Author(s): Charlotte Amelia Poe
How To Be Autistic charts Charlotte Amelia Poe's journey through schooldays and young adulthood, with chapters on food, fandom, depression, body piercing, comic conventions, and technology. Poe writes about her memoir: 'The best way to describe it is to imagine a road trip. If a neurotypical person wants to get from A to B, then they will most often find their way unobstructed, without road works or diversions. For an autistic person, they will find that they are having to use back roads and cut across fields and explore places neurotypicals would never even imagine visiting'. How To Be Autistic challenges narratives of autism as something to be 'fixed', as Poe believes her autism is a fundamental aspect of her work. She writes: 'I wanted to show the side of autism that I have lived through, the side you don't find in books and on Facebook groups. My piece is a story about survival, fear and, finally, hope. It is an open letter to every autistic person who has suffered the verbal, mental or physical abuse and come out snarling and alive. 'If I can change just one person's perceptions, if I can help one person with autism feel like they're less alone, then this will all be worth it. So please, turn the page. Our worlds are about to collide.'