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What's Happening to Tom?: A book about puberty for boys and young men with autism and related conditions (Sexuality and Safety with Tom and Ellie) ISBN: 9781849055239
Powell, Jonathon and Reynolds, Kate E.
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2014
In simple and unambiguous text and bright pictures, often explicit, we see Tom beginning to grow up. First he notices hair in different places, then he gets spots, his voice begins to change, and he needs to shower every day and use deodorant. When he has a wet dream, he knows to change his pyjamas and bed sheets and have a shower, and he also knows this happens to all boys. He gets erections too, but it is good to know that they don't last long. Because Tom is on the autistic spectrum, he needs to realise that these changes will all come about gradually: 'like a snail sliming along the length of a soccer pitch.' And they do end with becoming an adult, which means positive aspects such as wearing more grown-up clothes, shaving 'like his dad', and being able to stay up late. While aimed at those who are autistic, the book will be useful to others with learning difficulties because of its avoidance of euphemisms and the explicit qualities in the illustrations. Highly visual. Available from Amazon, from good bookshops, and from the publisher at
Age: 10+