Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum
352 pages, 6 x 9 1/4
Release Date:01 Jan 2009

Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum

What Parents and Professionals Should Know About the Pre-Teen and Teenage Years

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Growing up isn't easy, and the trials and tribulations of being a teenager can be particularly confusing for girls with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). This book covers all the concerns commonly faced by girls with ASDs and their parents, from periods and puberty to worries over friendships and "fitting in."

Taking a good look at these adolescent issues, and many more, within the context of specific areas of difficulty for girls with ASDs, the authors provide families with the knowledge and advice they need to help their daughters - and the whole family - through the teenage years. This book addresses core issues such as cognition, communication, behavior, sensory sensitivities, and social difficulties; it gives candid and realistic advice on a wide range of important teenage topics.

Providing professional perspectives alongside personal experiences from mothers, daughters and educators, this is a unique and indispensible guide for families and their daughters with ASDs, as well as the teachers and professionals who work with them.

Rather than constructing a 'how-to' book, in which pre-planned lessons have been created focusing on puberty or sexuality issues, the authors provide a broad conceptual treatment of the relevant sociological and cultural issues. That is, not only do they address the social, communication, and behavioural vulnerabilities that these girls may display, but they place these vulnerabilities in the context of a girl's social world. From this vantage point, the authors describe concrete steps and processes which may be useful for working with girls on the spectrum to help them cope with the issues they confront as they mature...This volume continually reminds the reader to think about the challenges typically developing girls and young women face throughout the pre-teen and teenage years as the context for their understanding of a girl with an ASD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
There's really only one way to say this: If you have a daughter anywhere on the autism spectrum, or even with unexplainable quirky behaviour, this book is a must. While there are hundreds of good books about autism, girls have their own unique issues when it comes to this puzzling disorder. Dr. Nichols' book is a standout. Addressing girls on their own, and in such an insightful, scholarly and reader-friendly way, what 'Girls...' has done is invaluable. You'll be shocked at how easy it is to have a girl on the spectrum misdiagnosed or not therapeutically treated correctly, but you're not left on your own. Nichols provides great counsel. 'Girls...' offers not only important information about the child, but it also provides necessary strategies for parents (and medical professionals) to help improve the child's life, and not a single subject goes untouched. The teen years are tough enough for any girl, but for one who has spectrum challenges, it can be devastating. Nichols, the clinical director of the Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders, provides expert advice that is practical and necessary, on topics ranging from cognitive concerns and everyday behaviours to sexuality and just fitting in, which for a teenaged girl can be the most important issue of all--on the spectrum or not. Nichols draws from many wells here - vast research, conversations and interviews with parents, teachers and medical experts, and most importantly, these young girls. This is one of those hallelujah books for which parents search high and low. Long Island Press
The authors unflinchingly address the most challenging issues of girls and puberty with grace and matter-of-fact discussions of pelvic exams, periods, eating disorders, healthy sexuality, and self-perception. The discussions range from choosing undergarments to the difference in boys' and girls' aggression in adolescence. Full of hints from other parents, research results, and suggestions from professionals, this book is an essential guide to adolescence for parents of girls on the spectrum (and it's also great for parents of boys!). The Spectrum, The Newsletter of The Autism Society of North Carolina, US
It gives me great pleasure to introduce ASQ readers to this terrific book!...Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum is an A+ read! Liane Holliday Willey, EdD, Autism Spectrum Quarterly
Shana Nichols, Gina Marie Moravcik, and Samara Pulver Tetenbaum provide solid, specific advice on teen issues - social life, changing bodies, friendships, diet and nutrition, self-reliance, anxiety, and more. This is an excellent beginning, with resources listed (books, articles, Web sites, blogs) in every chapter and short case studies that break up the text throughout. The authors tackle the bigger issues of socialization and friendships, plus the nitty-gritty of raising an adolescent girl - periods, ob-gyn exams, weight, privacy, and hygiene. ForeWord
This book provides a valuable insight into the concerns commonly faced by girls with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), and their parents. It offers advice and coping strategies on a host of areas, including approaching adolescence, navigating puberty, self-perception and self-confidence, understanding friendships, looking at healthy sexuality, promoting personal safety and many more...The book has a warm and engaging reading style, and the may case studies of experiences from families, daughters and educators provide brave testimonies and excellent recommendations for support; a useful reference list is also provided. This book is a must have read for those interested in helping females on the autistic spectrum. Youth in Mind
The authors tackle an important and sensitive issue for young people with ASC. The information presented is based in research and presented clearly in a most usable format. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to young people (it might even help a few boys!) with ASC and their parents. E. Veronica Bliss, psychologist and Director of Missing Link Support Services, Ltd
This book is not only reassuring; it is inspiring, and bursting with ideas and achievable strategies. The authors write with authority and conviction, and tackle even the most difficult and delicate of topics. If ever you needed to be convinced that girls with ASD can overcome the difficulties and challenges of puberty and adolescence, have successful friendships and relationships and enjoy a healthy sexuality, then take the time to read this book - it is a must-have for families, teachers and therapists alike. Sarah Attwood, author of Making Sense of Sex: A Forthright Guide to Puberty, Sex and Relationships for People with Asperger's Syndrome
Shana Nichols, PhD, is Owner and Director of ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development on Long Island, New York. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and has worked in the areas of assessment, treatment, and research related to autism spectrum and other developmental disorders. Gina Marie Moravcik is Coordinator of Education and Speech Language Services at the Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders, and adjunct professor and clinical supervisor in the Speech Pathology program at St. John's University, USA. Samara Pulver Tetenbaum is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and an applied behavior specialist at the Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders.



Author’s Notes.

1. What Do We Currently Know About Girls and Women with Autism Spectrum Disorders?

2. Approaching Adolescence: Anticipation, Anxiety, Adaptation and Acceptance?

3. Puberty or ‘Do My Parents Know You’re Here?’

4. The Red Spot: Periods, Pads and Pelvic Exams.

5. Feeling Good Inside and Out: Self-perception and Self-confidence.

6. The Social Landscape of Adolescence: Friendships and Social Status.

7. Healthy Sexuality for Girls with ASDs.

8. Keeping Girls Safe: Promoting Personal Safety in the Real World.

9. Our Journey: A Mother and her Daughter with Asperger's Syndrome.

Conclusion: Embracing Change.



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