Resources for Women with Aspergers Syndrome

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linatet
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23 Feb 2014, 7:53 am

Sare wrote:
Yup, that's the same Tania (Marshall). She's also working on a book on women - due out later this year.

Another resource
Women and Girls: http://shazwellyn.hubpages.com/hub/Auti ... -and-Girls

the person that writes this blog seems to believe men more logical than women because they have bigger left hemisphere in the brain.
well, I don't buy this idea. I read in gensler's book (I love logic!) research's that proved men and women are equally good at logic. Also I read research's that came to the conclusion men and women are equally good at maths and one interesting study that says women performs worse - but only when reminded about the stereotypes. Unfortunately I don't know the sources by heart. We can notice that on those studies that prove otherwise the apparent gap is decreasing depending on time and women access to education, opportunities, intellectual stimuli, depending on how sexist the society is etc so if there is a gap it's most likely to be the result of nurture not nature.
also I think we know so little about the brain to come to an assumption like: bigger left hemisphere - more logical less creative



Sare
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14 Mar 2014, 9:35 pm

Youtube video featuring girls with Autism (Limpsfield Grange Girls with Autism - School for girls aged 11-16 with Autism, Asperger's, Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties and Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties and Vulnerabilities.). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZhZ0k1lyF8


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schnozzles
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20 Mar 2014, 10:32 am

The links to the GlennRowe/BaronCohen pages are broken :(


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mickey-elle
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13 Jul 2014, 2:21 pm

Note to everyone, there's an online version of the RAADS-R here so you don't have to hand score: aspietestsDOTorg/raads/index.php (I'm not allowed to post links).

My RAADS-R score was 155, which seems so high to me. I thought I would get a score closer to the borderline, like my AQ score of 32.

My QGAS score was 29. I wish I had the guts to ask my parents to complete it so we could compare our scores.

However, my Eye Expression Test was 33 out of 36. I did use some strategy when completing it, but overall I didn't find it that difficult, especially with the multiple choice. Process of elimination makes the test a lot easier. Still, it's making me question if Asperger's is really the right diagnosis for me, or if I have to accept that I'm not exactly neurotypical, but not really autistic either.

I want the opinion of a professional or even someone who knows me well and knows about autism, but I'm way too scared to ask.



kat8615
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20 Sep 2014, 7:05 am

I just did the eye expression one and they all looked the same! How can you tell someone's emotions simply from their eyes? I tried to mimic all the eye movements, and now I have a headache. NT's must be super powered!



drjschwartz1
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28 Oct 2014, 11:38 pm

I know this is a "women only" forum, so I will duck in and out quickly. I just wanted to say that I am a psychologist in Southern CA (Torrance), specializing in diagnosing females on the spectrum. If I can be of any help, please do not hesitate to contact me.



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19 Dec 2014, 9:56 pm

WASP Women’s Asperger’s Syndrome Awareness Page – For those who understand

http://seventhvoice.wordpress.com/2013/ ... nderstand/


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hiddenautistic
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10 Feb 2016, 9:16 am

WOW never seen such an exhaustive collection of info on autism. thanks!



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24 Sep 2016, 5:59 am

There's so much information in this thread that I am bumping it for those members who have joined since the last post/are looking for these resource listings.

..

Also here are a few more AS books that may be of interest:


Not Even Wrong (ISBN 1-58234-367-5) is an autobiographical account by Paul Collins, a historian who views his autistic son as a happy, healthy child and resists the mainstream idea that autism is a crippling disease. Educating himself as well as the reader in the history and background of autism, Collins searches for (and finds) a school where his son's strengths as an autistic will be encouraged rather than suppressed. He points out that autistic people can and do communicate, even when they do not or cannot speak. He also emphasizes that many autists go unrecognized as such because they do not fit the stereotypical profile, particularly if they are successful in their careers; their autistic traits are often simply passed off as eccentricities. The book is as much intended for autistic people as it is for parents and others who need to know that autists are not vegetables.

Aquamarine Blue 5 (ISBN 0-8040-1054-4) is a collection of essays by autistic college students, edited by Dawn Prince-Hughes. The students come from a variety of backgrounds. Most were not diagnosed autistic as children and have worked out their own ways to live in a society that seems very alien to them. The essays describe the advantages and disadvantages of autism to a person trying to succeed at university, and how outsiders can misinterpret a simple autistic preference as a mental disease. One girl, for example, reported the not uncommon autistic experience of having to eat only two or three food items and ordering the same thing every day; anything else made her vomit. She was mistaken by friends and university staff as having an eating disorder. Dr. Prince-Hughes tells her own story in Songs of the Gorilla Nation (ISBN 1-4000-5058-8).

A science fiction novel, C.S. Friedman's This Alien Shore (ISBN 0-88677-799-2), envisions a future in which states of mind currently thought of as mental diseases, among them autism, are accepted as valid lifestyles, and the cultures on many earth colonies have adapted to allow these persons to fit in and contribute to the economy and to society. People paint their faces with distinctive designs letting others know what to expect. Masada, one of the key characters, is clearly meant to be autistic, of a form often described as Asperger syndrome.

