- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers; 1 edition (June 15, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1849058261
- ISBN-13: 978-1849058261
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome 1st Edition
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"I can highly recommend this book to all Aspergirls and their parents, family, partners and professionals, as well as to all members of our community. With humour, love, liking and respect Rudy opens our eyes to the World of the Aspergirl, providing powerful insights on love, learning, sex, career, marriage, having children, friendships, puberty, diagnosis, emotions, health, aging and more...For too many years we have missed Aspergirls due to our current understanding of Asperger's syndrome being largely based on a male presentation. Rudy generously provides, through deep personal insight and her interviews with other Aspergirls, a broader definition and understanding, one that will help bridge the gap between Aspergirls and the non-spectrum population." --Dr. Michelle Garnett MPsych(Clin) PhD MAPS MCCP, Clinic Director and Clinical Psychologist, Minds & Hearts: A Specialist Clinic for Asperger's Syndrome and Autism
"Aspergirls is an extraordinary read. It is an affirmation of the movement towards understanding AS in females, and a celebration of the culture of AS womanhood. Simone writes with passion, honesty and truth - sharing both the challenges and the joys of a woman's life on the spectrum through her own observations and the voices of other women. It is rich with stories and strategies to be read and re-read as reminders, mantras and as a map for embarking on the journey of being a woman with AS. Above all, it is a much-needed book about permission, empowerment, and as Simone so eloquently states, moving beyond the mutism. Bring all your color, girls, and paint the world!" --Shana Nichols, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, Researcher and Clinical Director of ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development, and author of Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum
Ruby Simone's approach is hands-on, and her writing style is easy to read. The chapters are short and give good tips to woman and girls with AS and the people closest to them. I don't know that I believe all the holistic stuff, but I think this book should be required reading for woman and girls who have been diagnosed with AS. (A Girl Walks into a Bookstore Blog)
Every chapter deals with the everyday things that occur in life, explaining how you could feel when you're in love, when you fancy someone, to what you do and should do when going on a date. Sexual relationships and sexual activity are clearly explained, as are how they are affected by sensory issues and whether sex is painful and annoying (Asperger United)
It is interesting the way temper meltdowns are described very accurately and are written just as I experience them, including crying, frustration, shouting, yelling, being sarcastic, becoming vicious, feeling faint or dizzy and that temper meltdowns often happen when we are hungry. (Asperger United)
This is a very readable and enlightening book for all Aspergrirls, their family, friends and involved others... This thoughtful account enthuses the reader and builds their understanding of the specific needs of Aspergirls; a highly recommended book. (Youth in Mind)
In the accessible and relevant 'Aspergirls', Rudy Simone takes the reader through the stages of life from childhood to old age, looking at issues such as the Aspergirl's 'meltdowns', 'stims' (self-stimulatory behaviour), literal thinking, socialising and sexuality. It is written in a touching, often humorous and very practical style, effectively providing a life manual for females with Asperger Syndrome. The anecdotes from Aspergirls she has interviewed broaden the reader's insight into what is must be like to live with this syndrome. (Speech & Language Therapy in Practice)
In a lovely style, Rudy Simone covers every aspect of personal and professional life, from early recollections of blame, guilt and savant skills to friendships, romance and marriage...Rudy identifies recurring struggles and areas where Aspergirls need validation, information and advice. As they recount their stories, anecdotes and wisdom, she highlights how differences between males and females on the spectrum are mostly a matter of perception and empowers Aspergirls to lead happy and fulfilled lives. (Human Givens Journal)
I can highly recommend this book to all Aspergirls and their parents, family, partners and professionals, as well as to all members of our community. With humour, love, liking and respect Rudy opens our eyes to the World of the Aspergirl, providing powerful insights on love, learning, sex, career, marriage, having children, friendships, puberty, diagnosis, emotions, health, aging and more...For too many years we have missed Aspergirls due to our current understanding of Asperger's syndrome being largely based on a male presentation. Rudy generously provides, through deep personal insight and her interviews with other Aspergirls, a broader definition and understanding, one that will help bridge the gap between Aspergirls and the non-spectrum population. (Dr Michelle Garnett MPsych(Clin) PhD MAPS MCCP, Clinic Director and Clinical Psychologist, Minds & Hearts: A Specialist Clinic for Asperger's Syndrome and Autism)
Rudy's book helps girls with AS to realize that they are not alone and lets them know that there are others who feel like thy do. But Rudy also does a thoughtful job of illustrating that not all girls with AS are the same. They have both talents and deficits and vary based on intelligence, level of imagination, and obsessions, just to name a few areas. (Help! SOS for Parents)
