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Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate: A User Guide to an Asperger Life

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  740 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Cynthia Kim explores all the quirkyness of living with Asperger Syndrome (ASD) in this accessible, witty and honest guide looking from an insider perspective at some of the most challenging and intractable aspects of being autistic. Her own life presents many rich examples. From being labelled nerdy and shy as an undiagnosed child to redefining herself when diagnosed with ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 21st 2014 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers (first published 2014)
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Average rating 4.37  · 
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Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Autism, Aspergers Readers and Researchers
I am so excited that this book is here! I am a woman in her 40's who like the author, Cynthia Kim was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at a late age. I very much related to this book, but not only that, I have studied Aspergers for years and read every single book available that is out there and this is a fantastic book that is a must have for anyone thinking they have Aspergers, knowing they have Aspergers, loving someone with Aspergers or just wanting to understand Aspergers, especially if yo ...more
C.G. Drews
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
THIS is the book you need read if you want to learn about living with Autism/Aspergers. THIS ONE RIGHT HERE. IGNORE THE REST. Ha, ha, I'm kidding. But ignore Asperger's and Girls because it's horrendous and inaccurate and read THIS because this is by a woman with Aspergers. Also she's a blogger at Musings of an Aspie. And I'd read a lot of her blog prior to reading the book, so I kept doing double takes and deja vu moments with "WAIT HAVEN'T I READ THIS BEFORE?" But it didn't matter because ther ...more
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book about the life-changing discovery that you're autistic in your 40s. (Oh, how I could relate to THAT.) Based on Cynthia Kim's blog, Musings of an Aspie, this book is packed full of everything Kim's learned since her diagnosis, backed by research and supported by stories from Kim's life.
Michelle Llewellyn
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Cynthia Kim was fortunate to find someone who "got her" to have a child and find a successful, fulfilling career so she didn't "fail at adulthood" like she keeps stressing out about in her book.
As a newly diagnosed Aspie, my whole life has been spent struggling to understand why I can't achieve those same worthwhile goals. She offers no answers, only page after page of how she learned to communicate with her husband, successfully raise her child all while trying not to go insane.
By chapter 11,
Winter Sophia Rose
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Insightful, Honest & Intense! An Incredible Read! I Loved It! ...more
Adults expect other adults to know how to sit in a chair. p102
I not only only wasn't perfect, I wasn't even "normal". p183

I am not sure if CK intended her book to be especially funny, or if I was being insensitive when I gasped with laughter at reading her insiders account of someone (herself) who was already an accomplished human being, compensating quite nicely thank you, when diagnosed with Aspergers, the perky form of autism.

Or maybe my inadvertent laughter was more the shock of recognition
Victoria (RedsCat)
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
"There are few traits that are universal, which makes it hard to write a definitive book about life on the spectrum", Cynthia Kim. It also makes it confusing to tell people about. But books like "Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate: A User Guide to an Asperger Life" make it a lot easier, both to understand ourselves as Aspies and help others understand us. As I was reading, I probably highlighted something on every page. I kept telling my cat, "That is so me." I took so. many. notes.

"Nerdy" c
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A truly enjoyable read. Kim walks you through what Asperger looks from the inside. It's very helpful for anyone who wants to understand what a person with Asperger feels, or thinks. She clears a few misunderstandings about Asperger and explains how each term related to this condition looks like.
I was looking for the point a view of a woman, because Asperger look very different in boys or men compared to women.
She explains theory of mind, empathy, all from the eyes of an insider.
I loved it.
Not a bad book, but I can't say I really enjoyed reading it.

The title seemed a bit misleading to me and made me expect a different type of book.
I was also hoping to read more about the struggles in everyday life (I was diagnosed last year, at age 47). But for Cynthia there didn't seem to be any struggles (at least, not in the book). She's happily married, raised her daughter, and has a successful business. And if there were any small problems along the way, well, she has done her research, figur
Susan Dunne
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just read a couple of chapters of this so far and I'm really impressed.

As a late diagnosed Aspie myself I find Cynthia's insights really interesting, especially on social communication - keep thinking Yeah that's me!

There's not much around on late diagnosed people, let alone adults on the spectrum so this is a great addition.

Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is brilliant! It teached me a lot about myself and how to deal with things. I admire the author a lot for the way she deals with everything. I hope I can reach as far as she has.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Since people seem to absolutely adore this book: unpopular opinion incoming!

It's not that I dislike it. Because I don't. Honestly, out of the three books I've recently read (this, Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome, and Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Expanded Edition) I prefer this when it comes to explanations, views, experiences, and tips. Because, out of those three books, they are most like my own. However, the writing s
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
As a parent of a child with Asperger's I look for stories about adults with the diagnosis. This gives a wonderful first hand account of living with Asperger's (childhood and adulthood). The struggles the author has are some I can see my own child having, or already had. I am so glad I read this book and this will be one that when my child gets older I will have him read.