Margaret Atwood's novel, Oryx and Crake, has a university labelled Asperger's U, where almost every student appears to have Asperger Syndrome or autism in varying degrees of severity and form. People in the university refer to non-autists as neurotypicals and seem to view them as something altogether different (and perhaps inferior) to themselves. The end of the human race is brought about almost entirely by the character Crake, who attended Asperger's U and was no exception to their rule. He believed that the human race was, by the end of the novel, doomed to extinction simply because of its overuse of resources and the corruption of the social elite.



ramondamyconi
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18 Dec 2016, 2:36 pm

B19 wrote:
There's so much information in this thread that I am bumping it for those members who have joined since the last post/are looking for these resource listings.

..

Also here are a few more AS books that may be of interest:


Not Even Wrong (ISBN 1-58234-367-5) is an autobiographical account by Paul Collins, a historian who views his autistic son as a happy, healthy child and resists the mainstream idea that autism is a crippling disease. Educating himself as well as the reader in the history and background of autism, Collins searches for (and finds) a school where his son's strengths as an autistic will be encouraged rather than suppressed. He points out that autistic people can and do communicate, even when they do not or cannot speak. He also emphasizes that many autists go unrecognized as such because they do not fit the stereotypical profile, particularly if they are successful in their careers; their autistic traits are often simply passed off as eccentricities. The book is as much intended for autistic people as it is for parents and others who need to know that autists are not vegetables.

Aquamarine Blue 5 (ISBN 0-8040-1054-4) is a collection of essays by autistic college students, edited by Dawn Prince-Hughes. The students come from a variety of backgrounds. Most were not diagnosed autistic as children and have worked out their own ways to live in a society that seems very alien to them. The essays describe the advantages and disadvantages of autism to a person trying to succeed at university, and how outsiders can misinterpret a simple autistic preference as a mental disease. One girl, for example, reported the not uncommon autistic experience of having to eat only two or three food items and ordering the same thing every day; anything else made her vomit. She was mistaken by friends and university staff as having an eating disorder. Dr. Prince-Hughes tells her own story in Songs of the Gorilla Nation (ISBN 1-4000-5058-8).

A science fiction novel, C.S. Friedman's This Alien Shore (ISBN 0-88677-799-2), envisions a future in which states of mind currently thought of as mental diseases, among them autism, are accepted as valid lifestyles, and the cultures on many earth colonies have adapted to allow these persons to fit in and contribute to the economy and to society. People paint their faces with distinctive designs letting others know what to expect. Masada, one of the key characters, is clearly meant to be autistic, of a form often described as Asperger syndrome.

Margaret Atwood's novel, Oryx and Crake, has a university labelled Asperger's U, where almost every student appears to have Asperger Syndrome or autism in varying degrees of severity and form. People in the university refer to non-autists as neurotypicals and seem to view them as something altogether different (and perhaps inferior) to themselves. The end of the human race is brought about almost entirely by the character Crake, who attended Asperger's U and was no exception to their rule. He believed that the human race was, by the end of the novel, doomed to extinction simply because of its overuse of resources and the corruption of the social elite.


I knew about Oryx and Crake, but never heard of The Alien Shore-thanks so much for sharing! I'm a huge sci-fi fan and the synopsis for that one sounds great.



ramondamyconi
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18 Dec 2016, 2:42 pm

Also wanted to give thanks for this thread and forum in general-I don't exactly remember in which post I found her name, but someone had recommended looking into Tania A. Marshall. On her website there is a list of recommended providers who are familiar with female ASD/AS, and I ended up finding one listed within reachable distance in my state, so now I can finally begin the process to get my diagnosis made official. Really grateful guys, thanks!



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11 Jul 2018, 1:09 am

Sex and The Single Aspie by Rudy Simone

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One of the many problems women on the spectrum face is not always understanding how relationships and boundaries work for other people. This book provides answers, plus more that they may not even have thought to ask. Covering one night stands, the importance of safe sex, self-respect, and double standards, there is a wealth of information about the ethics and self-understanding involved in relationships.


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17 Oct 2018, 9:13 pm

The eye expression link didn't work.



swordrat32
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25 Apr 2019, 7:50 pm

I found this resource very helpful as a newly diagnosed person struggling with where I "fit in." It's 20 different women on the spectrum writing about themselves, and it gives you an idea of some of the breadth of experiences out there: https://www.aane.org/hiding-plain-sight-words/



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25 Jun 2019, 3:36 am

Inside Felicity House, a New York social club for women with autism

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o outsiders, Felicity House, located in Manhattan’s upscale Flatiron District neighborhood, might look a bit like a boutique hotel, or even the Wing, the Instagram-worthy women’s coworking space with branches in New York, Washington, and other cities.

Visitors are shown to a spacious waiting room with a fireplace, plush rugs, and high ceilings with crown molding. Up a flight of stairs are common areas furnished in soothing neutral tones. On a recent spring morning, tables were decorated with vases of fresh tulips.

