A Girl Like Tilly

Growing up with Autism
An illustrated book by Helen Bates and Ellen Li
Published by Jessica Kingsley

Autism can be difficult to recognise, it affects how a person communicates, relates to others and how they experience the world around them. This book follows the childhood of a bright young girl with autism. Growing up undiagnosed, she finds life increasingly difficult and confusing. Unable to communicate her thoughts and feelings, she retreats further into her own world while her family grows evermore perplexed and concerned. When a psychologist finally explains what makes her special, they can stop focusing on the problems and start to navigate a new way forward for Tilly. Through the use of the blue line, Tilly’s world is revealed by making the invisible visible.

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“Helen Bates’s 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


“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








‘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


“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


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