Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism is now in its final stages of publication, preparing to be printed for the wide world to see by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, we, the Spectrum Women and authors of this book, felt it would be a great opportunity to tell you a little about ourselves and the reasons why we were part of this incredible project. Each Spectrum Woman has a unique story to tell and today we would like to introduce you to Liane Holliday WIlley…
People on the autism spectrum, are jugglers. All at the same time, we need to manage (among other things!) executive functioning skills, social understanding, semantics, sensory challenges, proprioception, non-verbal communications, finding employment, and friendships. Each of these challenges are tough stuff to handle one by one, but together, they build to tsunami portions, churning just beneath our sandy foundation until we learn to sink or swim. OK, that may be a little bit dramatic, but there is truth to my metaphor.
As I am now almost 60 years old, it has come to my attention, that while I try to juggle all the things that make life complicated, I tend to forget the real and present dangers that lay in wait for people on the spectrum, particularly for those of us who identify as female. In my case, I’ve- been raped;, financially abused; emotionally torn apart; psychologically gas-lighted; suicidal; literally lost in dangerous places; manipulated into all sorts of insidious situations; drugged; unaware of my ill-health and psychical needs; and even stuck at the bottom of a sewer system I explored without realizing I had no way back up to level land! For years I thought none of these dips into danger had anything to do with my ASD, until finally, after decades of giving presentations and joining autistic friendship circles through social media, I discovered an autistic’s safety is virtually always at risk.
When Barb Cook asked if I’d join this group of brilliant authors in writing a book that would bring supportive ideas and encouraging stories to the female ASD audience, I knew I had to push forward my work to make my life safer. Easier. Less precarious. In my chapter for our book, I do just that. I am honored to have had the chance to share my thoughts- thoughts I will continue to share in my writings, on my website www.aspie.com, on my FB page Liane Holliday Willey EdD – Pretending to be Normal; through my lectures, my advocacy work with the Department of Defense, my work with equine therapy, and through my private consulting with Brains Potential, LLC.
Safety. It’s essential. Without it, we cannot concentrate on our juggling.
Barb Cook and 14 other autistic women describe life from a female autistic perspective, and present empowering, helpful and supportive insights from their personal experience for fellow autistic women. Michelle Garnett’s comments validate and expand the experiences described from a clinician’s perspective, and provide extensive recommendations.
Autistic advocates including Liane Holliday Willey, Anita Lesko, Jeanette Purkis, Artemisia and Samantha Craft offer their personal guidance on significant issues that particularly affect women, as well as those that are more general to autism. Contributors cover issues including growing up, identity, diversity, parenting, independence and self-care amongst many others. With great contributions from exceptional women, this is a truly well-rounded collection of knowledge and sage advice for any woman with autism.
The Authors: Edited by: Barb Cook, Michelle Garnett
Contributions by: Jen Elcheson, Artemisia, Catriona Stewart, Anita Lesko, Liane Holliday Willey, Samantha Craft, Jeanette Purkis, Kate Ross, Becca Lory, Renata Jurkevythz, Terri Mayne, Maura Campbell, Dena Gassner, Christine Jenkins
Foreword by: Lisa Morgan
Release date 21st August, 2018.
Paperback / softback / Kindle
2018, 9.02in x 5.98in / 229mm x 152mm, 288pp