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Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,135 ratings  ·  240 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.
Paperback, 236 pages
Published 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
Feb 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Simone's passion is clear here, but sometimes a bit muddled and misguided. I'm trying to find it charming, though.

A few things that are bothersome about her writing: often contradicts herself. Within a few pages, she'll say that girls with Aspergers are emotionally immature, then talk about how she is more mature than her peers, than go back to discussing her fondness for kids' movies because she's...emotionally immature.

She discusses how women on the autism spectrum often don't have an innate
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,
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 ...more
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
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
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
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
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
Susan Klinke
People with Asperger's are well known for their ability to focus, their often higher than average IQ's, and for sometimes having savant abilities. They are often considered nerds or brains because of their intellectual abilities coupled with their social awkwardness. Whenever I've seen anything on TV about Asperger's, it's always about a socially inept genius sort. That seems to be the common stereotype of people who have Asperger's. But imagine if you were diagnosed with Asperger's and had the ...more
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
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.
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 ...more
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
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
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 ...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
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
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
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.
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
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
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: (Friends and family of) females with autism
This book was everything I hoped it would be. (Except it could have been edited better, some spelling/grammar mistakes and inconsistencies in US/UK spelling.)

Would highly recommend to anyone who wants to know more about Asperger's/autism in women.
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.
Jun 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Rudy Simone's tone irritated me. Her text is purportedly "by Aspergirls, for Aspergirls" which assumes typically accurately "If you're reading this, then you must have ovaries and exist on the spectrum" which I find a poor way to describe autistic people. Spectra imply everyone is a little off, some more severely than others.
But not everyone is autistic. "Not everyone is on the spectrum," in autistic terminology.

It made me check my own psychosis, which drew me to conclude that while I am a
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a very well written book. As a mother of a 16 year old Aspergirl, I could definitely identify. Rudy Simone did a great job of spelling out how Asperger's affects girls differently, and how it can change the way they look at life.

I also liked how she talked with other girls on the spectrum throughout the book, giving them the chance to put their two cents. I put it on my daughter's kindle also so she can read it when she is interested.

I think it can empower Aspergirls, and all
Alice Lemon
I really hoped this book would be interesting, but it turned out to kind of be a disaster. It mostly consisted of the author giving advice from her personal experience while insisting that all women with Asperger's would be identical to her. Likewise, she goes into detail about how Asperger's is caused by dairy and gluten and other "dietary toxins", and she claims that people with Asperger's have psychic powers...
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—
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“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
“Even if we can handle it academically or intellectually, it doesn‘t mean we can handle it physically or emotionally. We need extra time, extra patience, and more sensitivity than most people. Full stop.” 3 likes
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