A Different Sort of Normal

Publisher: Puffin

Abigail, the author and illustrator of this exceptional non-fiction book, spent most of her life not knowing she was autistic – she just thought she was weird, as that’s what people called her. This is an honest, funny, touching and sometimes sad account of her childhood, told with a newfound understanding, following her diagnosis at the age of 33 and subsequent research about autism.

She describes how she views the world, explains things she finds confusing or challenging, and shares strategies she has developed to help deal with stressful situations. Although she spent much of her life desperately trying to "fit in", Abigail’s diagnosis has given her the freedom to understand that all people are unique, and their differences should be celebrated.

The colourful pages are full of sketchy illustrations, handy diagrams, speech bubbles, funny footnotes, interesting facts and amusing ramblings, often about cats or toilets. The fundamental message of this inspiring retrospective journal is that autism is not a "disorder" and there is no such thing as "normal".

Insightful, accessible and easy to navigate, this is an essential book for autistic and allistic (non-autistic) readers of all ages, including adults.

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