Autism Anxiety Vol.1 #1

Sam Webster is an autistic comic book creator; his series Autism Anxiety gives insight into his experiences, thoughts and feelings of life on the autism spectrum. Like Sam, I’ve been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, so I find his comics incredibly relatable and reassuring.

Having autism can often make you feel like no one else can understand the way you process information or react to specific social situations – things which are second nature to neurotypical people. So reading a comic of this nature, that presents the creator’s experience honestly and in a way that’s similar to my own, is very refreshing.

This first chapter covers masking: people diagnosed with ASD will often learn to ‘mask’ their non-typical responses and behaviours in an effort to fit in, which can make even the most basic social interaction incredibly draining. As someone who was diagnosed very late in life (I struggled to be taken seriously by anyone I told of my suspicions that I had ASD, even medical professionals – which meant that I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 38), it was especially reassuring to read in the introductory disclaimer that Sam doesn’t feel as if he has all the answers or a definitive way of coping with the various issues that he encounters due to his condition.

The art has a Manga-esque feel to it and the storytelling is very clear, helped by the matter-of-fact writing style. It’s a very brief read, but well worth checking out – even for people who don’t have ASD. I still struggle with people taking my diagnosis seriously and it’s mostly due to the effectiveness of masking, for the most part. Sam’s comic is extremely helpful and insightful regardless of whether or not you’re on the spectrum – I’d highly recommend checking it out.

Thanks to Comichaus for providing me with a subscription to try out their service and cover comics from their brilliantly diverse selection. You can try their service for free – with a 14-day trial – on iOS, Android or Amazon devices (click where appropriate for your device).

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