Many people, doctors and counsellors included, see AS (Autism Spectrum) as predominately affecting men. The Aspergirls is more often than not overlooked or diagnosed later in life. Rudy's book helps girls with AS to realize that they are not alone and lets them know that there are others who feel like they do. But Rudy also does a thoughtful job of illustrating that not all girls with AS are the same. They have both talents and deficits and vary based on intelligence, level of imagination, and obsessions, just to name a few areas.' - Help! S-O-S for Parents
'Specialists' books are all very well, but what people really, really need are the 'case histories' told from the inside. And so far this is the best I've seen. Aspergirls is a mix between Rudy's own experience and that of other Aspergirls, as well as pure advice, both to other Aspies as well as to Neurotypicals.(Bookwich blog)
This book is a tremendous resource for Aspergirls, their parents, family, friends and professionals. Based on Ms. Simone's personal insight as well as her interviews of over 35 women on the spectrum, this book will serve as an inclusive reference manual. Each chapter is packed with information on sensory overload, guilt, dating, higher learning and career, medication, meltdowns and stomach issues to name only a few. At the end of each chapter are sections containing very practical suggestions for Aspergirls, and their parents for handling the multitude of issues that can accompany Asperger's syndrome. She also encourages Aspergirls to celebrate and cherish who they are and puts to rest some common myths about girls on the spectrum. She encourages us with statements such as, "Life is about making a contribution, not about being popular and fitting in." Ms. Simone is very candid and open about her own struggles and with bullying experiences. She also discusses the difficulties in identifying women on the spectrum. This book will serve as an excellent reference for the Aspergirl and those who love/work with her. (Bonnie Kimpling-Kelly, teacher and behavior analyst)
This book is an easy to read, sensitive and funny at times while presenting some serious matters to consider. The concerns are focused on the individual but inclusive of the parents, educator and the community surrounding them. Whether you are a parent of a child with Asperger Syndrome or know someone who is, this is a must read as it will not only provide the reader with a good insight and look into the lives of girls with Asperger Syndrome, but also make you laugh as you develop more compassion aside faith. (Oren Shtayermman Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders)
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Top Customer Reviews
I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder after the DSM-V came out. If I had been diagnosed during the DSM-IV era, the diagnosis would have been Asperger's. I've been struggling to explain my diagnosis and how it impacts me to parents and friends, and I saw that this book was highly recommended so I thought I would give it a try. This book did not clearly communicate its target audience, so I thought that it would appeal to both teen girls and adult women on the spectrum. Really I would say the only audience that might benefit from reading this book would be recently diagnosed 11- to 13-year-old girls and their parents. Here are some of my problems with the book:
- It is written in a very childlike voice, in very simple terms. This is good for people with an elementary/middle school reading level. It is not really geared toward an audience of highly intelligent and verbal autistic young adults--which is ironic, because a good portion of the book talks about how motivated and intelligent Aspies tend to be. At times it comes across as condescending. I would never give this book to my mother to read because the "Advice to Parents" sections are sometimes written in the same kind of condescending/coddling tone, and fails to address neurotypical parents in ways that are more accessible to them *as neurotypicals*--which I think is really important for books like this. The whole point, I thought, is to bridge the gap between those on the autism spectrum and those who aren't...?
- At some point it posits that people with Asperger's might be psychic. It also espouses reiki, chi, and other similar New Age beliefs, including a section that talks about Aspergirls as being gifts from God. The book does not market itself as being religious or New Age, but this is very important to mention, as readers may not have these same beliefs.
- The author tends to generalize her own experience to all Aspies and, despite input from several different autistic women, fails to acknowledge the differences in presentation along the entirety of the autism spectrum. For example, she perseverates on her assertion that Aspies are "emotionally immature." Perhaps she was emotionally immature, but I don't believe that is an necessary aspect of the autistic condition. I've actually had my neurotypical mother tell me things along the lines of, "you're a lot more emotionally mature at 26 than I was." Someone who spends a lot of time learning and self-reflecting can actually have a *better* handle on themselves and their issues than others do. That doesn't make the social skills deficits go away--in fact, it can actually cast them in sharp relief. The book fails to really address the root causes of social skills deficits, etc., which is unfortunate. Another example is her insistence that all girls on the spectrum struggle with selective mutism. That has never been a problem of mine, altho' I have struggled with slurred speech and stuttering, something that she relegates to the male side of the spectrum.
