Madeleine Levy was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at the age of eight. This is a book about her life growing up and the education system as she experienced it.
When she was asked by her nursery school teacher what she wanted to be when she grew up, Madeleine's reply was very different to all the other children's: she wanted to be a cat. Later she was bullied for being different - for being bi-sexual, for having autism, or just for being, as she puts it, a weird goth kid.
When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Cat is not just a brilliantly frank memoir but also in part a supportive guide for youngsters with autism and their parents or carers, and in part a critique of the education system whose standardised support Madeleine found lacking.
It is a book that genuinely gives the perspective from someone on the autistic spectrum - and not just Madeleine's own voice but the voices of nine other individuals with autism spectrum disorder whom she has interviewed for the book.
Whatever your interest in autism or whatever your reason for reading it, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Cat is an unforgettable read in which Madeleine addresses the highs and the lows of her life with compelling honesty, and which ultimately carries a hugely positive message for anyone who is facing struggles in life just for being different.
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