The process of writing the novels
I have a background in theatre, so it was instinctive for me to devise the stories as I would a play. I ran drama workshops, throughout the school day at Limpsfield Grange, in which the girls improvised typical frustrating scenes, full of misunderstandings and injustices which they encounter, all too often.
My writing process and research also involved listening to the girls’ experiences and believing them. All too often they are dismissed and accused of making a fuss because they seem ‘normal’ and ‘capable’, but girls with autism are often masking massive levels of anxiety and they often create a huge fantasy life to retreat into, to try and cope.
However, their adversity and wonderful imaginations do lend themselves to some very lovable characters and interesting storylines. The girls and parents I worked with spoke so pertinently and precisely about their love and frustration that I couldn’t have put it better myself so some of the novels are practically verbatim.
M in the Middle:
Secret Crushes, Mega-Colossal
Anxiety and the People’s Republic
M in the Middle
I’ll never have a Card Emporium series of life events: a boyfriend, a fiancé, a husband and a future. A future with lots of sparkly cards celebrating all these big life events. I was on course and now I’m not. I’m sliding off course… badly
Life after diagnosis isn’t easy for M. Back in her wobbly world, there are lots of changes and ups and downs to get used to, not just for M, but for her friends and family too. Faced with an exciting crush, a pushy friend and an unhelpful Headteacher, how long until the beast of anxiety pounces again?
M is for Autism
The Students of Limpsfield
Grange School & Vicky Martin
M is for Autism
Welcome to M’s world. It’s tipsy-turvy, sweet and sour, and the beast of anxiety lurks outside classrooms ready to pounce. M just wants to be like other teenagers her age who always know what to say and what to do. So why does it feel like she lives on a different plane of existence to everyone else?
“M is for Autism invites us into the world of a young woman with autism and allows us to view it through her lens. What an intriguing world we enter. This is a book to be read by everyone”
“I’ve been working with young people with autism for 20 years & think I have learned to ‘know’ autism from the inside out but Vicky’s sessions bring a new perspective on autism that strongly promotes autism acceptance, while empowering & enabling the participants.”
“Vicky is a magician!”
“Vicky is an imaginative and gifted writer. She is able to adapt to the changing needs of a project and has a gift of making students feel valued, safe and important.”