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Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,012 ratings  ·  356 reviews
Girls with Asperger's Syndrome are less frequently diagnosed than boys, & even once symptoms have been recognized, help is often not readily available. The image of coping well presented by AS females can often mask difficulties, deficits, challenges, & loneliness. ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Jessica Kingsley
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Nicole Ridgwell
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it
I thought the first half of this book was very good, showing how the core elements of aspergers manifest in daily life in different ways for different women and girls. However, about halfway through it seems like the author stopped taking in as many perspectives, or something, because what she was talking about stopped being relevant to me.

I have aspergers, but I don't get temper meltdowns or have depression. She seems to say that all aspergirls have these problems, but you don't have to have t
...more
Karen Harper
Jan 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book is about Rudy Simone's life experience as an "Aspergirl." She comes across as bitter and her views are anything but empowering. She states that people with AS should embrace their unique strengths and then goes on to suggest that autism is caused by the mythical "leaky gut" and that symptoms can be mitigated by taking certain supplements. This is pseudoscience at its best. She also claims that Aspergirls have psychic powers. I'm not kidding. If you are a parent considering giving this ...more
Chris
Dec 15, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a book that definitely gave me a lot to think about... because even though I'm positive my computer design engineer father has Aspergers, it never occurred to me until recently that I might have it. I'm now pretty sure that I do - the reasons are too numerous to list, but having had the same breakfast for the past 20+ years and finding my weird pattern-matching ability described as "fluid intelligence" and an Aspergers savant skill... Yeah.

I also had a lot of trouble with this book, bec
...more
Anna Lear
Nov 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book embodies a disturbing paradox, pointed out to me by someone close to this topic personally: on the one hand, Simone appropriates a clinical label (which is now part of Autism Spectrum Disorder, far less "cool" than Asperger's BTW) to give weight to her creation of a new identity, "Aspergirl'; yet on the other hand she essentially dismisses the disciplines of psychiatry and psychology as backwards and ineffective. This feels disingenuous, a calculated move to gather in those feeling lik ...more
Catie
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is no doubt important – the author makes an excellent point at the beginning about how the entire Asperger’s diagnosis has been modeled after male patients, and that the hallmarks of the disorder in women are less well-defined. I appreciate that she obviously did her homework in speaking with a large group of “Aspergirls” and genuinely giving her best advice to young women with Asperger’s and to their parents.

However, this book is entirely based on anecdotal evidence with little to no
...more
Bridgett
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I liked reading this book about autistic females and am autistic myself, though most of the women described are higher functioning than me. I looked more "typically" autistic as a child and continue to struggle with daily living tasks as an adult. I related a lot to the discussion on relationships and meltdowns (I liked the idea of "depression meltdowns" as I experience those, as well, though that's partly due to my bipolar). I do not believe autism is caused by gut/stomach issues, though, which ...more
Jessica
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
I think the subtitle should have been Empowering Ablebodied CisHet White Females with AS, because wow it did not take an intersectional approach to this topic at all.

The good:
- a fast, easy read
- a lot of things in here that I related to

The bad:
- it was very cisheteronormative
- it did not talk about the societal context we live in at all. There was a lot of mention that aspergirls often demonstrate traits that are more socially accepted than asperboys, but no mention of the social conditioning t
...more
Jeanne
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I've struggled with writing this review, because this book has good qualities and I think it's very helpful for someone who suspects that they or their child has AS. However, it is heavily slanted by the personal experiences and point of view of the author. So much so that at times it put me off or distracted me from the information I wanted.

I would recommend this book to teen and adult readers, but there's not much that can help a young child. Though there are stories that can help the parent
...more
Desiree Loeven
Self-centered writing claiming to speak for all asperger women while obviously drawing from personal experience/thinking. Quoted other aspergirls without connecting us to the plight/journey of them. Consistently uses we in place of I and drove me mad with hypocritical statements. I put it down halfway through. Sorely disappointed and probably too harsh as a result. Overall, annoying and unhelpful. Suggest Be Different: Adventures of a Free Range Aspergian by John Elder Robison instead.
Gerry Huntman
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Being a parent of a girl with autism biases my reading interest toward books on the topic, and to date I have read a lot. Aspergirls is quite atypical of many i have read and refreshing in style.

Rudy Simone has Asperger's Syndrome (AS) and has been a strong advocate for those with the condition for some years. Her approach to writing is to say it as it is, and simply. She does this to good effect. What I particularly like about this tome is she quotes regularly from interviewed girls and women w
...more
Helena
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
My first impression of this book was that it is a load of anecdotal magical thinking. The author interviewed an unknown number of women for this book. When talking about their general experiences she always used vague words like, some, most, etc. There is nothing scientific about this book. If you are a skeptic like me, don't read it. The authors psychic powers will offend you.

As it goes on, the author seems to grow a little but is still writing from crazy town. Her advice to a tween/teen audie
...more
elstaffe
Aug 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I picked up this book because it was recommended as a further reading resource at the end of Helen Hoang's The Kiss Quotient and I was curious (and appreciated the title pun). I realized pretty quickly, however, that even though it was only published in 2009, the changes in the way people think and talk about the autism spectrum between then and now made this book more of a time capsule than I'd expected.

As I was reading, I was confronted with my own sloppy mental mapping of what Asperger's was—
...more
Pam
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Good basic information for those new to Asperger's, esp. as manifested in females. I liked the quotes from various Aspergirls, but found the writing to be rather choppy at times, with lack of flow and abrupt transitions in topics. What I didn't like was Simone's one-sided and unsubstantiated view on the autism/"leaky gut" connection. In Chapter 19, Stomach Issues and Autism, she wrote, "Most of the world's top autism researchers and doctors now believe that...autism is initially caused by a comp ...more
Rosie
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
best book ive read...such a weight lifting off experience. i already thought i had aspergers....this book just confirms it. i dont feel so 'odd' now. im 27 and ive been made to feel odd by society all my life for not wanting kids, not being interested in clothes nor make-up or particularly interested in guys. i also have psychic tendencies too. my mum has read the book too and her opinion?: "god this book is totally you its unreal but too real". i very much identified with this big style. i thou ...more
Halcyon
1 star.

What I expected: A book about women/girls with ASS (very unfortunate initials here) and their experiences.
Especially because a lot of books about autism are really male focussed and women on the spectrum tend to be overlooked.

But I got a book with SOME of this. Sprinkled inbetween the pages there were experiences told by women on the spectrum. I found these to be probably the best part of the book, to be honest. I wish there was more of it. Also, each chapter ended with advice for eith
...more
Sara
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it
What a shame! The first third or half of this book had enormous value and promise. However, the second half of the book was something else entirely.

The first seven chapters of this book were very well researched and build on things I had already read in very reputable texts like those of Temple Grandin's. I was very excited about this book because it was telling more of the story that I was already following.

Sadly, after chapter 7, it really fell apart. The authors bitter experience, her very li
...more
Annie
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'll have to agree with several other readers of this book: the first half of the book is quite alright, but it's downhill after that. The perspectives offered in the book feel so distinctly American, in that they are exaggerated, extreme and divisive. NT girls are stupid and shallow because they care about boys and their looks, and yet Aspergirls are encouraged to care about their looks because life is so hard without a man. Oh, and Aspergirls shouldn't eat gluten.

Don't even get me started on
...more
Jen
Jun 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Nope. Opinions presented as facts, too many generalizations and stereotypes, the claim that females with ASD are psychic... a big nope.
Christina
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Choosing the path of letting female "Aspies" themselves speak and then elaborating more on those anecdotes, the author manages to pack an amazing amount of information into a relatively thin book about female expressions of Asperger Syndrome while always keeping the reading light, interesting and memorable. Both practical and insightful in its main aim, stated already in the title: "empowering females with Asperger Syndrome," Aspergirls also highlights the differences between male and female exp ...more
Shannon
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love that the author is an adult Aspergirl. I picked this book up for several reasons: I read an article through a podcast I love and cannot recommend enough, The Mental Illness Happy Hour, I've worked with Aspie kiddos for years, and I feel a young family member has Asperger's and remains undiagnosed.

As one would expect with an Aspie, the writing can be a bit repetitious, yet I still got a lot out of this book. I have worked with 0, yes I wrote 0, girls with Asperger's in my 15 years of work
...more
Anne Marie
I can't praise this book enough! So far the best Aspie self-help book I've ever read. Well-organized, great information, superb combination of the author's own experiences blended with the voices of other women on the spectrum and tons of medical, psychological, health-related and other advice including very pracical and insightful parenting tips. The appendices in the back are great for having all the salient traits in one place and distinguishing between male and female Aspie characteristics. ...more
Inez Ryan
The content of this book is uneven. While there are some paragraphs that struck me as relevant and insightful, there were others that seemed poorly researched and lacking in veracity.

I read "Aspergirls" because I wanted to compare my experiences with those of other women who have been diagnosed with Aspergers/High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. The book includes many quotes from women diagnosed with Aspergers, presented in the context of the writer's own experiences and observations. The
...more
Michelle
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I appreciate Simone's efforts and I did enjoy the book, but what bugged me was that she paints a picture of Aspergirls that not everyone will relate to. For this reason I will definitely not encourage women who haven't been diagnosed to read this book in order to see if they have Asperger's.

There were many things I could relate to, but there is still around 50% that I don't relate to at all. What frustrated me most was how she writes about Aspergirls as women who often have temper meltdowns and
...more
Hanna
Feb 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone if they haven't read any other literature about girls and women with asperger. Even if you do have knowledge about asperger syndrome, I am not sure i would recommend it, but at least you would be more likely to see what is relevant and what appears to be merely her own opinion.
There are several aspects of the book that I have a problem with. Firstly, that it is very one sided. The book's foundation is built on the author and her own experiences, which i
...more
Jessica
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Women and girls with Aspergers and their families.
Shelves: autism, 2011
This is a good book. I have nothing negative to say about it except that it partly makes the assumption that society is not responsible for its share of acceptance. Diversity should be actively valued by all people. However I completely agree that an Aspergirl cannot wait for anyone to accept her and accommodate her so it is up to her to get what she needs and to take care of herself and to make an effort to "fit in" with the worlds way of doing things. That doesn't mean measuring success to a s ...more
Anna Penner
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
In general, I thought this was a great book. It covered a wide range of topics, included a lot of perspectives, and was written with humour and insight.

I would have appreciated variation in the addresses at the end of the chapters ("To Aspergirls" and "To Parents"), including other involved parties such as partners. This would have been particularly relevant for chapters on sex, marriage and parenting among others!

The book also included a lot of heterosexist language. While the possibility for
...more
Emily
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
I am a girl with aspergers. The book contained alot of sterotypes that may or may not be true. Personally, I relate to the "male characteristics" of aspergers better. Also, most of the topics applied to people who are just introverted or a little weird. Don't use this book as a diagnostic tool. The aspie traits are too broad to really indicate if you have aspergers. ...more
Anna
Jan 30, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book spoke to me in a language and order that felt incredibly familiar and soothing.
I choked a couple of times because things were a little too close to home.

I think it is a great start for any woman wondering whether they might be on the autism spectrum.
Sara
I was recently diagnosed Autistic. Aspergirls was my first completed book on Autism Spectrum Disorder(s), and I'd say it's 60/40 informative and also, possibly, useless to some readers...

To me, it felt like the author went primarily on her experience, and did little research. There are few citations in the text to work outside of her own books—it reminded me of when I first started blogging and building my online presence; when I would intentionally refer back to my own work to keep people on my
...more
Frrobins
Jan 13, 2021 rated it did not like it
If you know one person with autism, you know one person with autism. As a woman on the spectrum who is the parent to a son and daughter both 10 and under and both diagnosed with ASD, I did not relate to a lot of this book, especially since the author really seemed to fixate and focus on her experience of autism, which appears to be rather different from mine. It is normal to filter things through our own perspective and experience and at first I was mildly disappointed that it did not resonate m ...more
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  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
19 likes · 0 comments
“If a guy can‘t handle it when you talk about quantum physics, Manga, or Dungeons and Dragons, then he probably isn‘t the guy for you. If he gets embarrassed by your bluntness, you‘re probably not a good match. If he doesn‘t get your jokes, references, etc., then do you really want to pursue it? We tend to feel flawed and want to change ourselves to be accepted. We are good mimics and we think that we can mimic being the kind of girl that guys will like. By all means work on yourself, but most important, be yourself.” 9 likes
“I was also accused of lying throughout my childhood, though I was more truthful than either of my siblings. I have been accused of manipulation where it was not intended, too. (Shannon)” 3 likes
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