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Girl Unmasked How Uncovering My Autism Saved My Life

"Everyone needs to read this book. It's for anyone who wants to know more about Autism. It’s for anyone and everyone who wants to try and understand what being Autistic can be like. It is for Autistic people who are desperate to see themselves. Bravo Emily and thanks for sharing your story."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Thanks to Emily Katy, Girl Unmasked delivers a remarkably powerful insight into what it’s like be Autistic, pre and post diagnosis. The older she got, the more Katy realised she was very different until at 16 she was diagnosed as Autistic. This memoir is the story of how she got there and how she very nearly didn’t. It contains themes of self harm, suicide, institutional harm and filicide. This book is at times upsetting but incredibly important. I was shocked, indignant, the pages wet with my tears, I scribbled, and made notes, wanting to press it into the hands of people, to help them understand, help us all empathise.

She wrote this book “Because I felt like I had been failed, to some extent. And the more I found out that others were being failed too, the angrier and sadder I became. I just couldn’t leave that be.” This book is for anyone who wants to know more about Autism. It’s for anyone and everyone who wants to try and understand what being Autistic can be like, especially for an Autistic person growing up undiagnosed. It is for Autistic people who are desperate to see themselves.

As an Autistic child, with no understanding of her neural type or sensory difficulties, Katy had no idea that what she was experiencing was not something everyone experienced. The chaos hidden inside her head was invisible and all that was seen was a child, who was obstructive,  argumentative, impatient and had a bad temper.

Invisible, unheard, unsupported, unseen. Katy's teenage years were filled with confusion and misunderstanding. Feeling as though she was the only one without an instruction manual on how to act. The belief she was weird was not so much a conclusion, but a fact she grew up knowing. It was as obvious as the sky was blue. Brain in complete overdrive, the years of panic, of anxiety, of self harm led to her attemtping suicide several times. Everything was too painful, years had led her to this hospital bed.

Emily's letters to her younger self are moving and essential reading for anyone newly diagnosed and struggling with their diagnosis. They bring clarity to those of us who are not Autistic, they bring intense awareness about how hard it is to decipher society's expectations, social cues and language.

Taking one step at a time was a mantra Katy began to live her life by, because she could no longer predict the panic. She wanted desperately to return to the overly excited Year 7 who won awards and whose name was not known by the entirety of the staff.

It’s a must-read book for everyone and anyone. We are thankful that Katy managed to find her authentic self, and that she managed to turn her life around and help others where she had felt failed. This book will save lives. This book will make girls feel seen. This book is hopeful and powerful and delivered with aplomb. Bravo. 

Deborah Maclaren

Star Books

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