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Autism in heels: the untold story of a female life on the Spectrum
2018
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Summary
The face of autism is changing. And more often than we realize, that face is wearing lipstick. <br> <br> Autism in Heels , an intimate memoir, reveals the woman inside one of autism's most prominent figures, Jennifer O'Toole. At the age of thirty-five, Jennifer was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, and for the first time in her life, things made sense. Now, Jennifer exposes the constant struggle between carefully crafted persona and authentic existence, editing the autism script with wit, candor, passion, and power. Her journey is one of reverse-self-discovery not only as an Aspie but--more importantly--as a thoroughly modern woman.<br> <br> Beyond being a memoir, Autism in Heels is a love letter to all women. It's a conversation starter. A game changer. And a firsthand account of what it is to walk in Jennifer's shoes (especially those iconic red stilettos).<br> <br> Whether it's bad perms or body image, sexuality or self-esteem, Jennifer's is as much a human journey as one on the spectrum. Because autism "looks a bit different in pink," most girls and women who fit the profile are not identified, facing years of avoidable anxiety, eating disorders, volatile relationships, self-harm, and stunted independence. Jennifer has been there, too. Autism in Heels takes that message to the mainstream.<br> <br> From her own struggles and self-discovery, she has built an empire of empowerment, inspiring women the world over to realize they aren't mistakes. They are misunderstood miracles.
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  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* When O'Toole was diagnosed as autistic at age 34, she was relieved, rather than despairing. Finally, there was a reason why she felt so smart but so stupid. Why she could memorize facts but couldn't get to an appointment on time. Why scents, sounds, and colors were so distracting. Autism is usually considered a male disease; O'Toole speaks for the many females who haven't been diagnosed. Like heart disease, autism presents differently in women and is often misdiagnosed. Women are often able to keep their anxieties well hidden. O'Toole opens the world of autism to readers in this frank memoir, enabling them to understand how complicated simple actions can be when you're being bombarded by sensory stimuli. She talks of navigating life without a rule book, of misunderstanding social cues, and of facing bullying and abuse. O'Toole, author of the Asperkids series and an outspoken advocate for Aspies (named after Asperger's), doesn't apologize for being neurologically different. She contends that autism forges connections and perspectives that aren't available to the neurotypical. She is for acceptance, rather than impatience. This insightful, candid book, filled with memories from own her life and the stories of others, will be a lifesaver for anyone facing similar challenges and those close to them.--Candace Smith Copyright 2018 Booklist
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