- Further to that... while I definitely agree that men and women on the spectrum typically present in vastly different ways, she fails to properly acknowledge the overlap between so-called "male" and "female" presentations of autism--actually, come to think of it, she fails to really explore this topic at ALL, other than a bit in the appendices. I do think that my social skills are better in general than that of my autistic male peers because I was groomed and trained to be more social by society, since women are supposed to be the social ones. But I am not prone to crying meltdowns, and I do stutter. Furthermore, I have male friends with a more "female" Aspie presentation profile. What I would have liked to see is for her to have done a more thorough compare-and-contrast between the different gendered presentations, with an acknowledgement of the overlaps as well, rather than relegating all of that to the very back of the book.
- Actually, you know what, in general the author has some very sadly stereotypical views of men and women. She does not question society's division of traits into "masculine" and "feminine" and does not acknowledge that stereotypes are stereotypes, but rather treats them like rules or laws of nature...
- The book fails to acknowledge that some Aspergirls might not be straight. Some women might not want to romance a man! This book was published in 2010. It really should know better than this.
- The personal anecdotes were a nice touch but I think they were handled poorly. They appeared at random and the quotes were sometimes very starkly divorced from their original context. I would have liked to see the text organized better. I also think that the author could have used some more hard data to back up her statements at times.
- Another thing... at a certain point the author says something to the effect of, it is important to never criticize an Aspergirl. I believe that this is terrible advice. EVERYONE, autistic, neurotypical, and everything in-between, needs to be taught how to accept constructive criticism and use it to grow and better themselves. People also need to learn how to graciously deal with negative criticism--how to grow a thicker skin and block out haters and trolls and bullies when they do rear their ugly heads. I know what it's like to be super sensitive and take criticism very hard. But I use it to grow and become a better person (and, when it comes to being an aspiring artist/writer/poet, I've learned to *thrive* on criticism, as without it I would never be able to improve my art!). I wonder what kind of constructive feedback Simone had on this book and this writing project. Did she have an editor help her cut things out, improve the first few drafts, make it better? Or did she have someone coddle her and hold her hand through the entire project and say that every word she wrote was gold? I would hope it was the former. That's what writers need in order to become better writers. I think telling parents to shield their kids from criticism is very dangerous advice. (Of course, it is important for parents not to be judgmental and critical toward their children, which is a different concept altogether from never offering any constructive critique or advice.)
This review is getting really long so I'm gonna cut it off here. *Unless* you're a middle-school girl (or the parent of a middle-school girl) who was JUST diagnosed and knows NOTHING about autism, and who believes or is open to spiritual/New Age stuff, and who is completely straight and believes in gender roles, then you'll want to skip out on this book for sure.
I wanted a book based on scientific evidence comparing male/female brains with aspergers and autism. Instead I get a book filled with generalizations/stereotypes and observations performed by one person (the author) with a small sample size of women via cherry-picked quotes.
Simone appears to force a generalized and stereotyped narrative of autism in women, stringing input from other autistic women along in an uncomfortably self-serving manner. Throughout the book, Simone also continues the myth of the high vs low functioning dichotomy, separating Apserger's from autism. This idea is becoming increasingly rejected among autistic self advocates (including myself) and other neurodiversity activists due to its usage by neurotypical authorities, peers, parents, and so on, to deny "lower functioning" autistic people of their agency and "higher functioning" autistic people of proper support. Most disappointingly, Simone cites purely anecdotal evidence--no science, no history, but instead a flimsy stringing together of an extremely limited range of perspectives (again, that seem to be purely supportive of Simone's own conclusions and generalizations of autistic womanhood). Simone has also peppered the book with a slew of heteronormative assumptions about autistic women (just about implying that it is insulting to be called a lesbian), an unsatisfying discussion on autism's unique impact on an experience with gender (also containing multiple displays internalized misogyny and cisnormative, binaric assumptions of gender from both Simone and her interviewees), and application condescending descriptors like "childlike" and "innocent" to certain autistic behaviors and thought patterns.
What truly disappoints me with this book is the fact that it is the first of very few books available that I have read written by an autistic woman. It is exceedingly difficult to find anything close to an autistic self-help book written from the perspective of real autistic people, especially for girls! I wanted to enjoy and reccomend this book, but even the chapters that I did like felt only validating, not practically helpful.
I am hoping for more luck reading from Temple Grandin's work. Also, I am reading through Steve Silverman's book "Neurotribes" right now and must say that it is incredibly respectful in tone coming from a non-autistic man, extrodinarily well-reasearched, and a book that I'd have to reccomend over this one. I have also heard good things about "Loud Hands," a series of essays for and by autistic people.