Girls face many challenges through their childhood and teenage years, including understanding social groups, bullying, puberty, and relationships. Add all this plus the challenges of autism and you can see that autistic girls have it cut out for them!
Luckily, autistic girls and their parents don’t have to feel like they’re facing these challenges alone. Two books written by female autism experts and parents help shed light on how they overcame challenges during critical childhood years.
1.Parenting Girls on the Autism Spectrum
Eileen Riley-Hall is one inspiring mother! She has two teenage girls–one with Asperger’s and the other with Autism. Eileen teaches at an inclusive public school in New York State and has worked with special needs students from preschool through to high school for over 25 years.
While the book doesn’t have any book awards, it has endorsements from a few autism medical professionals.
The book starts from a personal perspective, introducing Eileen’s daughters Lizzie and Caroline, and broadens to give general advice for parents of autistic girls on various life topics including
- Growth milestones
- Challenges that you will probably face (“dark moments”)
- Vaccinations and treatments
What Readers Say
Readers who liked the book say such things as:
- A must read for special educators
- Inspiring for parents
- Personal stories linked to specific advice is refreshing
- Good even for parents of autistic boys
There weren’t any negative reviews for the book on Amazon!
Parents and relatives of autistic girls.
2. Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum
The book’s authors are all from the clinical side of things.
Shana Nichols is Clinical Director of the Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders in Long Island, New York. Shana is a licensed clinical psychologist.
Gina Marie Moravcik is a speech and language pathologist specializing in social communication and autism spectrum disorders who works as Coordinator of Education and Speech Language Services at the Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Samara Pulver Tetenbaum is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook who has worked in the autism field for five years.
None at the moment.
In line with the authors’ day jobs, the book takes a more clinical bent on raising autistic girls mixed with reporting on personal experiences.
It covers such topics as:
- Sexuality and puberty
- Hormones and emotions
- Periods, pads, and pelvic exams
- Self confidence
- First bras
- Staying safe
Each chapter intersperses the scientific/psychology explanations with personal anecdotes from autistic families.
What Readers Say
On the positive side:
- Great for parents
- Detailed sections on topics not often covered in other books, such as sexuality and fashion
- Well researched yet readable with information presented in “bite sized” pieces
- Writing can be somewhat dry
- Book targets higher functioning autistics and girls with Asperger’s
Parents and autism professionals