90 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2007
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As an Aspie female, I was a little taken back by how much I fit the bill and yet how much I felt the authors assumed we don't understand. I don't think it is so much not "understanding" as an inability to "apply" the information to ourselves. For myself, as I feel that I am on the "outside looking in," the body I see when I look down does not seem to be attached to my brain -- therefore, it is not my body and not my responsibility. I wonder if that statement makes sense to anyone out there?
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2008
Many books written about disability are often taken from or about boys experiences,and girls have not yet got on the radar in many areas. I speak from experience as I have a daughter with AS. She is now 22 y.o and I have just discovered this. Not through lack of searching for information, (and misdirection from 'professionals) but by discovering literature written by Tony Attwood et al.
Girls with Aspergers made it very clear to me that there is not one type of AS, it comes in many forms and is mercurial! It also looked at AS from many perspectives. That is from young women writing about being an 'aspie', to others who were teachers, assessors and relatives of the AS person. This meant that I could guage my own experiences and thoughts against others who have experienced similar things, and know that I am not going nuts, and that what I know and see is valid. Very assuring.
Thankfully, my daughter is a reader, and of course she has been as confused as I about her 'difference' - we know she is not stupid as her general knowledge and peculiar abilities keep us on our toes and never fail to astound us. However, her social life leaves a big hole in all our hearts.
So, I gave her this book to read. Tthe lights went on. She was able to identfy with much of what was said. She also found more confidence, and we have been able to share some of her stored anxieties. I too have made a shift in my communication, expectations and approaches to my daughter. This has made a world of difference to how we now get on. I can also speak confidently about her needs (based on AS vocabulary)and how to work with my girl, to agency staff who have been scratching their heads too.
I am now greatly inspired. This book has lifted me out of a long depression and extended grief for my child and myself. I can break now from beating myself up.
68 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2008
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I was so anxious to get this book and am very let down. Nearly every one of the "experts" are not Aspies, and they repeat the same information over and over, many times quoting and requoting one another. It also seemed to dwell over and over on menstrual periods. There really is more to a female than that.
It's a very shallow book. Each "expert" seemed to type up their own disjointed report and they all got smashed together and called a book. It would have been much more worthwhile if one person wrote the book and covered more topics instead of each person repeating.
A book that is leaps and bounds more informative is Liane Holliday Willey's 'Pretending To Be Normal'. She covers so much more ground, is concise, uses so many real world experiences that I could relate to easily. This one doesn't have that.
69 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2008
If half-stars were allowed, I would have given this book 1 and 1/2 stars, and both of those stars would have been owed strictly to Jennifer Mcilwee Myers (herself an Aspie), for her brilliant essay, "Aspie Do's and Dont's: Dating, Relationships and Marriage." It was nothing short of genius, as well as being moving, refreshing and funny.
It is honestly beyond my comprehension why this piece of art was featured alongside tripe like "Girl to Girl: Advice on Friendship, Bullying and Fitting In" by Lisa Iland. This latter essay was written by a neurotypical young woman who has both a brother, and, apparently, "many friends" on the autistic spectrum, and contains gems like "The Popularity Hierarchy" and "Mainstream Your Imagine". It was as painful to read as you might imagine. I suppose it could be useful enough if one wished to attempt to turn an interesting Asperger's girl into vapid automaton, but it's not a goal of mine.
Slightly more comprehensively written, but equally painful to read, was the essay "Preparing for Puberty and Beyond". It sounds useful, doesn't it? Alas, here's an example: "It is socially appropriate for teenage girls to shave their legs and underarms. Girls who don't shave are likely to be teased and humiliated. Most neurotypical girls decide to shave on their own, but the idea of shaving may not occur to girls with Asperger's. At some point before high school, parents will need to explain the reasons for shaving and carefully instruct their daughters on leg and underarm shaving." Maybe it rings true to you, but, personally, if my precious Aspie daughter grows to leg-shaving age without expressing a desire to shear herself, I don't intend to hand her over a handy dandy Gillette and tell her she'd better get herself looking "socially acceptable." Is this really the kind of advice these kids need?
This books flaunts some pretty big names in the Autism/Asperger's world, such as Tony Attwood and Temple Grandin. I think "flaunts" is accurate enough: Dr. Attwood and Dr. Grandin's works are merely token gestures, small essays at the beginning and at the end. One is left with the feeling that the creators wanted their names on the book to give it intellectual heft that it otherwise sorely lacks.
