1. Holly

Room 5

01-11-2022 • 27 mins

Aged 39, Holly Smale was a successful author - the creator of the bestselling series of children’s books, Geek Girl. One afternoon, while talking to her therapist, Holly breaks down, says she feels broken. And so begins her journey to understand why she’s always felt different to other people.

We track back through Holly’s difficult childhood, her short-lived modelling career and her traumatic time at university - all the way to the moment she was diagnosed as autistic.

Psychologist Dr Sarah Lister Brook - Clinical Director for the National Autistic Society - tells us why so many autistic girls and women still go undiagnosed. And Holly Smale shares some life advice with a newly diagnosed eight-year-old girl. In Room 5, Helena Merriman interviews people who - like her - were changed by a diagnosis. Written, presented and produced by Helena Merriman Composer: Jeremy Warmsley Sound Design: Eloise Whitmore Production Co-ordinator: Janet Staples Researcher: Drew Hyndman Editor: Emma Rippon #Room5 End song: Miffed by Tom Rosenthal

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