This is about reviewed books to help with understanding Autism in women and girls – in understanding how Autism expresses itself with women and girls, resources, tips and more.
Our Understanding of Autism in Women
Autism hasn’t changed but our understanding of it has. We now know that it doesn’t express itself in the ways that have been portrayed in the media. In other words, we know it doesn’t always express itself like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. We know that the assessments for Autism have been largely based around how it is expressed in males. We know that Aspergers has been folded into the larger Autism Spectrum in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM-5), which is the basis of all official diagnoses.
In the knowing that Autism does not express itself in women in the same way that it does with men, in knowing how very much gender counts with Autism – we know that there is a multitude of women and girls who have been undiagnosed for most of their lives. Who have fallen through the cracks, been living their lives masking and passing.
This has been growing in the consciousness of mainstream media – especially on TikTok and Instagram. This is a wonderful thing, because as we connect more with people who are out and talking about what their Autism looks and feels like, the more we are able to put a finger on the pulse of who we really are.
There are some wonderful books out there too.
That’s what I wanted to share with you here: the books that have been groundbreaking for me. The first book that I read was Divergent, and that was a head-exploding introduction to this. It was very general though, and left me ravenous for more. From there, I went on to read Neuro Tribes, which provided me with a more in-depth understanding of the history of neurodiversity as a whole, and more about the spectrums within.
From there, I dove into Women and Girls on the Autism Spectrum Disorder. This book was the best of all the books that I read, because it is so specific to women and girls, goes deeply into each of the segments. Unmasking Autism was my next book which I also loved. It’s not specific to women and girls, but the general information is first rate, as are the assessments and worksheets and tips that it offers.
I started both Autism and Girls and Aspergirls but finished neither. They were too basic for me and I admit that I was just not okay with a man writing the books. They did seem to have some useful information in them, which is why I’ve included them in this list.
From there, I started exploring ADHD, which is going to be another post.
If you are interested in this subject, I highly recommend these books to better understand this important subject of Autism in Women and Girls. All of these I first listened to on Audible, then purchased physical copies of the ones I most loved.
The books on Autism in Women and Girls that I most loved (in order of preference) were:
- Autism in Women and Girls
- Unmaking Autism
- Neuro Tribes
I Think I Might Be Autistic is a slim book that is helpful for the “what now?” that you might be feeling after reading some of these books.
I would like to say too, that while friends of mine have told me that Autism in Heels is good, as is Recognizing Autism in Women and Girls – I haven’t read either.
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This is new. All of this is really, really new. We are just starting to gain an understanding of how Autism expresses in us, how it looks, feels and interacts. Let’s share all we know, keep our minds open about what we are learning.
Please share your favorite books on this subject in the comments!
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.
Sincerely, Your Autistic Child
[anthology which was specifically for families and Autistic people wanting to get to know other women and girls].
People like Mel Baggs and Kassiane A. are in it.
There is another book called LETTERS TO WEIRD SISTERS by Joanna Limburg.
[and a few years ago she wrote AUTISTIC ALICE].
And books by Yenn Purkis are really good too.
Dawn Prince’s books especially SONGS OF THE GORILLA NATION.
Magda Z’s book THIS AUTISM OF MINE [when they put it back on Amazon again].
Valerie Paradiž’s book ELIJAH’S CUP.
Leneh Buckle who writes about Autistic Inertia.
An anthology about the Neurodiversity Movement with people like the late Dinah Murray [died 2021].
THE EDGE OF THE PLAYGROUND
TWIRLING NAKED IN THE STREETS AND NO-ONE NOTICED – Jeanne David-Riveira
INTERVIEW WITH AUTISM – Lydia Wayman – and TECHNICOLOUR REFLECTIONS.
Lianne Holliday Wiley – PRETENDING TO BE NORMAL – and the book she wrote later about her dad.
Eva and Natalie Silvertant from the Embrace ASD website [and Quora].
Sara Thom-Jones GROWING INTO AUTISM
Chloé Hayden DIFFERENT NOT LESS
Clem Bastow LATE BLOOMER
There is a comic book/graphic novel by a Francophone author.
INVISIBLE DIFFERENCES by Julie Dachez
Annie Kotowicz WHAT I MEAN WHEN I SAY I’M AUTISTIC
Thank you for these, Adelaide! They are wonderful. I want to read them all!