To top

Online shop

My special brother Rory

My special brother Rory

Author: Ellie Fairfoot (aged six) and Jenny Mayne (Ellie's mum)


Format: A5 Paperback
Availability: in stock
Product number
My special brother Rory
Ellie Fairfoot (aged six) and Jenny Mayne (Ellie's mum)
Published by
The National Autistic Society

New price - was £2.99 NOW - £1.99. While stocks last.

A sister's eye view of the joys and pitfalls of having a brother who has autism. Although it is aimed firstly at children aged 4-7, children of all ages will enjoy this book.

Children 4-7 and suitable for all children
Print format
Full colour, illustrated
Number of pages
First publication
ISBN / supplier product code
Dispatch partner
Primary distribution partner
Typical delivery
7 working days
Edited reviews

This book was written by Ellie Fairfoot when she was six-and-a-half years old. Ellie also provided the excellent and highly colourful illustrations. In the text Ellie explains how her brother is 'a bit different' but how he is also very special. She tells and shows us the things that Rory does, including how he once disappeared and climbed into a Roman tomb in a museum! Ellie mentions a couple of the more difficult aspects of having a special brother - specifically the tantrums and the fact that people stare at Rory. The picture of Rory when cross is particularly good.

This book would be a useful one for parents to share with young children who are beginning to need some explanation for their brother's or sister's difference. They would also inevitably need to spend time explaining how each special child is unique, as Rorys quirks and characteristics will be different again from the sibling of any reader.

Because of this it seems to me that there is a gap in the market for a workbook-style resource for siblings where they could fill in the name and details of their own special brother or sister. With space for their own pictures the children could be the authors of their own family storybook which could be shared with friends and schoolmates as a way of explaining and introducing their Rory. How about it, Ellie and family?

Debbie Waters
NAS Project Officer and parent of two boys with ASD

My special brother Rory is published by The National Autistic Society as part of their range of books detailing the lives of siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Here the author is a 6 ½ year old sibling, Ellie Fairfoot, a girl with a talent for exploring family life through writing and art. Ellie is supported in her work by her mum, Jenny Mayne.

Written as a discussion about her brother, in 16 colourful pages Ellie explores some common issues that arise for young siblings. Ellie uses interesting anecdotes to comment on differences in schooling, responding to difficult times in public and home, parental stress, her feelings of responsibility, communication systems, and the need to work together as a family. I particularly liked the description of Makaton being a family code and the later link between Rorys behaviour and the familys efforts to teach him to speak, whilst  I am sure that many siblings will recognise the swimming pool and museum visits.

For young siblings of children with ASD, this book carries the message that there are other siblings experiencing similar issues to them and reassurance that it is okay to admit that life is not always easy. For parents and carers it provides the basis for discussions with siblings about the similarities and differences between their family and Ellies. For professionals supporting families where there are children with ASD, it is a reminder that even young siblings are affected by their brother or sisters condition too and often play an important role in supporting them to socialise, communicate, keep safe and change their behaviour.

All that in just sixteen pages. Well done, Ellie!

Nicola Dean, Sibling Group Development Officer, Sibs

Autism Helpline Number: 0808 800 4104
Last updated: 21/03/2018 13:35:38