, autistic women
From Camouflage by Sarah Bargiela.


This book covers masking, and its disadvantages, basing one's identity on special interests, and the challenges of learning to be assertive.

Camouflage gives some good basic information about autism as it affects girls and women, and goes some way towards countering some of the myths and misinformation about autism. It's fairly short, so doesn't have room to go into a lot of detail, but that keeps it from being overwhelming in the way some other books on the subject, such as the brilliant, but intimidatingly massive Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, can be. It does offer some suggestions for further reading if you want more. This book is a good read for newly diagnosed autistic women (to help them feel less alone), and anyone who wants to understand more about autism and help to create an inclusive environment in the workplace and at home.

Disclaimer:
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Sarah Kingsley Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Published: March 21, 2019
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Your Comment
When does one announce to a child that he/she has been diagnosed as autistic? Does either the reviewed book or Silberman's mention this issue?
by Alison Muirhead (score: 2|252) 28 days ago
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