Cover Image: Autism and Girls

Autism and Girls

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Didn't find it particularly useful. Better books out there.      .               .              .    Gyfyfygyguguguguguguvuvuvyvyfycychvycyvuvyvycycy
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Netgalley and Future Horizons for this book. Although primarily written for those caring for / teaching autistic girls / teenage girls, this book also has some useful and interesting insights and advice for adults with ASD. It is easy to read and definitely worth a read for anyone who either is an autistic female, lives with one, parents one, teaches one and so on.
Was this review helpful?
Each chapter of this insightful book was written by a different author and each explores a different aspect or persepective of girls and autism - from experts to first- hand experience. A really interesting read which will be really useful in bringing the ways in which girls are affected on the spectrum. This is an extremely resource for educators, parents and girls in  navigating their way through a neurotypical environment.
Was this review helpful?
The authors covered a myriad of topics in this book geared towards teenage girls, in my opinion.  I found this to be relatable to girls that are maybe in middle or high school that are diagnosed with autism as the advice seemed to be geared towards that age group in regards to topics like puberty and dating.  I work with autistic students in a middle school and found this to a great glimpse of the challenges faced by my students.
Was this review helpful?
As a mother of an autistic daughter who wasn’t diagnosed until she was 11 I had high hopes for this book. I didn’t like this book. There were many things I didn’t agree with. I would not recommend this one.
Was this review helpful?
Not only would this make an excellent tool for teachers wishing to understand autism within girls and women a little more, it is an insightful read for any girl or woman who feels they may be autistic themselves.
Was this review helpful?
I am a woman on the spectrum who wasn't diagnosed until the age of 38. The reality is that girls and women are woefully under-diagnosed and not typically given the support they need to truly thrive. Despite this, we can learn how to break the harmful cycle of trying to mask all the time in order to fit in with others. And, speaking from personal experience, breaking that cycle is the first step toward drastically reducing meltdowns and anxiety, along with building stronger relationships, becoming more successful, and learning to both love and appreciate ourselves. 

I wanted this book to give girls and women on the spectrum (along with their parents and loved ones) a guide toward understanding these things. I also wanted it to give tips for how loved ones can give us the support we really need, rather than trying to force us to conform. Unfortunately, that's not what I found in most of the chapters. 

For anyone who needs to hear this: masking is a skill and coping mechanism that's necessary at times. However, it's not a state to be desired, and it should never be taught or suggested as the "right" way to be. Because it's not. Today's girls and young women who are expending way more energy on masking than they should are on the path to suffering from autistic burnout later in life. And it's not pretty. It can destroy relationships, jobs, self-esteem, etc. 

If you love someone on the spectrum, embrace them for who they really are, not for who you think they "should" be. And if you're on the spectrum, please know that there's nothing wrong or bad about who you really are beneath the mask. 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
This book contains stand-alone chapters written by several authors who have studied and worked in the study of autism- many of whom are autistic themselves. Some chapters read more like clinical briefs, some authors shared narrations of life experiences. The chapters are not cohesive with each other, but each one held specific value. Nearly all chapters focused on how best to help and support females with autism- particularly in middle school/high school/young adult years.

I was particularly shocked (and dismayed) by a statistic shared multiple times in this book- "The incidence of sexual molestation for girls with special needs, including ASD, is 80% before the age of eighteen." Because of that factor, a large goal of the book is to aid parents, teachers and caregivers in helping autistic girls to learn social cues about appropriate sexual behavior and about how to ask for help. The book also address issues such as menstruation hygiene, developing friendships with other girls, romantic relationships, launching into adulthood, etc. 

There are nine chapters in this book- eight of them were excellent. I did feel like one of the chapters was somewhat scattered, but there was value in that chapter, as well. 4 stars. 

