AspienGirl.com and Tania A. Marshall are proud to announce their recent 2017 ASPECT Autism Australia National Recognition nomination in the Advancement category, for advancing the field of female Autism and brilliant minds. Previously, they have been nominated for 2016 & 2015 Advancement Awards. Tania's books are both Gold Medal IPPY eLIT Award Winners.aspiengirl.comtaniamarshall.comtaniaannmarshall.wordpress.com This book explores the female profile (phenotype), including sub-types, in late teenagers to the elderly, who are on the Autism Spectrum. Written by 2017-2015 ASPECT Autism Australia National Recognition Award Nominee (Advancement Category), for advancing the field of female Autism, Tania A. Marshall's first book in a series entitled, I Am AspienGirl© showcases the unique characteristics, traits and gifts of adult females, across the lifespan, on the Autism Spectrum. Award. Presently, there is a female Autism crisis including: a gender bias, a lack of research, assessment tools, intervention and skills acquisition tools, specifically researched and designed for females across the lifespan. This book explores the female profile (phenotype), including sub-types.
When "I Am AspienWoman©" was released, it became an instant bestseller and ignited a discussion about the lost generation of Autistic females, gender differences, misdiagnosis, mismedication, and the lack of assessment tools, resources and interventions. This is a part the current female Autism crisis. I Am AspienWoman showcases the unique characteristics, traits and gifts of adult females on the Autism Spectrum. I Am AspienWoman is the sequel to the 2015 eLIT Gold Medal Award winning, I Am AspienGirl.
Have you ever wondered about a friend, a partner, a mother, sister or daughter? Wondered why she says she feels 'different'? Out of step with her peers, she may struggle keeping friends and a job, yet she has multiple degrees. Bright from early on, she may have singleminded focus, sprinkles of anxiety, sensory and social issues, be gifted in art, writing, science, research or singing. Maybe Autism or Asperger Syndrome was mentioned but she did not resonate with the male profile or the stereotypical female profile. Maybe she is a woman on the Autism spectrum, with a unique constellation of super-abilities, strengths and challenges?
This book takes a unique approach by combining stunning imagery along with the feelings, thoughts and words of Autistic women (and those that love and support them). This book also explores common strengths and challenges, the stages leading up to a diagnosis, important needs, reasons for a diagnosis, disclosure and an appendix of helpful tools. You will be inspired by a special group of 24 Autistic women led by Dr Temple Grandin, who showcase their unique strengths and provide helpful advice and tips. Watch for AspienPowers: Celebrating the Unique constellation of Gifts, Strengths and Abilities of Females on the Autism Spectrum, coming soon.
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I Am: Two of the most powerful words, for what you put after them shapes your reality.
AspienGirl® : as-pee-en-ger-l; AspienWoman :aspee-enwo-man
1. a young female with Autism or Asperger Syndrome
2. an adult female with Autism or Asperger Syndrome
3. a female with a differently wired brain
4. a positive strengths-based perspective and identity designed to support and assist females on the spectrum and help them discover themselves, their unique abilities and strengths; to showcase value, ability and contribution; living with both gifts and disability, a focus on strengths, yet not ignoring the challenges.
This book is about the female phenotype of girls on the Autism Spectrum. Over the years, I have worked with a large group of females, of all ages, who have a stunning array of gifts and talents, in addition to challenges. This particular group of individuals all have the characteristic traits of Asperger Syndrome or high functioning Autism. Many of
them are gifted in a variety of ways. Most have discussed feeling different, alone, from another planet, or era; hence the term Planet Aspien. The use of terms, for example
'AspienWoman', are used affectionately and serve as a strengths-based identity for a group of females who often feel isolated on populous planet Earth.
In researching this book I've also spoken to women from around the world, including Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the European Union, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, France, Italy, Spain, Germany,
Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, India and Israel.
This book is a conversation starter, a visual illumination of a group of adult females all over the world, all experiencing similar strengths and challenges, in varying degrees. This
book is based on professional private practice experience, anecdotal evidence and current research. The women in this book are from the 'lost generation', the generation where Autism did not exist as a diagnosis. Today, many women struggle to obtain a diagnosis and are knocked back because they do not fit the 'male' criteria. This is the current gender bias, with some female research, little to no female assessment tools and no female-based
What I have learnt is that many of these women are 'warriors' and when supported and provided with the right environmental fit, are able to use their unique combination of gifts and talents to overcome their challenges and limitations, in addition to sharing their gifts with the world. Each day I have witnessed females working in 'superhero' drive, fighting daily battles that even people in their family, at work, university or community are unaware of.
Through sheer determination, I have witnessed females picking themselves back up, dusting themselves off and going forward, in a positive and healthy way. That is a warrior. Go forward, warriors, each one of you, knowingyou are one of many paving a positive way for the futureAspienGirls and AspienWomen who may be just now finding out who they are, regardless of their age. In the year since its release, I Am Aspiengirl® has gone onto become a best seller, win an Ippy eLit Gold Medal Award and be recognised by ASPECT Autism Australia with a
NationalRecognition Award in the Advancement Category. I Am AspienGirl® is now available in Spanish with the following languages being completed and/or released withinthe next year: Italian, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Dutch, Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, Hebrew and French.
