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Asperger Syndrome in the Family Redefining Normal

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Book - Asperger Syndrome in the Family Redefining Normal

by: Liane Holliday Willey
Foreword by Pamela B. Tanguay

About the author:

Liane Holliday Willey is a doctor of education, a writer and a researcher who specializes in the fields of psycholinguistics and learning style differences. Dr. Willey is a married mother of three, the owner of an equine boarding facility, and the Senior Editor of Autism Spectrum Quarterly. She also has Asperger Syndrome. A frequent guest lecturer on 'Aspie' topics, Dr. Willey is an energetic educator and advocate of Asperger issues. She lives in Rockford, Michigan, USA.

ISBN: 978-1-85302-873-1

Year: 2001

Publication Info: 176pp


Liane Holliday Willey and one of her daughters both have Asperger Syndrome. In Asperger Syndrome in the Family she looks, with honesty, wisdom and humor, at the implications this has for her family, both the Aspie and the non-Aspie members. Through personal vignettes, frank discussions and practical suggestions for dealing with everything from major to minor Aspie challenges, Liane, her husband and their three daughters bravely open their home to their readers, inviting them to look behind the curtains at their version of Aspie life. Not only does the book underscore the importance of mutual support and respect in an Aspie family – in fact in any family – it offers practical help for families in similar situations. This is a rich and positive book that will speak to all those whose lives have been affected by Asperger Syndrome.



Introduction 1. Aspie 2. Too Close to the Maddening Crowd. 3. The Communication Zone. 4. Close Quarters. 5. Daring to be Different. 6. Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace. 7. Teeter Totter. 8. Catch a Falling Star. 9. Sunny Side Up. Epilogue. Appendix I: Web Resources. Appendix II: Australian Scale for Asperger’s Syndrome Second Edition. Appendix III: Fast Facts for Those New to Aspie World. Appendix IV: Self-Affirmation. Pledge for Aspies Parents. Appendix V: Self-Affirmation. Pledge for Aspie Parents. Appendix VI. Making Sense of Small Talk. Index.



This autobiography gives us insight into the lives of a family dealing with Asperger Syndrome (Liane and her daughter are both “aspies”). Where Liane Holliday Willey excels is in her ability to see the humorous side of the many unusual strategies that her family and in particular, herself, have to develop. For example, “Create a few personae you can put on like you put on a coat” or “Never talk about private matters in public, body parts that are covered by underwear, siblings’ diaries, parents’ arguments”.

Her anecdotal accounts of family issues are honest and quite touching. Her need to know what her family think of her behaviour, and ways to make her acceptable to them, are heart warming. The spinach between the teeth of her daughter’s class teacher and Liane’s attempt to remove it, with resulting confusion and embarrassment, emphasize the lack of understanding in some social situations and the need to laugh at them and then learn from them.

Through it all, Liane remains determined to try and live happily in a neuro-typical world and to help her “Aspie” daughter and herself function successfully in day to day encounters.

For families living with “Aspies” and professionals working with them, this is highly recommended to further understand the challenges of Aperger Syndrome.’


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