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Safety Skills for Asperger Women: How to Save a Perfectly Good Female Life Paperback – August 15, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Liane has written another brave and informative book about her experiences as an adult Aspie...She gives all of us a piece of herself so that we can add to our own roadmap. It makes us better moms, therapists, friends, and people. Liane's new book is on my short list along with her first, Pretending to be Normal. -- Pat Schissel, On the Spectrum Willey (Senior editor, Autism Spectrum Quarterly) uses research and personal experiences as a sufferer of Asperger's syndrome to help "Aspie" woman meet the challenges of travel, social awareness, and life management. She talks about how Aspie woman are wired, how they can be manipulated, and how they often feel disconnected. Willey shares the challenges of taking on life and resisting the urge to run away. She offers practical suggestions on picking friends wisely, staying safely in hotels, expanding diets, and more. This is essential reading for woman with Asperger's syndrome, their families, and the professionals who work with them. -- Library Journal I read this attractively-covered book in one sitting. It is quick, touching, witty and enormously helpful... Holliday Willey has made a great contribution to the growing literature in this area, especially for girls and women with Asperger's syndrome. An excellent read. -- Learning Disability Today The book is clear, personal and easy to identify with... This is a book with plenty of common sense tips, covering keeping safe and emotionally whole is a comfort and a reminder that we are not alone. This is well worth getting for a teenage daughter or for newly diagnosed women because many of Willey's experiences will be mirrored in their own lives and some of her tips may be new and worth a try. -- ASTeens The literary equivalent of a map, a first aid kit, a bullet proof vest and a nice cup of tea. Liane's strength is not the stoic sort, but shows itself through vulnerability, honesty and generosity. This is on the top shelf of 'must reads' in the category of female Asperger Syndrome and it shall remain there to arm, console, and inform readers for many years to come! -- Rudy Simone, author of Aspergirls and 22 Things a Woman Must Know: If She Loves a Man with Asperger's Syndrome Liane's wise and intimate account of how to recognise, disarm and distance oneself from those who might intend or not, emotional or social harm, connected me in ways I couldn't have otherwise imagined. Liane takes AS women into the heart of our issues with obsession, over attachment, broken bonds, mood issues, fashion, self-care, dreams and so much more. In this book I found myself identifying past wounds and experiences that I could finally put a label on, bury and move beyond. Thank you! -- Wendy Lawson, psychologist, qualified counselor, social worker and autism advocate, author of many books on topics relating to Autism Spectrum Disorders "'Who am I and what will I do to be who I want to be?" Safety Skills for Asperger Women is a powerful invitation to take a chance on life and on healing. At times gentle in its encouragement, at others, urging in its counsel, Holliday Willey's words are a beacon, a light in the dark for all women with AS who want to live life more fully but sometimes find themselves off the path. Her work is remarkable, courageous, and welcoming for a group of women who too often live lives misunderstood and mistreated. Safety Skills is an eye-opening account of the perils and also the victories of the female life on the spectrum. Beautifully written and powerful in its message of wellness, this book helps you to dance with your spirit when life feels too overwhelming.' -- Shana Nichols, Owner and Director of the ASPIRE Centre for Learning and Development and author of Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum Liane Holliday Willey's book will help many women on the Autism Spectrum have a more fulfilling life. -- Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures and The Way I See It Liane writes of the agonies she has faced as she travelled the social world full of hazards. Some of the accounts are almost too scary to contemplate, yet her constant optimism has brought her through. Her deep introspection brings us all closer to understanding how an autistic mind experiences the world. She provides end of chapter support sections giving her ideas of things that she feels would be helpful to know. It is clear she hopes others may not have to face similar situations or ordeals unprepared. Liane longs for a world where AS is totally accepted, it is writ large on every page, it would address the extreme stresses many have to live with on a daily basis. Liane's book could help vulnerable women with AS live a safer, happier life. -- Rosalyn Lord, parent, advocate and trainer, UK In the chapter titled Out and About or Traveling To and Fro, Liane Holliday Willey describes several challenging travel adventures - across the continent and around the block - in vivid Aspie detail. The wording of an informational sign at an airport, confusing pronunciations of her name over an airport loudspeaker, the resultant stressful interaction with an airlines representative, rearranged shelves in grocery stores that set off in a bad way the routine-bound author, all illustrate sensory and social situations that could make travel daunting, difficult and something to avoid for many living in the spectrum. Yet, Liane understands that the basic human desire to explore the world and the benefits of doing so, however difficult it may be, outweighs the dilemmas. This chapter alone makes Safety Skills for Asperger Women a must-read! -- Dennis Debbaudt, founder of Autism Risk & Safety Management and author of Autism, Advocates and Law Enforcement Professionals [Liane's] personal explanations and advice will resonate with the reader and transform and even save lives. Why is this book so needed and so valuable? Primarily, because our understanding of Asperger's syndrome is based on the profile of abilities and developmental history of boys and men... Liane's new book enables greater recognition of the adversity experienced by girls and women who have Asperger's syndrome, and provides strategies to overcome or avoid "scary" moments. -- From the Foreword by Tony Attwood, Clinical Psychologist and author of The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome Willey's newest book is a handbook of downright necessary information for women with Asperger's Syndrome. Titled Saftey Skills for Asperger Women: How to Save a Perfectly Good Female Life, it offers help overcoming problems that may not seem complicated for Neurotypicals but are common pitfalls for Aspies. These include being safe and aware in a variety of situations at work and while traveling. It also provides exacting advice for coping with depression, bullying, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and much more. The author's approach is accepting and inspirational. -- GeekMom.com Safety Skills for Asperger Women: How to Save a Perfectly Good Female Life discusses the underlying problems and daily challenges women with AS may face, using extensive accounts from the author's own experiences to highlight issues of safety under various situations. From travel to social situations or managing daily life, this offers everything from exercises for mood enhancing change to the special needs of an AS body. -- The Midwest Book Review I found this book informative, insightful and well written. Lianne covers a range of circumstances which may regularly leave the female with Asperger vulnerable to societal and individual demands and inconsistencies and provides straight talking methods, suggestions and personal anecdotes to guide the reader through such situations. There are a number of helpful lists to make life for the person with Asperger a little safer, more logical and hopefully less stressful... the main feeling throughout this book is that of optimism, the positivity that situations can be faced and tackled with improved know-how and confidence. -- ESPA