After I Am AspienGirl® wasreleased in June 2014, the AspienGirl® team was inundated with emails, stories, messages and letters. Many of them were from females themselves or from their family members, their loved ones and professionals. We received pictures, poetry, art, short and long stories, pleas for help, support and requests for information. We had people, of all ages, wanting to be a part of the Be Your Own Superhero Project (aspiengirl.com). We received messages from a number of countries wanting to know more about female Autism, offering their translation skills to assist in getting the information made available in other languages, wanting to know where to go to start the process of an assessment. Messages came in from parents and professionals saying they were using the book to explain the diagnosis or as a reference point for explaining or discussing certain
characteristics. Many of the messages or testimonials referred to the format of the book, in particular the use of images and quotes which combined together showcase a particular trait, characteristic or talent, being an effective way to promote awareness and educate others.
I Am AspienWoman is the sequel and based on a blog I wrote two years ago entitled 'Aspienwomen: Moving towards an adult female profile of Autism/Asperger Syndrome'. As we go to press this blog has been viewed approximately 225,000 times in two years and has been translated into a variety of languages, reblogged and cited in a variety of publications.AS of September 2016, this blog hs been viewed close to 321,000 times.
Women with Autism or Asperger Syndrome have challenges that, for most part, remain unrecognised in society. There is one published assessment tool available for girls (Kopp & Gilberg, 2011) containing specific ASSQ-GIRL items and no published assessment tools for adult females. There are currently no research-based interventions for females on the spectrum. There are few professionals worldwide trained with an understanding and experience in working with females on the Autism spectrum. Those of us working in this area know there is currently a deluge of females across the lifespan with undiagnosed Autism struggling with mental health issues and/or co-existing disorders or conditions. It will remain
this way for some time into the future. There is a desperate need all over the world for more
trained professionals, more research based on females and comparing females with Autism to their neurotypical peers, more information regarding the internal experiences of a large group of females on the spectrum, more information about the female subtypes, and a huge need for assessment tools, resources, intervention and support designed specifically for females. Current assessment tools do not appear to be suitable or designed to identify particular features of Autism spectrum disorder/condition in females. It is important to remember that this book is about many adult females who have been misdiagnosed or undiagnosed
and as such have not received appropriate or helpful interventions. Poor self-esteem is a common theme, often from early childhood, and the experience of bullying, the later expectations of failing, disapproval by others and/or fear of ridicule.
It is my hope that with earlier diagnoses and interventions, many of the struggles seen in adults today may be avoided, and that appropriate interventions are created to assist
females to 'be their own superheroes', the best version of themselves.
I Am AspienWoman starts where I Am AspienGirl© left, giving voice to the feelings, thoughts, experiences and perceptions of women from a variety of countries, ages and cultures, some diagnosed, some self-diagnosed and many undiagnosed. This book is written for four types of readers. First, for the general population (neurotypical people), to explain the internal experiences and the unique characteristics of adult females with an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). Second, this book is written for the female who is just starting her journey to understand that she may too be somewhere on the spectrum herself. Third, for individuals with a formal diagnosis who feel this book may help explain their uniqueness and characteristics to themselves and/or their loved ones through sharing it with family members, partners, friends, colleagues and/or the wider community. Lastly, the book is written for professionals, to assist them in understanding the newly emerging Autistic female phenotype or profile and in their work with their own clients.
I. Use of the word 'Autism' refers to all people on the spectrum including Asperger Syndrome. Autism and Asperger Syndrome are used interchangeably. It also includes those with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) traits.
II. Not all women have the ability to 'mask' their difficulties.
III. Not all women fit the female profile and vice versa. A smaller group of women present with more male characteristics and some males present with more of the female characteristics or presentation
IV. Whilst all females share the core difficulties and strengths, there exists heterogeneity within the group of females, and as such, many females within the group may be similar to and different from each other. For example, there are females who are introverted and there are females who are extraverted, but all say they struggle socially to some degree. Some females mildly struggle and some females have severe social difficulties.
V. There exists a stereotype of what female Autism is or presents like and it is important to point out that there are many subtypes of females with Autism.
VI. The issue of language and terminology is a contentious one. It is usually the professionals who prefer person first language ("person with Autism") whilst those on the Autism spectrum may prefer "Autistic person". Suffice to say, there is no one way of describing Autism on which everyone can agree on. The National Autistic Society recently carried out some 'research' on this very topic (a survey) which provided some interesting and contradictory findings. Realising that it is impossible to please everyone on this issue this book prefers to refer to Autism as a condition (Simon Baron Cohen) rather than a disorder (DSM5 terminology). I prefer to use the terms 'Autistic children' and 'Autistic adults', 'Autistic girls' and 'Autistic women and men', 'Autistic women and girls'. I also prefer to use the terms 'women and girls on the Autism spectrum', women on the Autism spectrum', 'girls on the Autism spectrum', 'Autistic adolescents' and /or 'female adolescents on the Autism spectrum'. As this book goes to print, a groundbreaking study (Nordahl et. al, 2015) is released adding to the growing body of literature suggesting males and females with Autism have different underlying neuroanatomical differences. Research is showing that girls generally display less obvious behavioural symptoms at a young age compared with boys. When compared to typical girls though, girls with Autism have more behavioural
and social difficulties. It is my hope that this book may contributetowards 'no more females being left behind'.
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