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Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  674 ratings  ·  169 reviews
Autism in women and girls is still not widely understood, and is often misrepresented or even overlooked. This graphic novel offers an engaging and accessible insight into the lives and minds of autistic women, using real-life case studies.

The charming illustrations lead readers on a visual journey of how women on the spectrum experience everyday life, from metaphors and m
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 21st 2019 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Amalia Gkavea
Studying any material related to autism should be mandatory for all teachers. Apart from the actual teaching of a specific subject, we must support our students, we must care for them and their problems and do everything within our means to help them. We didn’t choose this profession to kill time, we chose to be teachers out of love for children and the need to offer. At least that would happen in an ideal world. Unfortunately, there’s always a significant number of teachers who consider teachin ...more
C.G. Drews
This was a really beautifully done comic about autistic women! The art is just's clever and fluid and really nice to look at. This is just a 40-page comic/graphic novel, so its aim is to introduce you to what women with autism look like. It covers some of the differences in male vs female presenting symptoms and why women go undiagnosed so much. As an autistic myself, I was really keen to see how it would sum up life as an autistic woman...and I think it did well!

My only caveat is:
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Toni by: Amalia Gavea
A huge thank you to Amalia Gaveawhose beautiful review of this book made me add it to my shelf. Thank you for 'passing it on' and caring so passionately about teaching.

‘Camouflage: the hidden lives of autistic women’ is a great introduction into autistic disorder spectrum in women. The book is well-researched, informative and beautifully-illustrated. We get a brief overview of what autism is, the prevalence of low and high-functioning autism in men and women (it is also explained why terms 'low
Dave Schaafsma
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: gn-disab, autism
I have two sons with autism, one severely autistic, the other only recently diagnosed, who might at some point become possibly fully functional, not sure yet, so I have both 1) read a lot about and have a lot of personal experience autism, as parent and teacher, and 2) I know far more boys than girls are diagnosed with the disorder, so I was interested in this short graphic non-fiction book by clinical psychologist Sophie Bargiela and illustrated by Sophie Standing.

Though I like the attractive
The Artisan Geek

This book is so good and educational! The illustrations are great as well :) There are many fields where medical research on women is very scarce. Honestly, I could talk about this all day - for instance cis-men have been used as test objects for research on cis-female organs. It's just things that make you go: Que? Anyway, as a result of this, many women with autism are diagnosed at very late stage in life (if at all), simply because their autism generally isn't expressed in the same way.
Kristy K
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With the great graphics and bite-sized chunks of information, Camouflage can almost be seen as a large pamphlet. It's quite short, only around 40 pages, and yet it's packed full of data and firsthand accounts of autistic women. Illustrated and well-researched, Bargiela introduces us to the differences between men and women with autism (and Asperger's). I found it informative, eye-opening, and to the point. She also gives additional reading recommendations at the end which I always find helpful. ...more
Sophie Standing is not a new name to me. Having done research on trauma in autobiographical graphic novels, I gathered all kinds of articles and books, including her collaboration with Steve Haines for “Trauma is Really Strange,” which is an essay on the nature of trauma in, well, comic format. The “Really Strange” series (Singing Dragon), also includes volumes on pain, forgiveness, and anxiety, which I recommend you check out. Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women goes along the sa ...more
I'm a little worried to review this because then I'm basically outing myself. In the past 6 months or so I've started to realize I'm definitely not neurotypical and there's a strong possibility that I'm autistic. There are so many characteristics I have that I thought was just my dumb broken brain that I have been masking (to various degrees of success) throughout my life. Recently I had an experience exactly like the ones described in the book where I asked my psychiatrist about an autism diagn ...more
La Coccinelle
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
I thought this would be an interesting look at how autism affects women, but unfortunately, the book simply promotes and reinforces what appears to be a flawed premise, while simultaneously ignoring the severe end of the autism spectrum, making incorrect assumptions, and disparaging people (especially women) who don't have autism.

The biggest problem with this book is that it posits that females are underdiagnosed with autism because they don't meet the male-based criteria. Here's the thing: Ther
Rod Brown
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
The presentation and art are a bit odd, but, whoa, is this slim little book chock-full of eye-opening information about underdiagnosis of autism in women.
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
A visual representation of what living with autisms is for women. Not bad, between information and biographies, they are very personal facts here and more scientific as well. The think I didn't like about this book is the constant, something we saw more and more in modern days, trying to make/show the difference between women and men in everything. We never talk so much about trying to eliminate the barrier between sexes and at the same time we always underline the fact that everything is so dif ...more
Stephanie Jane
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

I love reading in order to discover more about the world around me and also to discover more about myself. I often find myself questioning how I would react if I were to experience fictional situations in novels or genuine ones in memoirs and biographies. Occasionally, I don't get the chance to ponder though. A book will figuratively smack me between the eyes and I'll just know it's talking about me. The last book to do that was Susan Cain's
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of CAMOUFLAGE by Sarah Bargiela in exchange for my honest review.***

CAMOUFLAGE is a short, nonfiction, graphic book aimed at distinguishing autism in females vs males.

