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Grace Under Pressure: Going the distance as an Aspergers mum [Paperback]

Sophie Walker
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Oct 2012

When Sophie Walker's daughter Grace was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, her world unravelled. Her high-powered job was in disarray, she couldn't sleep, often woke in tears and felt hopeless and useless in her role as a mother.

One day she realised she hadn't done any exercise for months - neglecting her physical health as well as her mental wellbeing. Previously a keen runner, she set herself the challenge of running the London Marathon to raise awareness of Asperger Syndrome and make herself physically strong enough to support her daughter.

Invigorated by the physical challenge she had set herself, Sophie began a blog - 'Grace Under Pressure' - writing about both day-to-day life raising Grace alongside training for the marathon. The combination caught the imagination of readers and the blog took off, garnering praise from a wide range of sources.

Now transformed into a book, Grace Under Pressure is a moving story that charts the highs and lows of raising a child with Asperger Syndrome and the physical challenge of training for a long-distance running event.

Frequently Bought Together

Grace Under Pressure: Going the distance as an Aspergers mum + Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence + The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens With Asperger Syndrome
Price For All Three: 31.68

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (4 Oct 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 074995826X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749958268
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 13.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Very powerful, very moving, and an important contribution to better understanding of a much misunderstood condition' (Alastair Campbell)

This is a book about Asperger's Syndrome and a book about running, but it's so much more than that. It's at heart a love story, testament to the power of a parent's fierce devotion to their child. Any parent will see in it something of themselves (Gaby Hinsliff, journalist and author of Half a Wife)

Incredibly moving and inspiring. A mother always wants what's best for her daughter, but this mum has to really fight -- and run -- to get it (Ruth Field, bestselling author of Run Fat Bitch Run)

A powerful account of how exercise can restore you physically and mentally (Top Santé)

Grace Under Pressure is a beautiful book. It tugged on my heart strings in the most orchestral fashion. Well done (Kathy Lette)

extraordinary reading (

London-based Walker, a Reuters reporter, marathon runner, and popular Asperger's and parenting blogger, offers an honest and inspiring portrait of parenting a child with the disorder . . . In the midst of her struggles, the author begins running for her own health and sanity as well to raise money for the U.K.'s National Autistic Society. As she trains, Walker's setbacks and triumphs are mirrored by Grace's parallel journey. Parents of children with Asperger's or other spectrum disorders will find information, validation, and hope in Walker's detailed and moving portrait of a mother/ "Aspie" daughter relationship (Publishers Weekly)

Book Description

Based on the success of her popular and moving blog, 'Grace Under Pressure' (, Sophie Walker writes brilliantly about the highs and lows of parenting a child with Aspergers and how she took up running to help her cope.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly affecting 2 Oct 2012
By Sid
This is such a well-written book. It is non-fiction, but so easy to lose yourself in. I could not put it down. Be prepared to shed a few tears - but it's worth it. A great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My choice 12 Nov 2012
By myra
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm in the process of reading it and I am finding it hard to shut off my kindle, reading in to the wee small hours. At last a book written from the heart that pulls no punches. I sympathise, I empathise, I recognise. My 12 year old grandson was diagnosed with Aspergers two years ago and like Sophie I found the label very hard to accept, but accept it I have and now I revel in all things that make him different and unique. He is a joy, a pleasure to know, he makes my days brighter. Hopefully more will be done to recognise autism and to address the needs of autistic children and adults.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very valuable read 2 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My grandson has just been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, so I found so many echo's of my son's & daughter-in-laws's experiences in this book. I'd recommemend this to anyone whose child's behaviour seems 'unusual'. As usual the book was cheaper than elsewhere & sent very promptly by Amazon
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. This is moving on so many levels. 6 Oct 2012
Wow. This is moving on so many levels. Sophie has produced a book so open and honest, that I read, wept, smiled and laughed. Sophie shares with us how running and writing helped her cope with the incredible challenges she and Grace have faced. But for me what shines out, apart from her love for her daughter, is that she would not except 'coping' she strived to make herself stronger, for Grace to thrive and be proud of who she is, as well as, increasing our understanding of Aspergers. To have gone through all of that and produce a book that will help countless others makes me head back to my box of tissues. Inspirational.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A mothers love knows no bounds 16 Sep 2013
What a tender, heart-warming story!

I recently read the latest edition (published by New World Library, August 15th 2013) and was deeply touched by Walker's personal journey as she supported her daughter, Grace, an 'Aspie'.

Transforming the fear of such an overwhelming medical 'label' into a positive experience must be a huge challenge for anyone, especially a mother who is hard-wired to protect her young from ANY danger. Walker tells her tale without any fuss; she shares her physical and emotional journey in easy-to-read prose and as such, the complex story within these pages is even more hard-hitting on the emotional scale.

I was particularly touched by Walker sharing her raw emotions about realising she needed some kind of more 'formal' support from a network of people who'd been there, walked along the same path with a precious 'Aspie' child. A reminder to anyone reading this title that without connection, with communication, we cannot truly function at any level.

Debi's letter (an appendix) had me in floods of tears, at the very end. For not only does Walker share her own hard, rocky path to finding peace as she supports her family, she also shares so beautifully an insight into Grace's own journey. Through the choppy waters of seeking understanding in the education system, past the immense frustrations and finally to a place where compassion and achievement, for the whole family, is the crowning glory.

A truly lovely, inspiring story of a mother's love for her daughter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Grace under pressure 19 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this because I have worked with autistic children. Some of it was useful and rang true to my experience. Found myself getting impatient with the author who seemed very concerned with herself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read, informative moving and witty! 28 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I laughed, I cried and I learned a lot...what more would you want! This has been my best read this month, I could not put it down! such an inspirational story as well it makes you re-evaluate the parenting abilities. I recommend this book highly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fanastic
My mum in law bought this book for me as a gift. I have read all different kinds of books about Aspergers since my daughter was diagnosis 3 years ago, most of them so depressing I... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Leona M
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Having an 'aspie' son & being a runner myself, I could really identify with the struggles that Sophie faces daily, and running has been my 'me' time. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ali Jean
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Reading Sophie's story makes you feel exhausted at times as you share her frustration. As I have a young grandson with this disability I found it a great help in understanding his... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mrs A Lloyd
3.0 out of 5 stars O.k so far
It was a gift for someone at Christmas and they're half way thru' it at the moment, but say it's quite good, so far.
Published 15 months ago by Mr.S.Chamberlain
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written
Though asked to give some quotes for the book, this is the first time I've had the chance to read it. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mrs. A. W. Memmott
5.0 out of 5 stars A painful but uplifting tale, beautifully told.
Tears of despair, pain, rage and relief will flow as you read this beautifully written tale of a mother's love for her precious daughter whose differently-wired brain should make... Read more
Published 18 months ago by KK
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected, moving, funny, gripping
No surprise that Sophie Walker can write--she has serious pedigree as a journalist, covering big subjects and making the complex accessible. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Anglophile
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