The Independent Woman's Handbook for Super Safe Living on the Autistic Spectrum
Release Date:01 Sep 2013

The Independent Woman's Handbook for Super Safe Living on the Autistic Spectrum

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Certain characteristics of autism, such as difficulty understanding social cues, may make women vulnerable to potentially dangerous situations. Robyn Steward has written this supportive guide to help all women on the autistic spectrum live independently, make their own choices in life, and be safe whilst doing so.

This book will provide you with the knowledge to recognise potential risks to your personal safety and the skills and strategies required to avoid and overcome them. Informed by a survey of, and interviews with, women on and off the autistic spectrum, it explores common safety issues encountered by women and offers practical advice to help you stay safe and supported in your independence. Topics covered include friendships, relationships and sex, alcohol and drugs, money and employment and staying safe outside the home and online.

This handbook is your guide to super safe living as an independent woman and will help you to stay safe whilst living life to the full. It may also be of interest to your family, friends and carers, giving them insight into life on the spectrum and confidence that you will enjoy your independence in an informed and safe manner.

This book provides a how-to-guide for spotting unsafe situations while offering concrete tips for safer living for women on the autism spectrum. Spoken from the voice of a young woman with autism, readers will be given practical strategies for navigating socially vulnerable relationships and situations – a useful tool for helping independent women living on the spectrum stay safe.

– Dr Elizabeth Laugeson, author of The Science of Making Friends, Assistant Clinical Professor, UCLA, Founder and Director, UCLA PEERS Clinic

Robyn has written a brilliant, no nonsense, straight-talking guide in how to navigate the daunting world of people and relationships - not just the obvious stuff, but the subtle things that women on the autistic spectrum are likely to stumble into trouble with. This is a useful book for women themselves and those looking out for them.

– Sarah Hendrickx, Hendrickx Associates, freelance trainer and consultant in autistic spectrum conditions, author of several books on Asperger syndrome

It does not matter how bright a young person on the spectrum is, you cannot send them out into the world without skills for living, loving and resilience. Robyn's book comes framed with experience and the personal knowledge that autism does not stop with childhood… Knowledge keeps us all safe… This is a book everyone who works with teenagers and young adults with autism should have as a reference and it forms an essential resource for women with autism providing the kind of insight only a woman on the spectrum could provide.

– Lynne Moxon, Chartered Psychologist who teaches socio-sexual skills, Senior Lecturer, University of Northumbria

Packed with "autism alert cards" and references that will prove key to the safety of any woman struggleing with autism and independence.

– The Midwest Book Review

A woman on the autism spectrum who lives in a big city such as London has perhaps an intensified need for clarity in the issue of safety, and an insight others might not possess. Like the underground system she loves, Robyn Steward has created the equivalent of a “color-coded tube map” to help you navigate a variety of situations. But this is more than just a list of dos and don'ts – Robyn's intelligent, yet clear and personable voice makes it a compelling and enjoyable read.

– 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

Robyn has addressed the subject of safety for women on the autistic spectrum in a very creative way. She is open and honest when discussing sensitive topics and has collected together a wealth of practical, common sense information based on her experiences and of others on the autistic spectrum. Of particular interest is her chapter on the internet and digital information sharing which is currently very relevant for any woman, not just those on the spectrum. This book is a must read for helping woman navigate the social complexities of life.

– Dr Judith Gould, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Director of the NAS Lorna Wing Centre for Autism

Robyn Steward is 26 years old and is on the autistic spectrum. She has been wowing audiences for years with her clear, candid and refreshing approach to providing  information on autism, and now she brings her straightforward positive style to women's safety. Robyn is an autism trainer, mentor and consultant and artist, and travels internationally, giving talks to educators, therapists, parents and people on the spectrum. She has spoken about autism at the House of Commons, in the national and international press, on radio and television, as well as annually at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Robyn also helps to raise awareness for people on the autism spectrum as a National Autistic Society (NAS) Ambassador, co-chairing the charity's Professionals' and Women and Girls Conferences in 2012, as well as judging their Professionals Awards. She lives independently in London.
The Purpose of this Book. Important Information. About Me (The Author). Introduction: How Does Being On the Autistic Spectrum Affect Safety Issues?. 1. Platonic Friends. 2. Sex. 3. Romantic Relationships. 4. Drugs, Alcohol and Other Substances. 5. Preparing to Go Out. 6. Internet, Mobile Devices and Digital Information Sharing. 7. Money. 8. Work. 9. Mood. 10. Useful Skills and Strategies for Multiple Situations. Appendix A: Record Sheets for Reporting Abuse. Appendix B: Erogenous Zones Diagram. Final Thoughts. References. Index.
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