For years medical science researchers using primarily Caucasian men. Doctors were surprised, for instance, that women had different heart attack symptoms than men. As knowledge progressed, scientists began to study different races, geographies, economics and other factors
Jul 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, read-in-2021
Coming from me an autistic woman, I found Camouflage to be a simple, yet effective and visual look into autistic women. It was good that the author Sarah Bargiela took the time and the care to speak and gather real-life experiences from women and turn those into easy-to-access texts and images. I would recommend this to anyone interested in learning more about autism and wanting to hear it from those who are autistic.

L I N K S:
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Twitter- www.Twi
Bonnie Evie Gifford
Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women had to be one of the top books I was looking forward to reading this month. When I saw a graphic novel from one of my favourite publishers (JKP), about autistic women and camouflaging, I knew I’d have to read it. My expectations were pretty high - perhaps too high.

Written by Dr. Sarah Bargiela, a clinical psychologist with an interest in autism and gender, along with illustrator Sophie Standing, Camouflage is...well, I’m not entirely sure who it’s f
Sam - Spines in a Line
Very quick read on something I knew very little about - how autism looks different for women vs men. A graphic novel with footnotes!! So cool!
Pauliina (The Bookaholic Dreamer)
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
I received an e-arc in exchange for an honest review, thank you to the publisher, Netgalley and author!

Camouflage isn't just any graphic novel. It is a showcase of results from a qualitative (interview-based) psychological study on women's life with autism. As an aspiring psychological researcher myself, I was very impressed and intrigued by this way to illustrate and communicate results. The graphic novel was well crafted with beutiful illustrations and the participants were really given a st
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Cute short comic that combines some stats and some personal stories.
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uk, graphic-novels
This is a short but absolutely stunning comic about what it is like to be an autistic woman and how it differs from the more commonly described male experience.

Sarah Bargiela, a clinical psychologist, has carried out interviews with women on the spectrum about how they manage everyday life, communication, social pressures and relationships. Her findings have then been gorgeously illustrated by @sophiestanding_ to in order to form an engaging, accessible, and informative resource.

Because the bo
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The way this was formatted made it really difficult to read and it all seemed to be out of order so I definitely didn't get as much from it as I hoped I would, from what I can see other people didn't have this issue so I don't know why this happened on my tablet, but the general idea is really interesting and I think it's great that people are making things like this. The art and colour scheme were beautiful and th
Dec 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comic, autism
Very disappointing: it's extremely short, and uses its limited space badly. Doesn't define what autism is, how it impacts women, doesn't go into any depth about the ways in which being autistic impacts on women's lives. If I was wondering whether I was autistic and read this, or wanted to find out more about autism, I would be completely perplexed. The graphics are poorly thought out and not easy to understand. I know the difference between hypo- and hyper-sensitivity, and yet the graphic was so ...more
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I’m glad there’s a graphic novel on the autistic female’s experience, but this was way too short to be very helpful and didn’t add much to my knowledge. I wish it would have been longer and more in depth.
Laura (Book Scrounger)
While the text in Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women is probably comparable to a magazine article or blog post in length (and therefore is a very quick read), the illustrations fill out the information and help to humanize this topic.

We get to hear from a few different autistic women about some of the challenges and differences that they face in life. There is also some information about the differences in the ways that autistic men and autistic women present their symptoms, which c
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful and well writen. The format as a graphic non fiction is perfect for anyone that wants to understand Autism, Aspergers and Neurodiversity. It is short, precise and it covers all the aspects a female in the spectrum experiences: It should definitevely be a requiered reading for all teachers in general. The format makes a short light reading and the illustrations help making it overall a very rich and informative experience. As an Aspergian female adult I would definitevely had ...more
3. 5 stars. I thought there'd be more to this book than there ended up being. Still, this short, graphic work of non-fiction is a decent little primer to the ways women experience autism. The visuals are lovely and informative. I really appreciated that much of the text were direct quotes from autistic women. ...more
Megan Cooke
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a quick read but it’s filled with a lot of valuable information. Many people don’t realize that there are differences in the way autism presents itself in males and females. This leads to many females being misdiagnosed or not being diagnosed until a much later age. I think it’s great that books like this one are being created to bring more awareness to female autism.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn't exactly learn anything new for myself, but I think it can be a great quick overview for people who don't already have a lot of knowledge about the subject yet. I might lend it to my therapist who didn't cover the gender differences in autism characteristics in his studies, for example.

It's a very thin book but very beautifully designed!
Apr 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Camouflage is a beautifully illustrated introduction to autism and how it differs in women.

While I was hoping for more insight from the women who were interviewed, this is a basic overview and starting point and I’d recommend it to anyone who wanting to better understand an autistic family member or friend!
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
As someone who knows embarrassingly little about autism, this was informative. But it was *extremely* general and focused heavily on reinforcing a nonexistent gender binary, so that was disappointing.
Mercedes Wood
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
This has been in my want to read list for a long time, but I finally was able to read it. I liked and thought it was interesting that it was a short illustrated book. I wasn't really expecting either of those but I think it helped introduce this topic. ...more
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