My advice: Find this book at your local library, and read "Aspie Do's and Dont's", as well as the short selections by Drs Attwood and Grandin. Don't spend your hard-earned money on it. Save it to spend on anything else by Tony Attwood and/or Temple Grandin; you'll get a lot more out of it.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2012
If you have an Aspergirl, or are an Aspergirl, read Rudy Simone. She has respect and admiration for Aspergirls. This book, on the other hand, is an enormous waste of time. I cannot BELIEVE it won an award!
Ok, it was 2006, and I don't think there was any other book on Aspergirls at that time. So bravo to the compiler for trying. But this set the standard really, REALLY low. It seems the concept for the book was to get everyone who's a big name in the Aspie-education community to throw together whatever pops into mind about girls with ASD. There is no coherence, no vision, abominable editing, puke-inducing writing, repetitiveness, massive areas of major significance totally untouched...
The only good thing in this book is Jennifer Mcilwee Myers' essay. That was fantastic. She actually has writing skills, and had a clear idea of what she wanted to say. Everything else in this book is trash (and readily available elsewhere). I have been an editor since 2003, and while I must say that Ruth Snyder's essay was heart-wrenching and honest, and I understand wanting to "let authentic aspie voices be heard", it would have greatly benefited from major editing. I am really glad she told the story she did, but honestly, how incompetent does an editor have to be to put a story as depressing as that at the END of a book that is supposed to ENCOURAGE Aspergirls?
God help us.
Don't even get me started on Lisa Iland's article. I found it personally offensive. I understand she's just trying to help, and maybe she does help some people, but this is the article where I started to think, "Did the compiler just google 'Asperger's' and email the first 9 names that popped up?" Yeah, this woman is known in the Aspie community, but her whole essay assumes we WANT to be fake in order to fit in. It's disgusting. Rather than teaching girls how to live with and enjoy and be successful with what God gave them--which is A LOT of good--she suggests masking it all because superficial teenage NTs think it's "weird". I get that some Aspies would do anything to fit in, but Rudy Simone's advice to find people who like you for WHO YOU ARE is much sounder and healthier and likely to be successful: Find a special interest group in RL/online. Done.
As for Tony Attwood... I love this man. I am so glad he does the work he does. He is the shining star of ASD research (or, at least, the reporting of it to laypeople), and we all owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. Though, to be perfectly honest, Aspergirls owe him a much smaller debt than Aspie men. I just finished his "Complete Guide to Asperger's" (an outstanding work overall that ought to be on every Aspie shelf), and by halfway through I was so frustrated with his clear priority on male Aspies that I was occasionally screaming at him (yeah, I'm Aspie). I mean, even in the relationships section, he'd talk for five paragraphs about male Aspies in relationships, and then say something like, "Women and girls with Asperger's have similar problems." Are you effing serious?!
So, when I found his article in here, I was not surprised to see that it looks like he threw it together in 15 minutes on a plane ride to his next workshop. It showed very little thought, was poorly put together, and made no contribution. I know (from Attwood himself) that the ratio of male to female diagnoses of Asperger's is 10:1, so obviously there's going to be a lot less research on the females. But there ARE things we know about female Asperger's. Lots of things. Important things. Things it's useful for women to read. And clearly, no one knows more about ASD than Tony Attwood. So whatever research is out there on Aspergirls, he knows it--and he's just not sharing. I've concluded as a result that Attwood really just doesn't give priority to the Aspergirl community. He's stuck in the generalized (=male) diagnosis we've been trying to get to recognize us for years.
Read Rudy Simone's "Aspergirls". Hers is the only book I've found so far that is really worthwhile for Aspergirls and their parents/friends/teachers/etc. And I mean REALLY worthwhile. I laughed, I cried, I took her advice, I finally accepted myself... I saw my whole life and personality reflected--compassionately and lovingly--in that book. She covers it all, does it with clarity and simplicity and honesty and humor and respect. God bless her. She is fantastic.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
It's high time a book about girls with Asperger's joined the growing plethora of autism/Asperger's (a/A) literature. This is an excellent book that discusses a previously overlooked population, girls on the spectrum. Women From Another Planet?: Our Lives in the Universe of Autism is the ideal companion book to this one as it is a compilation of essays by and about women who are on the spectrum.
How I wish I had this book when I was a tween! It is very enlightening and empowering. Drs. Attwood and Grandin offer their input and I raise my glass to Dr. Attwood for removing the stigma from autism. I think his words of wisdom deserve a place of high honor among a/A and NT (neurotypical) alike. Hats off to Dr. Attwood!
