What's Happening to Ellie?: A book about puberty for girls and young women with autism and related conditions (Sexuality and Safety with Tom and Ellie) ISBN: 9781849055260
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2015
In very simple, unambiguous text and quite graphic pictures, we see Ellie beginning to grow up and the signs that she notices as she does so - hair in unusual places, spots, enlarging breasts, larger hips, and periods. All of these come gradually and not all at once: '...her body will change very slowly, like a tortoise walking around the world.' This is important for young people on the autistic spectrum and others with learning disabilities because sudden change is not easy to deal with. In the brightly-coloured pictures accompanying the text, we see mum helping Ellie understand what is happening to her body and how to handle these changes. There are explicit pictures of how to change pads and tampons during periods, and Ellie learns that growing up has pluses too, such as being able to stay up later, wear special clothes and jewellery and make-up. While meant for girls on the autistic spectrum, this could be of real use to any young girl facing the challenges of growing up. Available from Amazon, from good book shops, and from the publisher at www.jkp.com.