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Many thanks to the publisher and the authors for this opportunity. #NetGalley #AutismAndGirls
Was this review helpful?
I received an arc of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I can't say I liked this one. I think some of it could have been revised to say ''many but not all'' as in ''all aspies need a lot of alone time after social situations.'' that is not true for everyone. A couple of other things made me not really care for this book.
Was this review helpful?
This review is of a book which was offered free and unsolicitated by the Publisher via Netgalley and is not unduly influenced in any way by them.
Disclaimer: I am a parent of a teenage daughter with Autism but in addition to other issues which may also affect her development
As a parent of an autistic girl  myself, this title was an automatic draw for me as I’m aware from the screening process and personal experience that autism and related syndromes amongst girls are seen as increasingly prevalent but almost criminally unrecognised amongst educators, the medical fraternity and society which views autism as a primarily “male-only” phenomenon. So, on this basis I was hoping for a good overview of the issues affecting girls with Autism, and some good advice for helping them cope with life. Overall, I do not feel this book has met those expectations.
The initial chapter by Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett was excellent giving a brief run-through of the fact that girls use specific techniques to camouflage autism in order to cope with social and interpersonal norms, and how they adapt to these throughout the various stages of their childhood through to adulthood. The outing of Hermione Granger as a potential autistic person was an interesting surprise and one I would personally not have thought of! The chapter doesn’t necessarily tell me anything new but summarised things nicely.
Catherine Faherty’s chapter points out the scary reality that many autistic girls and women are particularly vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse but lack the tools to be able to communicate this. Whilst I think this does need to be pointed out I feel the placement of the chapter itself sdo early in a book which may be used by parents of newly diagnosed autistic girls is unfortunate and could lead to unnecessary worry by many parents. Placing it later in the book when the needs and characteristics of autistic girls are clearer may have helped ease some unnecessary concerns.  The fact that Faherty then goes on to outline a specific communication tool ( communication forms) in great detail  with example questions, may also reinforce those worries, and is also much better suited to a publication aimed at educators and practitioners rather than one for public consumption.
Sheila Wagner writes her chapter from the POV of an educator and it is aimed quite specifically at the situation in American schools as opposed to the UK. Not being an expert in the field, I assume that the lessons learnt are transferrable to our system and her suggestions are clear and concise. I did particularly like the suggested descriptive statements designed to help autistic students to define the various stages of relationships from  strangers through to life partners with one proviso- it does skip from best friends to life partners without detailing what you could define as a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, or even casual sexual relationships. It is one of the stronger chapters in the book, however so this is a comparatively small oversight in the overall book.
Lisa Iland is a practitioner with experience in developing individualised programmes aimed at supporting autistic people to navigate the world of relationships, employment and social inclusion by reducing barriers. Much of her work has come from direct communication with autistic people of both sexes including her own brother. She sets out her stall early in her chapter that her aim is to provide advice and information aimed at professional’s, parents and young people with autism and she succeeds with a very general approach- making it clear that social relationships are complicated for everyone including so-called neurotypical people. She concentrates on advice rather than hard advocacy or specific suggested solutions, and this makes the advice much more universal than Flaherty’s chapter did. She also outlines a relationship hierarchy that typical teens experience, which is simpler and much more tailored towards young people themselves than Sheila Wagner's earlier version. What follows is a relatively detailed look at various aspects of relationships in general and friendships. Some reviewers felt that this chapter tries to teach autistic girls to confirm with high school norms and expected behaviours rather than treat them as individuals. I personally didn’t feel this was necessarily the case but in the interest of fairness point this out so that you can treat with caution as appropriate. 
Next up, Mary Wrobel deals with the issues surrounding puberty and autism. It's very detailed and comprehensive – perhaps a little bit too forceful in tone rather than encouraging – telling parents that  autistic girls must be instructed to tell trusted adults when they are being physically bullied, which (as Flaherty’s chapter says) is something that is completely alien to many and extremely difficult to do if that person doesn’t understand where the problem is. Overall the chapter felt too heavy-handed and badgering in tone for me so works against the goal of helping to deal with the issues surrounding puberty.  Rather off-putting to say the least.
By this point it is unfortunately very clear to me that the book does not work as a cohesive whole and really lacks any common viewpoint- You have writers suggesting that autistic girls need to essentially mimic neurotypical girls in order to function in society but other writers suggesting that they can have meaningful relationships only if they embrace their individuality and go against the norm. It also doesn't seem to be clear on who the audience is for this book- is it practitioners in schools and education, parents or autistic girls themselves? It also is badly organised and that could have detrimental affects on people who have just been diagnosed with the condition. 
From my perspective, it's a real shame that this title is so disappointing considering how little-known it is that girls with autism are a lot more common than has initially been thought due to their ability to mask the condition effectively, and there is relatively little in the way of information and guidance open to parents of girls with autism designed to help them get to grips with the effects that can result from late diagnosis. I appreciate the aim of the book to be a general guide but the execution lets it down a lot.
Was this review helpful?
This book wasn't what I expected at all. I'd hoped for more insight on how autism manifests in girls and women throughout the various stages of their lives. Although I think this book is designed to help parents of girls with autism, I found a lot of the advice very unhelpful, essentially telling a girl with autism how to 'fit in', rather than accept herself as she is. This is with the exception of the chapter written by Jennifer McIlwee Myers, who gave a good account of why girls and women with autism may find dating difficult.

The chapter on 'Maternal Instincts and Autism' seemed only to talk about the writer's personal challenges, rather than addressing how autism may affect motherhood more generally. The book as a whole also failed to address some of the acknowledged issues around girls, women and non-binary folk with autism, namely gender dysphoria and eating disorders. 

