‘I’m autistic, but I’m not an inspiration — I still struggle with everything’

Charlotte Amelia Poe, author of the wonderfully honest and enlightening memoir, How To Be Autistic, is interviewed by Luke Blackall for the Independent.

‘This is a tale both powerful and enraging: the pain and confusion of school followed by a listless, isolated twenties. Poe lives at home with her parents and her sister’s family, and describes her young nephew and niece as her best friends. Her parents and siblings – particularly her mother Philippa, who spent years searching for answers about her daughter – emerge from the book as quiet heroes. Poe wasn’t diagnosed with autism until she was 21, long after a diagnosis might have helped her through the education system. The condition is traditionally perceived as affecting males, but diagnoses among women and girls are rising. The National Autistic Society estimates the present ratio of men to women with autism is 3:1.’