This brilliant and sorely needed work illustrates the social challenges girls with Asperger's face; it offers a nonjudgmental look at how Asperger's behavior is often mistinterpreted by the NT world. Authors McIlwee and Iland are personally involved with Asperger's; McIlwee has Asperger's and Iland's brother and some of her friends are on the spectrum. Hats off to these women for describing the challenges girls with Asperger's face and for speaking to tolerance and the rationale for behaviors that most of the NT world condemns.
This book will take all readers through the emotional spectrum; you will run the gamut from anger; tears; laughter; surprise and hope. Hope is the silver thread that runs throughout this book and is what connects every passage. That silver thread is really a common thread that links all individuals, a/A and NT alike. This book is the voice of reason and hope. We need this book!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2011
When I was first diagnosised with Aspergers syndrome at 18, they gave me this book to read and I didnt think I had Aspergers because I didnt think I matched the descriptions, as I develved deeper into reading up on other sources of Aspergers I eventually accepted my diagnosis. Come back to the book a few years later I realized why I didnt accept it. There are certain chapters in this book: especially that puberty chapter that is belittling of aspie girls. It makes us sound naive, innocent, highly vulnerble, in strong need of "special treatment", and "female" mentors, etc. I do not like the overlaying connotations that this book and other sources seem to reflect of aspie girls. Basically, it makes us sound like complete idiots.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2013
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OK, so I give this one star for the article by Jennifer McIlwee Myers. That was good.
But the rest? At the best irrelevant, at the worst damaging. Or downright disturbing.
Change yourself to fit in with the crudely stereotyped teens? BAD IDEA. And, how, anyway? No tips, just tell us to do it. And you know what? Once they get to know THE REAL YOU - I'm not sure it's a really reliable model to say that they will take care of you. They could just as much tear you to pieces. That is very hard to recover from.
"Wear a clean bra every day" - do you really think that this is what Aspie girls need to know? REALLY? Who wears a fresh bra everyday anyway?
My advice, such as it is: Aspie girls - join an interest group - what do you like? What are you remotely interested in? Meet people who like the same things as you. Be the real you + wash every day and wear clean (not worn for more than 2 days) clothes and you will be sweet. Change your bra every week and your underwear every day. Shave if you feel like it. Whatever. Simple as that.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2008
This collection of essays is welcome and needed. However, they won't all be equally useful to everyone. "Preparing for Puberty and Beyond" sounded like it was written in the 1950s, not the 2000s. Waiting until high school to educate a girl about sex is really not good advice. However, I agree with other reviewers who said that the "Dating Dos and Don'ts" article was wonderful. This is probably the best material I have read on dating, ever, ANYWHERE. I wish I could give a copy of this essay to every girl, whether AS or not. While I'm glad this book speaks to sexual diversity to some extent (like in Temple Grandin's essay on her lack of interest in sex), I wish it had covered, even extremely briefly, the fact that AS teens might be gay, bisexual, or transgendered. When I think about it, there's really lots of information on AS and girls that I'd like to see added-- time for Volume 2?
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2008
I chose this book when I saw Liane Holliday Willey's name associated with the title. Her book, Pretending to be Normal, was very insightful and useful to my teenage daughter. I assumed that the same compassionate, insightful approach of Ms Holliday Willey would at least influence a book that referenced her works.
Sadly, I found Asperger's and Girls cold and clinical, with no new information. The only useful advice I found- to let your college daughters with AS learn to solve their own problems while as a parent of an adult child you confine yourself to listening and brainstorming with them- applies to all parents of all college students. It's nothing AS specific, and it's been said before, and many times.
The irony here is that the adult with AS (Ms. Holliday Willey) writes with compassion and empathy- qualities difficult if not impossible for many AS sufferer's to process and express, while the non-AS authors of Asperger's and Girls show no real insight or concern for the heart of the girl's they claim to understand and purport to help.
I wish I could get my money back. There is nothing more useful here (AS specific) than tips to minimize bullying in public school. Since my children don't attend public school, and I already have a strong, healthy relationship with healthy boundaries established with my daughter, I just wasted fifteen bucks.
To any other parents of AS girls about to head off to college, I recommend Liane Holliday Willey's book Pretending to be Normal. It is full of insight into the social experience of an AS student in college: what worked for her, what didn't work for her; what she wished she had done differently; what she recommends other AS college students consider as they plan for a successful college career. That is a book every college bound AS girl should read.