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Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  436 ratings  ·  126 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 women with autism, 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 a ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 21st 2019 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Amalia Gavea
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
David Schaafsma
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: autism, gn-disab
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.
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
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 (Literary Flits)
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
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.
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
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
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
It was a good and necessary introduction to women in the autism spectrum, but it was unfortunately too short to explained the complexity of the subject and to include deep and complex testimonies. They made the book easy to read and richly illustrated, but the subject deserved more pages to be well introduced and well understood.

In comparison, when I think of A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by J.R. Zuckerberg, and Mady G, it is a 96-page book which also has to explain a very co
Sam - Spines in a Line
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, uk
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
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.
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!
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.
Carol Tilley
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health, betterness, comics
Succinct intro to autism generally while focusing on stories of autistic women & their differences. ...more
M Aghazarian
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pretty good but I wish it was longer
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nice short, compact , and educational little book that highlights a very important facet of autism- the differences that women exhibit and experience! This is perfect for children and adults alike.
A very short but excellent introduction to autism and autistic traits as they present in women and girls. Bargiela consulted several autistic women about their experiences and frames them as the experts on their own reality, not clinical subjects to be pitied. I'm looking forward to sharing this great, quick read with others who are curious about women's experiences of autism spectrum disorders.
Jamie Rose
I found this interesting but wish it had gone into more detail, particularly about the effects of masking on mental health. The art style and way of presenting the information was very good.
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