Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome Paperback – 21 Sept. 2014
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Liane's original book Pretending to be Normal gave such important insights into how women with Asperger's syndrome used coping strategies in an attempt to fit into the neurotypical world. This updated version not only gives further insights but more importantly rather than "pretending to be normal" Liane points out that it is better to recognise that having Asperger's syndrome is acceptable and society should celebrate differentness. Finding the balance with appropriate support enables people with Asperger's syndrome to function in both the Aspie and neurotypical worlds. The appendices are brilliant in that Liane gives practical tips in supporting and managing Asperger's syndrome in all aspects of life. This book will be highly recommended by me to all those who have or do not have a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome. -- Dr Judith Gould, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Director of the NAS Lorna Wing Centre for Autism
With Pretending to be Normal, a collective sigh of relief was heaved, a burden was lifted and laid down. The puzzle that had perplexed us was given a name, Asperger's, and women on the spectrum found their voice, some of us for the first time. -- Rudy Simone, author of Aspergirls, 22 Things a Woman Must Know If She Loves a Man with Asperger’s Syndrome and 22 Things a Woman with Asperger’s Syndrome Wants Her Partner to Know
Pretending to be Normal was one of the first books I read about women and Asperger syndrome. It was then and still is the book I always recommend to the female clients I see. Liane is a star, her determination, strength and courage are a shining light within the AS community. This second edition is full of new insights and information. A must read for anyone who wishes to understand more about the complex world of women and Asperger syndrome. -- Maxine Aston MSc, Consultant, Trainer and Author of several books on Asperger syndrome and relationships
Willey's classic Pretending to Be Normal has been a most eloquent way to understand what it feels like to have Asperger's. As beautifully written as it is insightful, this expanded edition is even more powerful due to the addition of a multitude of helpful suggestions and resources. -- Martin L. Kutscher, MD, author of Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, LD, Autism Spectrum, Anxiety, Tourette’s and More: The One Stop Guide for Parents, Teachers and Other Professionals and ADHD: Living without Brakes
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So how good is it ? It is very good because it is an articulate description of the bewilderment, frustration, embarrassment, hot-under-the-collar-aaaargh ! that we AS suffer on a daily basis, and let’s face it, some of that is going to be the fault of normal people for being so obtuse, eg using words and phrases with more than one meaning and assuming that we can just ‘know’ which of the many meanings you are using, being so loud, needing so much stimulation, etc.
Books like this really should be required reading, for everyone, full stop, no question. Even though the vast majority of people in the UK know *of* AS, very few of them know *about* AS, and even fewer have the compassion to be able to knock off being annoying to someone with AS.
Having said that, we are all different, and her experiences, while some are shared, are still considerably different form mine. For example, her time at ‘big school’ and University was less traumatic than mine, she hates pastels (p96) but I love them, she hates raw wood (p97) but I love it, though we both love soft cotton for clothing. We also both want to, but can’t, shout out about how much noise people make (p118).
There is advice at the back, which may or may not work for you, and the usual list of addresses for organisations, which again may, or may not, be useful. It’ll get you started anyway.
As someone with As my advice to friends, families and carers is: if your AS person tells you that they hate something, knock it off, or arrange for it to be knocked off. Yes, that really does mean you will have to talk to shop mangers about background music, neighbours about barking dogs, wind chimes, and no more barbecue parties. Adverse stimuli and behaviours *really* are that annoying. Try speaking with one fact per sentence and one sentence per fact, thinking clearly whether or not any phrase or word has more than one meaning. Give them a time, and a space, to be themselves so they can relax from struggling to be normal and be themselves.
This is *a* very good explanation of *an* individual’s AS life, it is not *the* explanation.
It is quite a difficult read, but is absolutely worth it as it makes the reader feel better about themselves.
Definitely worth buying
Top international reviews
Thank you Liane, because of your book my family has a greater understanding of our issues and where they came from and now we can work on a better future, getting the help we need to help combat the accompanying OCD, anxiety, and anger/frustration issues. My husband and I can also be better parents to our two ASD teenagers, and that right there is probably the #1 reason I love this book. Thank you so very much for sharing your beautifully written story :)