New book helps dispel the myths around autism in young women

Having autism does not mean you have a mental illness, or that you are aggressive or rude.

Friday, 2nd November 2018, 1:24 pm
Updated Monday, 5th November 2018, 4:08 pm
Fiona Fisher Bullivant with her book
Fiona Fisher Bullivant with her book

Having autism does not mean you have a mental illness, or that you are aggressive or rude.Yet many feel they are pigeon-holed and misunderstood.One clinician, Fiona Fisher Bullivant, has been working with three women, all with an autistic spectrum condition, to dispel the myths and understand their thinking and way of life.

Read about the girls here: Living with Asperger's: 'I've learnt to put on a mask' and Living with Asperger's: 'It greatly affects my ‘social battery’With this study, she has compiled all her experiences in a book: Working with Girls and Young Women with an Autism Spectrum Condition. A Practical Guide for Clinicians.She says: “The book is a compilation of my experiences and reflections which have evolved from years of working with very complex individuals, girls and young women with often brilliant minds, mysterious souls and exceptional brains. “They often struggle with their identity, self-worth and general understanding of themselves – often wondering if they have a mental illness, often feeling disconnected and different but confused as to why, and often misunderstood and, more concerningly, misdiagnosed.“I am a passionate, empathic clinician eager for my colleagues and other professionals to change and adapt their way of thinking and to shift the culture of how we understand and work with these intelligent but often episodically and sometimes chronically desperately distressed and confused young women.“My biggest hope is that it will motivate people to increase their skills and knowledge and awareness of autistic spectrum conditions within girls and young women.“I feel honoured to be travelling through the book with three girls, Darcey, Milly and Esther. They have all experienced their own individual journeys with their families, starting off in generic health services then moving on to paediatric mental health services and diagnostic pathways.”

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Fiona Fisher Bullivant with her book
Fiona Fisher Bullivant with Darcey and Milly