Budding Sheffield writer releases book to help children understand her brother's autism

Amelie Pape wanted to explain autism to her peersAmelie Pape wanted to explain autism to her peers
Amelie Pape wanted to explain autism to her peers

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A budding writer from Sheffield has written and illustrated a book to help people understand the behaviours of autism - a condition her brother Harry was diagnosed with four years ago.

Amelie Pape, nine, of Chapeltown, has learnt a lot about autism over the years having seen first hand some of the difficult and challenging behaviour her brother Harry, seven, can display on a daily basis.

Harry has limited speech meaning he can struggle to explain how he is feeling and will often shout or throw objects.

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Amelie Pape, nine, pictured with the book she has writtenAmelie Pape, nine, pictured with the book she has written
Amelie Pape, nine, pictured with the book she has written

Confused about his behaviour, Amelie's friends would ask the nine-year-old why Harry would act in the way he does.

So, already a keen writer and an expert on her brother's condition, the Windmill Hill Primary pupil decided to pen 'Autism, My Brother and Me' as a way of explaining in a way they would understand.

Amelie's mum Alison Pape, 40, said: "Her initial idea was to write a book to explain to her peers why Harry does the things he does because he can't explain it himself.

"She started writing it and after reading the initial piece, my husband and I thought that it was gold so we encouraged her to finish it. The final book is wonderful, she explains autism in a way that only a kid could explain it."

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Autism, My Brother and Me is split into various chapters, each of which detail a behaviour that can be displayed by someone with autism, before giving readers some tips on how to help deal with them.

Amelie said: "I thought that if people knew more about Autism, the world would be a better place. I hope that, by reading the book, more people will understand Autism. I think it will help people learn about Autism and that they enjoy reading it."

The book was then picked up by Sheffield publishers Dee Dah Publishing, who decided to take it on.

Kelly Dewick, of Dee Dah Publishing, said: "Dee Dah Publishers were thrilled to select Amelie’s book for publication because it is well written, informative and accessible. It also very importantly covers a topic of public interest and fills a gap in autism awareness raising materials.

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"Written from the lived experience of a sibling of a child with Autism, the focus groups of children and adults with autism and their families who were part of the publication selection process fed back that they found the book and its words and images insightful, straight talking and a delight to read.

"As Amelie is a Sheffield born and bred child, it was deemed important to also support this young author in her writing endeavours and to nurture, home grown talent in our city. We are all very proud of her achievement."

Amelie will be doing a book signing on the first day of the South Yorkshire Autism Fayre, which is taking place at the Magna Centre, Rotherham, on September 16 and 17.

For more information or to buy tickets visit the Facebook page here.