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Women From Another Planet?: Our Lives in the Universe of Autism Paperback – August 29, 2003


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Women From Another Planet?: Our Lives in the Universe of Autism + Aspergirls: Empowering Females With Asperger Syndrome + 22 Things a Woman With Asperger's Syndrome Wants Her Partner to Know
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (August 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1410734315
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410734310
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jean Kearns Miller isa woman on the autism spectrum. Her official diagnoses are ADD (AttentionDeficit Disorder) with AS (Asperger Syndrome) traits, and recurrent majordepression. She graduated from Marygrove College in 1970, has an MA in rhetoric& writing from the University of Tulsa, and completed doctoral courseworkin rhetoric & composition at Purdue. She spent several years as a technicalwriter/editor before following a reluctant calling to teach, a job sheabsolutely hated when first she did it. She is an avid essayist and writer ofpoetry and fiction, and teaches writing full time at Washtenaw CommunityCollege in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she advocates for students dealing withmental health problems and neurological difficulties.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Open your mind, and at least read what some of us think.
Tara Marshall
Many of the stories were similar to my own experiences as an Autistic woman, some were different. it helps me to understand the variations within our variation.
Plain Brown Tabby
I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a very worthwhile read.
Suzie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 19, 2004
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To say I truly love this book would be a vast understatement. Instead of presenting one theory or the "Procrustean Bed" approach of painfully forcing people to support a certain finding, this book provides a myriad of insights into autism among women.

I am good and tired of the Rain Man stereotype that protrays people with autism has having savant abilities and no viable social skills; I am equally tired of the "rocking and staring" stereotype of autism as well. Sadly, stereotypes are so often applied to any population and this book unfortunately has passages wherein other groups are painted with the Stereotyping Brush. That is the only drawback.

Since this book contains a myriad of descriptions, it provides the much needed service of explaining that autism and its related neurobiological condition Asperger's is as unique as there are individuals who are on the spectrum. As the NT (neurotypical) population recognizes and claims individuality, the same applies among the a/A population.

How wonderful to find a book by people with autism about people with autism. This is the only work I am currently aware of that is concentrated on women who have autism. The fact that the authors come from all walks of life is representative of the multi-cultural/multi-ethnic world we all, as people live in is a very powerful statement. Autism does not discriminate.

I also like the way the authors describe their individual needs in coping with a largely NT world; the voice for accessibility can be seen, heard and felt throughout this work. The authors are not reluctant to challenge stereotypes and make individual claims describing how they are personally affected by having autism.

What makes this book so unique is that it is connects feminism and autism.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tara Marshall on April 11, 2007
Disclosure - I received my copy of this book as a gift from one of the contributors, who has been a personal friend of mine for years.

As a woman on the spectrum, I am used to our views being constantly ignored. The female experience of autism is qualitatively different from that of the male. If we don't talk, we are "shy". If we don't socialize with others, or need to watch what they are doing before we can attempt to join in, we're "not socially adept". If we don't join in the backstabbing and constant talk about makeup, sexuality, and clothing starting in junior high and high school, we're downright weird.

It is both easier and harder to be a woman autistic. People who think we are just shy frequently try to find ways to encourage us to "join in". And a lot of behavior that people find threatening from males on the spectrum, while not precisely acceptable in us, is less socially inappropriate. If one of us likes someone and doesn't know how to approach them, but constantly hangs around that person, someone might find a way to introduce us, if the person doesn't notice us by him or herself. In a male autistic, this same behavior could lead to stalking charges and restraining orders.

The fact that so many different women contributed to this book is a big factor in its success - at least one voice in there is likely to speak to someone.

And as for being self-diagnosed and "trivializing" autism... it is very hard to get diagnosed as an adult. Most of us, even those who have documentation of our severel language delay, are either "too successful" to be diagnosed (i.e., we have a relationship, employment, or advanced degrees and doctors dismiss our concerns about ourself), or are just diagnosed "Asperger's".
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Plain Brown Tabby on March 9, 2006
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I loved the multiple-writers approach of this book. Many of the stories were similar to my own experiences as an Autistic woman, some were different. it helps me to understand the variations within our variation. Jane Meyerding's "Growing up Genderless" essay summed up for me a lot of the insidious problems faced by autistic women: as females we're supposed to be the socially adept gender: smoothing the way and facilitating the school dance, the weddings, children, family, school, church, husbands' career, etc.. When (because of autism) we don't act or look like "real girls" we are subjected to extreme ridicule and abuse and a feeling of not belonging anywhere.

These stories from women outside the box are and important part of Autistic culture; both to serve as solidarity literature for other mature AS women and hopefully give today's AS girls some more accurate pictures of how we really are and how we navigate the world.

the essay format is easy to read in chunks and the variety of voices make it a broader overview than any single-author book. I recommend this to Autistic women of all ages, especially if you've just learned that your "weirdness" is really called "autism". You're not alone, let these sisters share their stories.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Patience H. C. Mason on August 30, 2004
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Women From Another Planet knocked my socks off, enlightened me and gave me insight into the lives of autistic people. It also points out how we neurologically typical people often treat autistic people as if they are worth less than we are, sometimes with absolute cruelty. It was quite ironic to read about the "normal" persons insensitivity, lack of imagination, and selfish selfcenteredness (all supposedly autistic traits) around many of these women. I found the whole book marvellous and fascinating. Since there are 19 contributors, the variety of experiences and traits is huge. A good read!
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