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.
Shana Nichols
My favorite read in 2014 by an author on the autism spectrum. I would recommend this book to all adults with ASD with no hesitation, and to their parents and clinicians with whom they work. Exceptionally well-written, practical, perfect blend of personal experience and general observations. This book is award-deserving. Congratulations Cynthia!
Loved it, possibly because I see so much of myself in the situations and feelings she described. I think you get a really good look at what it's like to be an adult on the spectrum, especially if you're not of the "savant" variety.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Must read! This book honors its title. It is surprisingly accurate. Kim's voice is clear, sincere and knowledgeable. Sometimes funny and at all times truthfull. Definitevely a user guide to whoever is doubting if They are within the spectrum or not.
Ieva Gr
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autism
Why I started reading it: I’m looking for ways to understand myself better. Read about being introverted, being a highly sensitive person and then started to think what if ‘higly sensitive’ = ‘non neurotypical’. So looked for some books about women on the spectrum. This was the highest rated one among them.

What I liked about it: It is very well structured. Author takes one topic, shares her personal experience, explains what she read about it and what helped her to manage thing better and the mo
Moon Captain
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I want to die.
Feb 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Kind of a primer for aspies. I would have liked more stories rather than such thin vignettes of the author's behavior. It wasn't exactly Temple Grandin, whom I consider the best writer on autism. I was curious about some of her behaviors, because I have depression, OCD, and social anxiety, and rather than lash out, I withdraw. I get mad once a year, and then take someone's head off. Otherwise I am considered charming, "shy, sensitive, and retiring," according to one personality test.

There are s
Donna Parker
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Remember that nerdy kid in school? Maybe they were shy or maybe out there...How about socially inappropriate? Or maybe you were one of those kids. When I saw this book on Netgalley, free for the low low price of an honest review, I was honestly pleased to read it. Even before my son was officially diagnosed, officially labeled I knew there was something different (different but not less) about him. As I read this book I could picture my son someday writing one too, a kind of user guide to an Asp ...more
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked this up intending to read it as a mother of two children on the spectrum, but I ended up reading it more as what I've come to understand about myself, which is an undiagnosed adult. She covers a lot of ground and coveys chewy information in a very readable style. Insightful and thoughtful, I especially appreciated the practical advice at the end of each section.
Melanie Clemmer
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like the author, I too came late to discovering that I am ASD. She does an excellent job of detailing her self discovery and how she has learned to understand and cope with relationships, social difficulties, and sensory issues. This was a great help to me in understanding some of my childhood issues as an "undiagnosed" girl/woman on the spectrum.
Sasha Boersma
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
90% of this book is exactly reflective of my life experience. Creepy, but reassuring to see it written in black and white. Also, if you don't already follow her blog Musings of An Aspie, it's just like this, but in blog posts.
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: asd
Liked this book a lot. Useful tips and checklists, and tips particular to women, people diagnosed later in life, and parents. I had hoped for more personal/memoirish insights, and there weren't a lot of those, but still a valuable resource and will resonate with people.
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
this book, she's describing me! over and over, all the things she says, that's me!

"experts are realizing that ASD looks different in girls than it does in boys. i was a good girl. the problem with being the good girl is that good girls are invisible. boys on the spectrum tend to act out. social expectations may contribute to undiagnosed girls. its socially acceptable (or even desirable) for a girl to be shy or quiet. they same passive tendencies in a boy are perceived as lack of assertiveness,
Crystal (Goddess in the Stacks)
I've been picking up books on Autism since we realized my husband was on the spectrum, in hopes of finding tools to help us manage daily life. He's too busy with school and work to do much reading these days, so I've been doing the research and bringing it to him to discuss. It's led to some enlightening conversations and we've both learned a lot about each other. Cynthia Kim's blog was one I pored over and read parts of to him, and I finally got her book from my library.

One of the things I noti
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s hard to find books written from the perspective of adult *women* with autism and this is one that is pretty good and concise. Kim has thought deeply about her own life experiences and how they relate to her autism diagnosis, and additionally recommends some useful coping strategies. I suspect many people on the spectrum will find aspects of her experience relatable and some of her analyses helpful.

Personally, my own “aha” moments came during Kim’s discussions on alexithymia (having no words
Helen White
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asperger-s
Many of the books I've recently dived into on the subject of (specifically) female Asperger's and (even more specifically) late diagnosed Asperger's have been astonishingly good....but perhaps that's the bias of someone who has been desperate to discover "people like" them, who think, behave and have the same challenges and insecurities as they do, for "a...very...long...time". So many of these books have been like coming home, or finding a spin on life that is truly and deeply relatable, at las ...more
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve been fascinated by all things Autism-related since having a part-time job at a playgroup for children on the autistic spectrum as a student. I really enjoyed reading about Cynthia Kim’s experiences of being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in her early 40s, and what she’s learned about it since in her quest to develop coping strategies and make sense of her life up to that point. I think that part of the appeal of this book for me came from the contrasts between sections where I could tot ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
After reading “The Kiss Quotient,” I decided to delve deeper into autism, specifically how it manifests itself in the female population. The first half of this book was really eye-opening. Although I do not believe I have Asperger’s, I possess quite a few of the traits described by the author, Cynthia Kim. I’ve been socially awkward since elementary school, and even now I prefer to stay at home on the weekends. Going out doesn’t appeal to me and the mention of dinner parties and small group gath ...more
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Read an extract from the book here. 1 6 Sep 29, 2014 03:25AM  

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