Book Description

Common pitfalls and ways of avoiding them, from bullying to eating disorders

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub; 1 edition (August 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849058369
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849058360
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Many autistic women live for decades without knowing that their quirks, the ones they have struggled to keep hidden, come with a medical diagnosis and--admission to a sisterhood. This shocking discovery at midlife is a trip down the rabbit hole few can even understand. Liane's straightforward safety guide provides the unique perspective of someone who has lived through the struggles of her reader, found ways to cope and has become strong enough to light the way for the rest of us. Her stories are our stories, only with coping tips to make it all better. With her easy narrative and handy lists, Liane provides such hope. No matter how alone I might feel, I know that I am not alone--that Liane and my other sisters are going through much the same issues in much the same way. This book is a "must have" for women on the spectrum, not just for the many helpful tips and reminders, but also for the hope that comes from understanding and accepting ourselves at long last. Truly, it is a ground-breaking book. Yet, I look forward to the day when the unique perspective and knowledge Liane has imparted is common knowledge. One day, perhaps, women on the spectrum will no longer have to be taught of their unique place in the spectrum sisterhood.

One of the reviewers here mentions that Liane's stories paint her as the vicitm; this isn't what I experienced at all. My impression is that Liane's accounts finally tell what it feels like to be overwhelmed in the airport (among other stories), confronted with information that simply will not be processed given the surroundings, environment and stress of travel. (You mean, I'm NOT the only one who has had these, according to NTs, "ODD" reactions?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've had the pleasure of corresponding with Liane Holliday Willey. She does not speak in a poetic fashion, but deals with reality as I should be. Until recently, there were very few books out there that focused on the needs of a female with Asperger's. They are out there in greater numbers than scientific statistic imply and they need someone that understands what they are going through and what it means to be a woman for Asperger's. As a teacher with Asperger's that teaches students on the ASD Spectrum I wanted a book out there that deals with the dangers, pitfalls and obstacles my female students will face during their transition to adulthood and as an adult. Who is better to speak about these issues than a woman that lives with Asperger's and has succeeded wonderfully. She deals with the dangers all women face, but are even more pronounced for women on the spectrum. Liane gives them a map with which will help them not to fall into such situations. Beyond that what is more profound she paves a road with will create a path that will help them emerge as more confident and self-sufficient adults. Willey deals with everything from relationships, travel, the work environment, dealing with difficult situations to learn how to figure out the world around them. Through her own experiences and world view she created a tour de force that will be a very relevant book for every Aspie woman to have on her bookshelf or e-reader as she is about to depart on the road to adulthood. She is a true mentor to a group in the need of a messenger who has been there and done that. Very relevant and timely. Kudos to you.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having found Liane Holliday-Willey's Pretending To Be Normal a wonderful resource for the not-so-widely recognized women who occupy the autism spectrum, I was excited to learn that she had written a book specifically addressing safety skills. Tony Attwood's foreword was beyond amazing. It is clear that he has an exceptional understanding of the autism spectrum, including the experiences and differences that women face with diagnosis that is most often recognized as a "male disorder". If you're expecting the rest of the book to provide such amazing insights, it will not. The actual book was unimpressive and rather disappointing. I wouldn't go so far as to say it was void of useful information, but it really did leave out some of the more critical things that come to mind when I think of how to stay safe while navigating a social world that may feel akin to being in a culture where everyone is speaking a different language and the customs are unfamiliar.

While it is pointed out in the beginning of the book that women on the spectrum may be at greater risk for abuse, and Liane admits she was one of them, there is very little said about how to recognize potential dangerous situations. That would have been extremely useful, since generalization is not something which tends to come intuitively for "Aspies". Further, it was noted that eating disorders seem more common in women on the spectrum, yet it doesn't address (to an adequate extent, in my opinion) how to recognize warning signs or the importance of seeking help. Topics such as hygiene and social situations seemed to get more attention, and frankly, these are not life or death problems when it comes down to lacking adequate information like some of the other issues can be.
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