Even if we already know our identity, proper representation helps us accept that identity. It’s well-established that negative/no representation has awful effects on self-esteem. When we see no one like us—or when we’re only ever the troubled sibling, never the heroic kid —it sends a message. We’re not normal. We’re not welcome. We’re not heroes. We exist only in relation to those around us.
At the Guardian, YA author Corinne Duyvis speaks up about why we need more and better representations of autistic characters in literature, and why the best way to do this is by giving autistic readers and writers a voice.