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Autism in Heels: The Untold Story of a Female Life on the Spectrum
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Autism in Heels: The Untold Story of a Female Life on the Spectrum

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The face of autism is changing. And more often than we realize, that face is wearing lipstick.

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 co
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 4th 2018 by Skyhorse (first published November 20th 2018)
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C.G. Drews
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was so honest and well-informed! I was a little nervous going in, I admit, because (a) I feel like the only point of heels is to utilise them as a weapon, and (b) I've read so many autism-books and been burnt a lot by negative assumptions and problematic viewpoints. But this book CELEBRATES autism. Especially in women!

I also loved that it acknowledged POC and queer autistic women...and nonbinary autistics too! It was aimed specifically at women, but it didn't diminish everything to "tw
(I received a free eARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.)

I actually had to take a break in the middle of reading this because it struck home — not just close, but all the way. As in, I recognized very specific thoughts and behaviors that I’ve noticed but never considered in an ASD context, and I just felt seen and understood in a way that I never have before.

The anecdotes and analogies used are well-chosen, making each point accessible to a diverse audience. O’Toole also makes so
Ronnie Stephens
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I really struggled with this book. I wanted to love it, and I believe that it's a vital conversation about women on the spectrum and how to improve practices around diagnosing/supporting women on the spectrum. However, the writing was choppy and repetitive; many chapters felt like adapted speeches with little serious editing to improve flow. Additionally, the order of the chapters did not help establish a clear trajectory or push the narrative forward. I'm hesitant to describe this book as a mem ...more
Michael Ross
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book. An extraordinary look into autism in women told with fascinating anecdotes from a captivating writer. I have always enjoyed the Asperkids books but Jennifer O'Toole has really outdone herself describing this personal journey. I was riveted from the first moment. I would not get this book unless you have time to read it in one sitting because you will not be able to put it down. This is a must read not only for women on the spectrum, and those that love them, but for any ...more
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
It has been great to see more and more books available detailing the experiences of various (albeit mostly white) women on the autistic spectrum, given their under-diagnosis and the biases that pervade the perception of autism among the public and even the medical community (as I understand, the diagnostic criteria were formed from a study of entirely male subjects). O’Toole is brave to share her very personal experiences, and there is useful information contained here. The book is focused on he ...more
The strongest part of this book was definitely the memoir aspects, where O'Toole engaged with the elements of her own past and made sense of them by unveiling the consequences of a neurotypical culture. I found her chapters towards the end, which featured heavy topics like relationship abuse and eating disorders, to be very powerful, because while she could point to individual situations where things went wrong, their impact got worse and worse due to the constant gaslighting and cycles of ignor ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Highly disappointing. As someone who's followed Jennifer O'Toole's work for quite some time, I was excited to see that she was releasing a memoir. More so, I was excited to see that it would focus on being a woman on the spectrum, a topic that's come up often in the circles I run in.

Unfortunately, the book came across as poorly researched with little empirical information supporting her claims. This is especially a shame because I know she did her research. No one can accuse her of not being we
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
WOW! Just WOW!

I first heard Jennifer speak in January of this year. She mentioned that she had a new book coming out this summer. At that point, I knew that I had to get my hands on it.

Later on I discovered that the digital ARC was available on Edelweiss—YIPPEE! (Being a librarian has its perks.)

As someone who is on the Spectrum myself, I found myself totally relating to Jennifer’s experiences of social awkwardness, her attempts to fit in, and of feeling misunderstood. At times, it got so inten
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Insight into the dynamics of life "on the spectrum" is helpful to me, since my granddaughter has been diagnosed with autism. She received this diagnosis at 2, but this was after repeated efforts to determine what was going on with her. One doctor, discovering her severe social anxiety, volunteered to write a Prozac prescription - for a 2-year-old! I think that autism is rampant among females, and obviously misunderstood and frequently overlooked as a basic cause of many behaviors of girls. I fou ...more
Rebecca Mullen
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book sheds light on the often unrecognized differences in the world experiences of women and girls on the spectrum through one woman’s journey. O’Toole’s narrative weaves together her life in self-reflective stories along with the research and study information that helps explain not just her own choices but the way others perceive her. As the mother of an adult woman on the spectrum, I found her story not just inspirational and enlightening but a powerful tour de force capable of creating ...more
Carol Moog
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer O'Toole's latest book is a brilliant and personal reflection of life on the autism spectrum for women and girls. Her voice cannot be denied! I wholeheartedly recommend this book to clinicians, parents, identifiers, and explorers of autism. Reading it will increase your knowledge your sensitivity, your worldview and your . It will be immediately enlightening and enormously useful.
Carol Moog Phd
Practicing psychologist/co-author The Autism Playbook for Teens
Brittney Farley
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Autism in Heels is a true story about Jennifer O'Toole. Jennifer shares her story about what it's like to live with Asperger's, which is on the Autism spectrum. This is a great story that advocates for people who live with a disability and shows that they are just like everyone else. This is a great read for young adults.
May 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc, edelweiss, dnf
DNF at 50%

Okay, so I hate that I'm the very first review for this book and am giving it a bad rating. But I just didn't care for it. Doesn't mean others won't!

The beginning felt more like reading an academic article or study than a story about her life with autism. It's not told in an interesting way in order to keep my attention. It's just like this is what happened and how I found out I was autistic. Here are other facts about autism and autism in women. Maybe if you're super into the facts o
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