Maria and Me: A father, a daughter (and Autism)

Giving a father’s insight into life with his daughter Maria, aged 12, who has autism, this comic tells the story of their week holiday in the Canary Islands, Spain. Delightful illustrations and dialogue between father and daughter show the day-to-day challenges that people with autism and their carers face, and how Miguel and Maria overcome them.

Funny and endearing, this comic helps to show how Maria sees and experiences the world in her own way and that she’s unique, just like everyone else.



When I came across this I knew I had to read it. As a mother of 2 daughters on the spectrum I was vastly curious to read about a similar life from a father’s point of view particularly in a different culture.

The author uses many drawings to help illustrate his story. I liked the simplicity in the drawings because they reminded me of similar ones we use for social stories to help the girls learn various behaviors or rules.

Learning about Maria was like reading about my own daughters in many ways. They too don’t like crowds and breathe schedules like they are as important as oxygen.

The way he describes how people look at his daughter tugs at the heartstrings because I know those looks; I’ve tried to ignore them on many occasions though it’s not always easy.

The wall he describes I’ve seen myself along with the sensitivity to rejection and/or positivity; almost as if they can feel emotions in a physical way. Though my daughters don’t pinch if they don’t like you they will shut down. My youngest just psychologically floats off into her own world while my oldest will curl up and cry as if her whole world just came crashing down.

The more I delved into this book the more I fell in love with Maria and appreciated her father for sharing a story so many like me can see our own lives represented in. Then at the end he provides a multitude of characteristics that you might see from someone on the spectrum and tries to provide an educational experience.

The thing I loved the most is that autism and good parenting of children on the spectrum doesn’t see boundaries in culture, country or gender. It doesn’t matter what language or where your child is being raised because all they really need is love and to be appreciated for who they are.

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