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Girls at Surrey school specialising in autism write acclaimed novel

CJ8hztOWIAAPNnD Pupils at a Surrey school specialising in teaching girls with autism have written a ‘touching and inspiring’ novel about growing up with the condition.

‘M is for Autism’ tells the story of 13-year-old M as she navigates her early teenage years feeling different from other teenagers who always seem to know what to say and do.

It was written by pupils at Limpsfield Grange, a Surrey County Council school in Oxted catering for 72 girls aged 11 to 16 with autism and communication and interaction difficulties.

Pupils at the school conceived the idea for the book because they felt there was little in the way of literature which dealt with girls’ experiences of autism, particularly teenage girls’. They hope their story will help other girls with autism and raise awareness of living with a condition more usually associated with boys.

The project got off the ground with funding from the National Autistic Society and was written during a series of workshops to which many of the girls contributed. The novel is based on their real-life experiences and was penned with help from author Vicky Martin.

Described as a ‘vibrant, authentic and truly humorous coming-of-age novel’, it has already attracted glowing reviews.

For a further insight into the lives of the girls at Limpsfield Grange, which is the only state-run boarding school in the country specialising in girls with autism, watch an ITV documentary titled ‘Girls with Autism’ being screened at 10.40pm on Wednesday 15 July.

Linda Kemeny, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools and Educational Achievement, said: ‘We’re very proud of the girls at Limpsfield Grange who came up with the idea for this wonderful book and saw the project through to publication.

‘Limpsfield Grange is a remarkable school which is working hard to unlock the potential of the girls in its care and we’re committed to doing all we can to support staff at the school as they help their pupils to prosper.’

* For more information about ‘M is for Autism’ click here 

* ‘Girls with Autism’ will be screened on ITV at 10.40pm on Wednesday 15 July

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