Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


He's not naughty - so why is he behaving like that?

Autism! We've all heard the word, but what is Autism and how much do we really know and understand about it?

For kiwi father James Smith, bringing a unique book to New Zealand to promote the understanding and awareness of Autism was a way of helping others like his son Zachary (6) who was diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum when he was just three years old.

The book, titled "He's Not Naughty!" is an excellent resource for parents of those who have just received an Autism diagnosis to help them understand the condition and also for those who would like to know more about Autism. The 67 page book has been created for children and adults alike and is a quick and fun way of explaining to family, friends and classmates why children with Autism behave the way they do.

James was first introduced to the book when he met the author; UK based Deborah Brownson, through a family friend who also happens to be a Parliamentary Minister. This Minister was very impressed with the book after seeing it in an MP's office in London and knew it would be an excellent resource for New Zealand educationalists and parents.

James ordered a shipment of books, set up a website and is now promoting “He’s Not Naughty!” in New Zealand to help address what James sees as a huge lack of understanding of Autism and the associated behaviours in schools. James says “the key to kids with Autism being able to thrive is to channel them in the right way and manage their sensitivities.”

James hopes that if by bringing this book to New Zealand it can help just one teacher, parent, or child recently diagnosed with Autism understand the specific associated behaviours then everyone benefits.

The Author and Illustrator

"He's Not Naughty!" Author Deborah Brownson is a mum to two boys who have Asperger's Syndrome. She wrote this book following her own experience and the feeling of being completely overwhelmed with all the information she was given when they were diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. The book is aptly titled ‘He’s Not Naughty!’ which Deborah says was born out of her utter frustration at the never ending disapproving looks as one or both of her sons had public meltdowns because of their condition.

Before writing the book Deborah worked as a Civil Litigation Solicitor for 10 years before becoming a full time carer for her boys. Deborah also campaigns for better autism awareness in schools and her autism journey has led her to The House of Commons and 10 Downing Street. Deborah has also made a short film with the BBC. In 2017 she was awarded an MBE for her work in raising Autism awareness.

This book has been illustrated by Ben Mason, who also has Asperger's Syndrome.

How do you get a copy of this book?

You can order copies of this book through the website
It retails for NZ$24.99 plus postage and is not available in stores. If you'd like to order four books or more please email:

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Preview: Your Heart Looks Like A Vagina By Dominic Hoey

Dominic Hoey’s one-man show Your Heart Looks Like a Vagina, is a dark comedy about the joys of living with autoimmune disease. This one man show will bring together Dominic Hoey’s long career as a performance poet and writer and the experimental theatre experience of Director Nisha Madhan.. More>>

Let The Games Begin: PM Sends Best Wishes To Athletes

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has sent her warm wishes to the New Zealand athletes preparing for the opening of the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast... More>>


Scoop Review of Books: Martin Edmonds' The Expatriates

This book is an extension of, and tribute to, the life’s work of James McNeish. Without sacrificing any degree of authorial independence, the result is gracefully written, handsomely produced, and likely to propagate many further works of its kind. More>>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The King's Singers and Voices New Zealand

To be good at one thing is impressive; to be so versatile across a range of genres is truly exceptional. More>>

Joe Cederwall Review: WOMAD 2018 - Harmony of Difference (part 1)

A friend described WOMAD as his “favourite white middle class celebration of diversity.” There is certainly an echo of truth to this as the crowd is still largely white and middle class, but this WOMAD for me represented that a better world is possible ... More>>

Harmony of Difference (part 2)

Top international world music artists seldom make it down to this neck of the woods, so for those of us into this sort of thing WOMAD is certainly a welcome addition to the cultural calendar. Now it is a case of waiting and looking forward to seeing what they manage to conjure up for next year. More>>

Howard Davis Review: A Bigger Splash - Te Papa Celebrates Twenty Years

Considering the available resources, this is a decidedly hit-and-miss affair, mainly due to some highly questionable curatorial decisions. In their overweening wish to "push boundaries," Charlotte Davy and Megan Tamati-Quennell have made a number of serious miscalculations by ignoring a basic rule - keep it simple. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland