• Aspergirls

  • Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome
  • By: Rudy Simone
  • Narrated by: Lucie McNeil
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (169 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning handbook for girls and women on the autism spectrum, perceptive and wise reflections and advice .   

Gold Medal Winner in the Sexuality/Relationships Category of the 2011 IPPY Awards

Honorary Mention in the 2010 BOTYA Awards Women's Issues Category

Girls with Asperger's syndrome are less frequently diagnosed than boys, and even once symptoms have been recognised, help is often not readily available. The image of coping well presented by AS females of any age can often mask difficulties, deficits, challenges and loneliness.  

This is a must-have handbook written by an Aspergirl for Aspergirls, young and old. Rudy Simone guides you through every aspect of both personal and professional life, from early recollections of blame, guilt and savant skills to friendships, romance and marriage. Employment, career, rituals and routines are also covered, along with depression, meltdowns and being misunderstood. Including the reflections of over 35 women diagnosed as on the spectrum, as well as some partners and parents, Rudy identifies recurring struggles and areas where Aspergirls need validation, information and advice. 

As they recount their stories, anecdotes and wisdom, she highlights how differences between males and females on the spectrum are mostly a matter of perception, rejecting negative views of Aspergirls and empowering them to lead happy and fulfilled lives.  

This book will be essential listening for females of any age diagnosed with AS and those who think they might be on the spectrum. It will also be of interest to partners and loved ones of Aspergirls and anybody interested either professionally or academically in Asperger's Syndrome.

©2019 Rudy Simone (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What listeners say about Aspergirls

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Oversimplified, basic, and gendered

Although it says it's for Asperger's women of all ages, it's clearly aimed toward preteen girls and their parents. I found the content oversimplified, making sweeping generalizations about girls with Asperger's. It was also quite gendered. Although the author claims to despise gender roles, she includes advice for aspergirls to act and appear more socially acceptable, ie more 'feminine'. To the point where she compares dressing nicely and grooming to wearing a work uniform; if you want to get a date, dress for the job. No thanks. I didn't force myself to finish the book, and abandoned it partway through.

5 people found this helpful

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Informative but not for everyone

Wouldn't have bought the book if I knew it promoted New Age practices. It's apparent that most of the psychiatric classifications and recommended treatments somehow involves the mystical and New Age religion.

4 people found this helpful

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Interesting, imperfect look at autism in women

This is a very interesting and in some ways very useful book about high-functioning autism--or, as was still the officially accepted but already challenged label at the time of original publication, Asperger's syndrome--in girls and women.

There's a lot here about how under-diagnosed autism has been and still is in girls, compared to boys. It's very much grounded in Simone's personal experience, and her interviews with an unknown number of women and girls with Asperger's diagnoses. It's interesting and informative, in terms of how high-functioning autism can be both a genuinely different experience for females than males, and also less recognized in females because of different expectations that society has for women and girls vs. men and boys.

Yet, the anecdotal approach has real limitations, too. Rudy Simone doesn't have the scientific orientation of Dr. Camilla Pang, another autistic woman who has written about autism, and one consequence is that this book does not have the broader and deeper grounding of Pang's Explaining Humans:What Science Can Teach Us about Life, Love and Relationships. Simone doesn't seem to have looked at the experiences of women and girls who aren't a great deal like her, making this book, to use a term that I honestly never anticipated using in a book review, extremely cisheteronormative. (Not because there's anything wrong with the term; just because I'm a white cis woman in my sixties for whom many of the terminology that comes from greater awareness of intersectionality and its importance feel strange and alien to me, even though the ideas they express feel very right.) Most of the discussion of relationships in this book did not even in passing consider that some autistic/Asperger's women might not be white, might not be straight, might possibly be transgender. That last omission might be due to the original publication date, in 2010, when there was less open discussion of transgender issues--or the belief that there was less discussion of transgender issues may be a sign of the bubble I was living in on that subject, ten years ago. In 2020, though, it really stands out as a blind spot.

There is a lot of good, sensible advice here for teens and tweens and their parents dealing with these issues. That's the area where it's most helpful and valuable. It's less useful for adults, although the encouragement to pursue a diagnosis and meaningful help, if it seems appropriate, even in later life, is good.

Yet Simone seems to generalize far too much from her own personal experience, and not check in with the science and the data nearly enough.

Moreover, there's a distressing amount of what I call woo-woo. Simone believes that autistics may have psychic powers. No, seriously. Much of the anecdotal evidence she cites sounds to me a lot more like survival-based learning to read body language in other people, whether consciously or not. She's also quite taken with the idea that autism may be caused by digestive system problems. She conducts her own tiny (ten people), uncontrolled "study" with a food supplement for which the makers claim near-miraculous effects.

It's an interesting book, but a very mixed bag. I did really enjoy the first half of it or so, up to about chapter seven, but after that it seems to go off the deep end.

Still, it was an interesting listen, and there is good, practical advice for teens and tweens, and their parents.

I bought this audiobook.

3 people found this helpful

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Very Helpful

I heard my own story on many of the pages of this book. I’m in the process of getting a diagnosis and this book gave many helpful hints.

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointingly limited

As others have pointed out, it’s clearly aimed at parents and young girls despite its promises. The author speaks in very broad generalizations. She often refers to the girls and women she’s talking about as “perpetual children” which is also harmful. Maybe good for people with young girls but adult women or others will likely find it cloying.

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kind and clear

The tone of the book is very kind. It really helps you accept your autism. The book also offers advice to aspergirls and to parents, which are clear and useful.

2 people found this helpful

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Functioning lables, diet lessening "symptoms"

Aside from the constant use of functioning labels and talk of diet and it lessoning "symptoms" of Autism, i quite enjoyed this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent resource and well performed.

I found this book extremely informative and helpful. As a Male non AS person I still found it incredibly insightful and am so glad it was recommended to me.

I cannot recommend it enough if your someone with AS, a parent or just to gain knowledge.

I very much enjoyed the narrator. She did an excellent job!

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Very enlightening.

I was diagnosed with Asperger's when I was a teenager but I didn't fit the autism stereotypes that I believed in so thought the doctor's diagnoses was wrong. Years later I get a free credit from Audible and figured I may as well pick up a book on female Asperger's on the off chance the doctor could have been right and if not at least I didn't waste any of my money. It was like the author watched me my entire life and made a book about it. I guess my doctor was right. 🤷🏾‍♀️

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    2 out of 5 stars

not good

Even though the book adresses important topics, it does so in a limited, harmful, confusing and ableist way.

It also needs trigger warnings.

i did not enjoy the reading.

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  • Mousellina
  • 02-24-21

Confusing

This books goes from talking to the reader as if you were a grown woman, then as if you were a child, then as if you were a non autistic parent - I feel like author is trying to squeeze 3 separate books into 1 and while it saved her a lot of time, it wasted a lot of mine. As a woman in my thirties I didn’t need to know how to manage my first menstruation but I couldn’t skip to a more relevant part because there are absolutely no markers.
Also, advice is very one sided, for example she kept saying you mustn’t quit college because your entire life will depend on it, but fails to address what do if train has passed a very long time ago.
Yes, this book was relatable but information was limited - it’s more about telling a life story than talking science. I listened to this book for free. It wouldn’t have been worth it otherwise.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Miss G Alderson
  • 01-29-20

Lifechanging

I cried throughout.... I now know myself better than I ever thought imaginable and, more to the point, I've forgiven myself and let go of 39 years of guilt at not being able to fit in.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Nicola Mayall
  • 11-23-19

fantastic emotional read

My daughter 13 recently diagnosed, also I relate to my girl in many ways, I have never understood our differences in the world until her diagnosis. I'm currently seeking a diagnosis for myself which is proving to be emotionally difficult as I find it difficult to Express how I feel. Fantastic book highly recommended

4 people found this helpful

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  • TRACY BACON
  • 02-08-21

Great Audible Book

Loved this book. Im a counsellor who has found that im often working with Autistic clients. I have recently discovered that im likely to have Aspergers myself. I can see how my own counselling has helped me and would encourage any one else with Aspergers to have counselling. I believe i can celebrate all my Autistic super powers now that im in my 50's. Many of my struggles are behind me and its been great to put the puzzle pieces of my life together by reading this book. I can understand now why i mask especially around women. I understand why im most at home with men and why that gives me an advantage working with male clients.I would strongly recommend people with As finding their passion in life...ive never been happier. This book has also helped me realise why i need to relate all my clients stuff to my own experience. This helps me empathise on a deeper level. Maybe this is why my chosen career path only moved forward in my 40's as i wouldnt have been ready before. I love the way the author brings in all different perpectives. Girls and women are effected in many different ways and they are all represented. Can't recommend this book enough....its fab!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Joanne Castleton
  • 02-09-21

Confirmation

I have no doubt whatsoever now that I have AS. Awaiting formal diagnosis.Also have no doubt my child has it too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Laurie Whitehurst
  • 10-28-19

brilliant

information that you need if you have an aspergirl in your life
, she will appreciate it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-19

Important Read

Important read for anyone who has aspergers or knows someone with aspergers. Very informative, clear and comprehensive.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MaCie
  • 09-25-22

Enlightening

If you are older and feeling "different" from other women, this might be very helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-15-22

Life changing

This was so helpful to listen to.
The narration was perfect. Clear and genuine.
The content was spot on and delivered in manageable sections.
I think this would suit all ages of girls and women with or with suspected AS. Also really helpful points for parents. Thankyou Rudy Simone.

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  • Ryan Hevey
  • 07-07-22

Aspergirls and Asperboys would benefit reading

Although I disagree with a few of Simone's recommendations, she offers swathes of salient advice.

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  • Svetlana
  • 07-01-20

Promotes pseudoscience

Very valuable in terms of collecting experience of women with Autism, but promotes Raiki and diets for treating Autism.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-28-22

Good narration

Narrator is very easy to listen to, the content is good too but completely heterocentric and occasionally spiritual which personally I find a bit jarring.

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  • Mel
  • 02-22-22

must read

This is a must read if you or a girl/woman you know suspects or is diagnosed with High Functioning Autism (Asperges)

I'm gifting it to family and friends so they can learn to understand me and my daughters more.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-30-21

A window of opportunity for the modern era

A window of opportunity for the modern era that demonstrates the Colour of AS with astounding accuracy and depth, sincerety, and plenty of tips and practical examples for navigating through the shades of grey that we all come across along the way.
Well done, Ms Simone !

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-02-20

Late diagnosis Autism

This book is very supportive and full of information to assist parents of adult children with this condition Especially if they have been misdiagnosed)

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