But Felicity House isn’t a hotel. It’s a social club for women with autism, and its rooms and programming were all designed with input from its more than 150 members. Because people with autism can be sensitive to noise, special wall materials block nearly all the sound from the New York streets. Fidget toys, which some people with autism use to relieve stress or aid concentration, are in every room.

Members, who pay nothing for the club’s services, can bond with others over interests, such as movies or Legos — one group has built an intricately detailed Lego town in the art studio — or chat with people who share their experiences.

There’s also a quiet lounge where visitors can go if they don’t feel like talking. It’s akin to “the quiet car on the train,” says executive director Beth Finkelstein.

If visitors want to be completely alone, there’s a wellness room where they can be by themselves. There, they might flip through a collection of notes from other members explaining how they like to calm down. (“I like to take a deep breath, hold it for seven seconds and release,” one reads.)

“There is really something to be said about being in a place where you don’t need to translate yourself,” said Christine, a 29-year-old member of the house. (To maintain their privacy, all members interviewed by Vox asked that only their first names be used.) “Walking into Felicity House was weirdly like walking into a place where everyone spoke my language.”

For decades, researchers and advocates say, autism has been seen by the public and even some doctors as a disability that primarily affects boys and men. As a result, support groups for women with autism are few and far between. Clubs geared toward socializing, rather than treatment or behavior modification, are rarer still.

Members and others connected to Felicity House say that women with autism can be doubly marginalized — because of their autism and because of their gender. They believe the club could offer a lesson to the wider world in making women with autism feel welcomed rather than left out.

In general, resources for adults with autism are scarce, Bal said, and those for women are even scarcer.

“A place like Felicity House is totally unique,” she said. “It’s really powerful to offer somewhere where the whole group is focused on just women.”

Felicity House members can attest to that. “In college, I was the only woman in my life-skills group” for autistic people, Andrea, a 23-year-old member, wrote in an email. “I stopped going after a few weeks because I couldn’t connect.”

Women-only groups geared to people without autism didn’t feel like a fit either. Andrea tried joining groups for women in business when she was in college, but, she said, “They weren’t accommodating to my needs, and I was afraid to bring anything up for fear of being stigmatized. That left me feeling left out of both parts of my identity.”

“So much of these types of organizations is networking, something that does not come naturally to me,” she said.

When there are resources for women, they’re typically “very clinical in nature — there’s a focus on doing things to and for us, on observing us or responding to us or modifying us in some way,” said Julia Bascom, executive director of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and a member of the Felicity House advisory board.

Felicity House instead offers members a place to hang out, to go to a barre class, work on a painting in the well-stocked art studio, or take a moment in one of the quiet areas.

still, there’s a widespread assumption among the American public “that autism is a white man’s, and specifically white boy’s, thing,” said Lydia X.Z. Brown, a community organizer and fellow at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

“The clinical literature and even widespread media coverage of autism all assumes that autistic people are white men who are interested in trains, math, and computers, and if you don’t fit that profile, then you’re probably not really autistic,” said Brown, who is autistic.

Felicity House was founded by Audrey Cappell, a philanthropist, writer, and activist who is on the autism spectrum. Cappell prefers to avoid the spotlight and so declined to be interviewed, but Finkelstein, Felicity House’s executive director, said Cappell had been to autism meetings and support groups “where there could be 20 men there and two women.”

Cappell had a lot of resources and support from her family and others but knew that “not everybody who was a woman with autism had the same,” Finkelstein said. So she convened three support groups: one for professionals who work with women with autism, one for parents, and one for women with autism.

The most important feedback Cappell got from the women with autism was, “I have never been in a room full of other women with autism before; this is a first for me; when are we meeting again?” Finkelstein said. A focus group of 15 women met twice a month for several years before Felicity House opened its doors in 2015, and many are still members.

Today, Felicity House is open to any woman with a documented autism diagnosis. If people believe they have autism but do not have a diagnosis, Felicity House can help find a clinician. Membership and all events are free (Felicity House is a private foundation), and anyone who identifies as a woman, including trans women, can join. Felicity House has nonbinary and gender-nonconforming members as well.

A suggestion box is placed prominently in one of the common rooms, and the staff hosts regular town halls to hear from members. Every event starts with a meal, so members have one less thing to think about when planning their days. Staff also distribute agendas with clear descriptions of events, as well as rules and expectations, including whether breaks are allowed.

Cappell, Bascom said, “wanted to solve a problem she saw in her community, and it’s guided by autistic advisers and shaped by feedback from its members. That’s why it works so well.”

Cappell, Bascom said, “wanted to solve a problem she saw in her community, and it’s guided by autistic advisers and shaped by feedback from its members. That’s why it works so well.”

Felicity House may offer lessons for the broader world. If others were mindful of the need among some autistic people for straightforward instructions, it would be “life-changing,” Andrea said.

“One of my main anxieties with new experiences is not knowing what to expect,” she added. “At Felicity House, I always know what will be available to eat, where a quiet space to decompress is, how long the event will last, etc.”

In recent years, some public places like airports and stadiums have begun offering quiet rooms and other resources for people on the spectrum. But there’s a lot of need for improvement, Bascom said. “Even many autism organizations aren’t making a serious attempt at this yet.”


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My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman