This is an edited collection that tackles a range of issues that affect autistic women, including chapters on growing up, identity, diversity, parenting, independence, and self-care. Well-known writers provide advice, support, and empowerment to fellow autistic women, and expert Michelle Garnett provides professional commentary for each chapter.
Reviews and Endorsements:
'Spectrum women have a voice that needs to be heard. They need people to understand the challenges they face in daily life, and to recognise their talents and many achievements. The coherent explanations and wise advice provided in this book are highly recommended for women with ASD, their families and clinicians.'
- Tony Attwood, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor at Griffith University, Queensland and author of The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome and Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals.
'For too many years, women on the spectrum have been pushed aside in terms of diagnosis, intervention and support. It took a long time before professionals finally understand and recognize the complexity and richness of the female profile of ASD. Spectrum Women's book is a breakthrough in many ways. First account and professionals combine their views and experience to provide rich and valuable information. I salute this initiative because this book will become a fundamental resource for the ASD community, families and professionals.'
- Isabelle Hénault, Ph.D., Psychologist & Sexologist and author of Asperger's Syndrome and Sexuality: From Adolescence through Adulthood
'Spectrum Women more than fills a gap, it addresses the huge void and absence of critical information to best understand, support and develop meaningful relationships with autistic women. Written eloquently by women who have experienced first-hand the misconceptions, misinformation and lack of recognition of the unique characteristics and abilities of autistic women, Spectrum Women will become the voice and the essential work that will help to further advance the inclusion, acceptance and appreciation of so many individuals who have been marginalized for so many years.'
- Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, Brown University and author of Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism
'Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism brings us the voice of spectrum women, adding multi-faceted layers of Autism knowledge previously unavailable to Professionals and lay people alike. Throughout the chapters the writers not only share their lives, but often bare the intimate recesses of their souls with the reader. This book marks a pivotal moment in the history of Autism - we now have a definitive resource on Autistic women available to us.'
- Nelle Frances, author of the Ben & his Helmet series; Aspergerchild - Simply Explained and Sustainable Social Skills (take off Founder of Aspergerchild)
'Spectrum Women is a beautiful tapestry woven in wisdom, humour and hope. I found myself laughing out loud and quietly nodding with each resonating reflection of life within its pages. In a world of misinformation around autism, with these spectrum sisters, you are in good and safe hands.'
- Rachael Lee Harris, Psychotherapist and author of Contemplative Therapy for Clients on the Autism Spectrum
'Filling a yawning gap in the autism literature with a combination of lived experience and research, recognition of women on the autism spectrum comes of age. In addition to these pioneering authors bringing awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of females on the autism spectrum to new heights, this amazing contribution teaches everyone the beauty of human diversity.'
- Stephen Shore, Ed.D, Internationally known educator, author, and presenter on issues related to the autism spectrum
'By far this is the best book I have read about autistic females. As an autistic woman, wife and mother to a daughter on the spectrum, this book is such a treat. This book gives a sense of belonging, packed full of valuable information, honest insights and great advice, wrapped beautifully together with Dr Michelle Garnett's supporting views. The 15 autistic authors share their personal experiences, covering many aspects of life for fellow Spectrum Women from disclosure, sensory issues, communication, health, anxiety, self-care to relationships, parenthood and employment. It's the full package. Spectrum Women: Walking to the beat of Autism will help so many autistic women around the world and will be valuable information to partners, parents and professionals. Together this tribe of truly amazing women (my autism mentors) have written an absolutely brilliant masterpiece. You are my Dream Team, ladies.'
- Anne Skov Jensen, autism advocate, public speaker and a proud spectrum sister
'Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism is so much more than the average book about autism; it is a collection of works that addresses a significant gap in the publishing world. Informative, emotionally charged, and honest, the chapters guide the reader through a variety of experiences. Through multiple autistic voices and clearly defined summations that acknowledge and validate each writer's experiences from a clinician's understanding, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism is a necessary read for professionals, families, and any woman who belongs within this amazing tribe.'
- Rebecca Vine Foggo, BA Psych, MA Autism, Doctoral Researcher (Autism)
'Spectrum Women is a powerful resource to own. This book offers the previously unknown and untold experiences of a vast demographic of autistic women allowing other individuals on the spectrum, their parents, educators and anyone involved in wanting to learn more by understanding and sharing their unique perspectives and challenges. But most of all, this book allows people to realise that a diagnosis doesn't have to be and shouldn't be seen as doom and gloom. Allow these women to transport you into their minds and their hearts to gain a new perspective of knowledge.'
- Nichole Conolly, Autistic Individual and Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies, University of Wollongong
'A friend once told me that getting an autism diagnosis in mid-life was like finding the Rosetta Stone to herself. This marvelously honest and historically important book will be that Rosetta Stone for many women on the spectrum who will recognize aspects of their own lived experience on every page. I am in awe of the practical wisdom and uplifting encouragement assembled here by these wise elders of their tribe.'
Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the History of Neurodiversity
1. Finding Your Tribe, Maura Campbell (Killyleagh, County Down, Northern Ireland).
2. Growing up on the Spectrum, Jen Elcheson (Prince George, British Columbia, Canada) & Barb Cook (Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia).
3. Identity: A Beautiful Work in Progress, Artemisia (Planet Earth, Galaxy: Milky Way).
4. Diversity: Gender, Intersectionality and Feminism, Catriona Stewart (Dunblane, Stirlingshire, Scotland, United Kingdom).
5. Personal Relationships, Jen Elcheson (Prince George, British Columbia, Canada) & Anita Lesko (Pensacola, Florida, USA).
6. Socializing, Anxiety and Addictions, Barb Cook (Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia).
7. Personal Safety, Liane Holliday Willey (Michigan, USA).
8. A Real Parent, Samantha Craft (Olympia, Washington, USA).
9. Independence, Barb Cook (Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia).
10. Promoting Positive Employment, Jeanette Purkis (Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia).
11. Our Sensory Worlds, Kate Ross (Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom), Jen Elcheson (Prince George, British Columbia, Canada) & Barb Cook (Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia).
12. Communication, Becca Lory (Denver, Colorado, USA).
13. Emotional Regulation, Renata Jurkevythz (Eriskirch, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany).
14. Executive Functioning, Terri Mayne (Nottingham, England, United Kingdom), Maura Campbell (Killyleagh, County Down, Northern Ireland) & Kate Ross (Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom).
15. General Health, Kate Ross (Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom) & Anita Lesko (Pensacola, Florida, USA). 16. Autism and Co-Occurring Conditions, Anita Lesko (Pensacola, Florida, USA).
17. Considering Autistic Life and Mental Wellness, Dena Gassner (Long Island, New York, USA).
18. Self-Care, Becca Lory (Long Island, New York, USA), Catriona Stewart (Dunblane, Stirlingshire, Scotland, United Kingdom) & Kate Ross (Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom).
19. Intense Interests, Christine Jenkins (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) & Renata Jurkevythz (Eriskirch, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany).
20. And Another Thing...
About the Editors and Contributors:
Barb Cook is editor of Spectrum Women, a magazine by and for autistic women, and is an active and widely respected autistic advocate, speaker and writer.
Michelle Garnett, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and founder and Director of Minds & Hearts: A Specialist Clinic for Asperger's Syndrome and Autism. She has specialized in autism spectrum disorders for the past 20 years, and created the first screening instrument for Asperger's Syndrome, the Australian Scale for Asperger's Syndrome (ASAS) in 1993. Michelle has been an invited speaker at many national and international conferences. She lives in Brisbane, Australia.
Spectrum Women Magazine has posted a good number Meet the Author articles, so we've linked to each here, beginning with the two Canadian contributors:
Dr Catriona Stewart
Liane Holliday Willey
Foreword author Lisa Morgan
About the Editors:
Anita Lesko received an MSc in Anesthesia from Columbia University and works full time as an anesthesiologist. She was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at the age of 50 and she runs an Asperger's Support Group in her community. She is the author of Asperger Syndrome: When Life Hands you Lemons. She lives in Pensacola, Florida.
Jeanette Purkis has a Master's degree in Fine Arts from RMIT University and works for the Australian Public Service as a policy adviser. Jeanette recently received an Excellence Award from the CEO of her department for promoting inclusion and advocating for disability. She is a frequent speaker at autism conferences and she facilitates a support group for women on the autism spectrum. She has received the ACT Volunteer of the Year award for her work in Autism advocacy and in particular in facilitating a women's group for Autistic women in Canberra. Jeanette has a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. She lives in Canberra, Australia.