Interestingly, I've seen reviews of the first edition of this book which raise some of the same points as I have. On the whole I wouldn't recommend this book. While there may still be a dearth of literature on this topic, it needs to be addressed thoroughly and not given lip service. This was an opportunity to fully update the book on the progress that has been made over the past ten years and unfortunately I feel that didn't happen here.
Was this review helpful?
Two out of five patronising opinions about autistic people to Autism and Girls: World-Renowned Experts Join Those with Autism Syndrome to Resolve Issues That Girls and Women Face Every Day! New Updated and Revised Edition by Tony Attwood; Temple Grandin; Catherine Faherty; Jennifer McIlwee Myers; Ruth Snyder; Sheila Wagner; Mary Wrobel; Lisa Iland; Teresa Bolick

This is a revised edition of Asperger’s and Girls, which was published in 2006. I’ve not read that, so I’m not sure how much has been changed, I can only speak to what’s in this updated volume. And, well, honestly, I was not terribly impressed.

I came into this really optimistic. I’m in the middle of investigating a possible self-diagnosis and I had hoped that Autism and Girls would help me understand more things about autism in girls and women specifically. The first chapter was quite interesting; it gave a little rundown of some common reactions to being an autistic woman in a neurotypical world. It was all quite basic, it’s easy to find this information and far more on the internet, but it was fine.

After that it turned into a bit of a rollercoaster ride. The best sections were overwhelmingly the ones written by actual autistic people: Jennifer McIlwee Myers’ section was full of excellent advice and her writing style was so fun and engaging that it was a real bright spot in the book (apart from the heteronormativity – yes there are queer autistic people!). Temple Grandin’s part was really interesting and I appreciated getting a different perspective from most of the chapters in the book.  And Ruth Snyder’s story was simply riveting; I couldn’t tear my eyes away. It’s not written about a specific topic the way the other sections are; it’s simple her story, but honestly it was just fascinating to read.

The only section I really liked that wasn’t written by an autistic person was Catherine Faherty’s, which was about facilitating self-advocacy for autistic people. I felt that she had actually listened to autistic people and was genuinely interested in empowering them rather  than just forcing them to conform to a neurotypical mould.

The rest of the chapters were not a great read. I wasn’t keen on the way Sheila Wagner (writing about educating autistic girls) seemed to be aiming her advice exclusively at trying to make autistic people ‘fit in’, rather than be comfortable. Mary Wrobel’s section about puberty and beyond was super heteronormative and also really gross and weird. It’s all about ‘modesty’ and how girls should never ever mention periods at all because they’re disgusting but never never never in front of boys. Oh, also, ‘In fact, most would say that anxiety is inherent with ASD’. Or could it be, Mary Wrobel, that anxiety is inherent in autistic people being forced to live in a way that makes neurotypicals comfortable? HMMM.

The worst chapter was the really quite revolting one written by Lisa Iland. Lisa is not here for autistic people being themselves. You want to have friends? You mask as effectively as you can, never mind the mental health consequences. You pretend you’re someone totally different from who you actually are in the hope that someone might deign to take notice of you. It’s all about staying quiet until you’ve learned the rules and then following the rules and never ever being noticeable or yourself in anyway. I hated it. Oh, and ‘find your tribe’ is racist so there’s also that.

On balance, despite some good stuff, I really can’t recommend this book. There’s just far too much terrible advice and too many patronising opinions about autistic people for it to be worth buying. I noticed that the chapters by actual autistic people were all tucked away at the back of the book, in the least important spot. Plus only three of the eleven chapters were by autistic people. Professional neurotypicals almost invariably think they know better than the people who actually have a condition, which is bullshit. If you want to read this book, I’d go with skipping to the final three sections and maybe having a quick read of Catherine Faherty’s section if you feel like it.
Was this review helpful?
This book is an excellent tool for parents, caregivers, and medical providers. It gives a very detailed understanding of the specific needs for girls with autism. I plan to purchase and add to my shelf of resources.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for writing this book.  Initially I was disappointed as I expected something else when I began this book, but I was quickly drawn in by the facts and statistics, as this gives a look at why it may be harder for female students to receive services in the classroom.  I have noticed that girls are diagnosed later in childhood (sometimes as teens or adults) than boys in general.  I would define recommend this book to parents of girls on the spectrum and more importantly girls that parents suspect to be on the spectrum.  The tips and facts in this book are helpful and lead me wanting to do even more research.
Was this review helpful?
Excellent !
Everyone in education and the health care should have this book!
A must read.
Review is scheduled for the publication date of the book.
Was this review helpful?
This was a complimentary copy from net galley - thank you

Such an interesting book

Would make a great book club book - so many threads to discuss

I found the book interesting and so informative
Was this review helpful?
I received an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review

This book has a very diverse range of opinion and knowledge – I was pleased to see that professionals as well as those living with autism had an equal voice. Very solid breakdown of the special concerns of girls on the spectrum with enough representation to show the diversity of experience. This would be an ideal book for any female young or old discovery herself on the spectrum
Was this review helpful?