Foreword. A Girl Like Tilly. Further reading and useful resources.
The lifestory in full colour illustrations of a girl with autism from birth to mid-teen about not fitting in, and finding out why
Helen Bates is a retired social worker and family therapist. She now works as a CAMH Learning and Development Consultant providing mental health training to staff in schools and colleges. Her daughter Rachel was diagnosed with autism as an adult. Ellen Li is a London based illustrator. She aims to approach familiar subjects from new perspectives in her work. Ellen studied at London College of Communication. See more of her work at ellenmakes.com.
Helen Bates' beautifully illustrated book will teach us a lot about girls on the autism spectrum, who have traditionally been overlooked by both researchers and clinicians, likely furthering their sense of isolation and feeling of being misunderstood and unaccepted. A gem of a book that will make girls on the spectrum feel less alone and enable their parents to better understand and accept their difference. -- Simon Baron-Cohen, Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University I absolutely loved this book. It is so beautifully illustrated and visually gives such a sense of Tilly's world. We see so many small details of her life and learn why she is who she is. An informative, realistic yet positive read for all autistic girls and their families. -- Sarah Hendrickx, autistic adult and author of Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder A Girl Like Tilly is a lovely story highlighting a girl's journey with autism from birth through her school years. Tilly is like many girls I see in my practice - bright and gifted but socially confused and anxious, who is trying to find her place in a neurotypical world. -- Danuta Bulhak-Paterson, Clinical Psychologist and Author of I am an Aspie Girl: A book for young girls with autism spectrum conditions This tender story, told with delicate drawings and honest prose, adds a new, much needed voice to the world of girls and autism. It's a lovely book that teaches, enlightens and encourages. Read it and share it, again and again. -- Liane Holliday Willey, author of Pretending to be Normal and Safety Skills for Asperger Women As someone who was once a girl very much like Tilly, I found the main character's journey relatable and her reactions spot on. For girls who are just discovering that they are on the spectrum, Tilly's story is both an icebreaker and a comforting reassurance that there are other girls just like them. -- Cynthia Kim, author of Nerdy, Shy and Socially Inappropriate: A User Guide to an Asperger Life A charming tale about a little girl which also features the narratives of Mum, Grandma, Teacher and Psychologist. Although autism is different in everyone, Tilly strongly resonated with me. I also like how timely the story is, as it mentions how the world is 'learning more now about what autism looks like in girls.' A sweet, charming story that has been enhanced with hand drawn illustrations. -- Alis Rowe, entrepreneur and founder of The Curly Hair Project Bates follows a young girl with autism through her childhood. The adults in Tilly's life notice that something is different about her but brush these observations off and attribute them to things such as daydreaming and shyness. Meanwhile, Tilly grows increasingly frustrated and confused, often overwhelmed by new situations and social settings. Things get harder as she ages. Tilly struggles with boundaries, communication, and her gender identity until a psychologist connects the dots and realizes that Tilly has autism. Small details throughout, including discussions of Tilly's interests and strengths, humanize her and make her a highly empathetic character. Li's soft but detailed illustrations effectively convey Tilly's sense of the world. Blush tones are contrasted with a bright blue line that represents Tilly's journey. The book is a powerful tool for those with autism to see that they are not alone and for families to gain empathy or a new perspective. The ending imparts the valuable message that not all girls with autism are the same and that differences can lead to new possibilities. A helpful list of resources relating to autism is provided in the back matter. VERDICT Effectively portraying the challenges that girls with autism often experience, this is a worthwhile addition to collections catering to children with disabilities. -- Kathryn Justus, Renbrook School, West Hartford, CT * School Library Journal * This is a very good [book]. It takes Tilly from babyhood almost to adulthood, and on the way we see all the different problems she has... In some ways a painful read as Tilly grows up with so many problems, but it is also positive and hopeful. The remarkable illustrations in pinky-beige colours... are brilliant... Excellent for parents, teachers and children alike. -- Healthy Books * healthybooks.org.uk *