‘As a kid you’re thinking: ‘I look like everyone else. I act like everyone else. Why does nobody like me?’

The writer and illustrator Aoife Dooley on growing up with autism and why her Frankie books are helping other kids in the same situation

Illustrator Aoife Dooley photographed in her office at her home in Dublin.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath

Liadán Hynes

There’s a page in the first of Aoife Dooley’s Frankie books, a two-part graphic novel series about a preteen who is autistic, which took a month to complete. It was a scene in which the heroine’s mother is sick in hospital, loosely based on Aoife’s own life; her mother Gráinne died in May 2013.