Spectrum of Light - Charlotte Amelia Poe in the Big Issue North

If you recently bought a copy of the Big Issue North, you would have read Saskia Murphy’s article, Spectrum of Light, which featured Charlotte Amelia Poe and their nonfiction memoir, How To Be Autistic.

‘Charlotte Amelia Poe believes the stereotype of autism being typically associated with males may have prevented them from getting the support she needed.

“There’s a term called masking which is quite common in girls and people who are assigned female at birth, which means that with autism we are much better at blending into society because a quiet girl is not seen as something which is different or in any way remarkable, and a lot of our behaviours, such as being shy or bullied, can be seen as being difficult or being awkward. I just don’t think it’s looked for, and especially when I was at school it wasn’t really seen as a condition that all genders can have.”

Now, Poe is committed to challenging unhelpful stereotypes about autism and paving the way for autistic people to find and use their voice creatively.

“Autism can affect anyone, and I think we need more representation. I’d like to see more autistic characters in books, TV and film, but I want them to be written by autistic writers as well. A lot of people think they know what autism is like, so they don’t do the research and that’s where you get the stereotypes.”’