When I was growing up, Enid Blyton’s Famous 5 series was my favourite.
In particular – Georgina (or George as she preferred to be called), an adventurous tomboy who dressed androgynously. For me – a lanky short-haired kid who spent her weekends on horseback or with her dog gallivanting around the farm, George was my kind of person, the one I rarely saw in books.
It’s only now as I re-read the series to my kids that I suddenly recognise George for who they are.
They, like me, have Autism.
George shows clear signs of ASD:
- prefers being by themselves
- happier in the company of animals than humans
- blunt AF
- sensory issues
- difficulty with managing social interactions
Here’s the giveaway quotes
These are from Five On A Treasure Island (the first in the series):
“I must tell you, children, you may find George a bit difficult at first – she’s always been one on her own, you know, and at first may not like you being here. But you mustn’t take any notice of that – she’ll be all right in a short time. I am very glad for George’s sake you were able to come. She badly needs other children to play with… George hates being a girl, and we have to call her George, as if she were a boy.” – George’s mother
“Mother was awfully cross with me when I cut my hair short. I had hair all round my neck; it was awful.” – George
“She’s awfully funny, I think. She says she didn’t want us to come because we’ll interfere with her. She laughed at me, and it was rather rude.” – Anne, describing George
“I didn’t want any of you to come, anyway. Interfering with my life here! I’m quite happy on my own.” – George
“I don’t make friends with people just because they’re my cousins, or something silly like that. I only make friends with people if I like them… lots of people don’t like me, now I come to think of it.” – George
“If you’re not going to believe what I say I won’t tell you another word more. But I don’t tell untruths. I think it’s being a coward if you don’t tell the truth – and I’m not a coward.” – George
“Timothy (the dog) is my very greatest friend. I couldn’t do without him.” – George
I can’t tell you how relieved I was to re-read this book again
It was like a sweet homecoming to see myself reflected in the image of my favourite childhood character.
Big love to you all, just as you are!