Celebrating Individual Differences
Aspie. n. a person with Asperger Syndrome.
Asperger syndrome (AS) is a neuro-biological communication disorder affecting key aspects of social awareness and interaction, language usage and sensory integration.
Praise for Liane's Memoir
Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome. by Liane Holliday Willey, Jessica Kingsley Publisher
Asperger's Syndrome, on Screen and in Life, ... how much Asperger's and high-functioning autism have expanded into public consciousness...
Liane's book is featured in the new movie Adam.
New York Times
An insightful resource! I found this book to be very informative. The author's explanation of the syndrome was clear and very easy to understand. To read the preface by Luke Jackson, a student identified with Asperger's, was also very moving and validating. I am in the process of referring a high school student for Asperger's screening. This book was my number 1 resource in my own exposure to this disability and its place on the Autistic spectrum. The author covers such innovative topics as; cognitive behavior therapy, exploring friendships,the sexuality of Asperger teens, the importance of occupational therapy, safety issues,diagnosis, parenting, interventions strategies, educational concerns and disclosure & self-advocacy. One would hope a child with Asperger's would be diagnosed at the elementary level. However, with such a new awakening to the topic, I feel there are probably hundreds of misdiagnosed adolescents out there waiting for help and insight. Parents, I urge you to approach your child's teachers if you suspect Asperger-like characteristics in your own child. Then, I recommend you all read this book!
Special Education Teacher
Liane's story served as an inspiration for the film Normal Folk -- a story of a woman who is suddenly faced with caring for an estranged and mentally challenged relative.
Asperger's Syndrome is one of the constellation of conditions known as autism. As both Willey and her young daughter have AS, her life story provides a startling look at how those with the syndrome experience the world. Willey grew up knowing only that she was somehow different, extremely intelligent, and extremely quirky but accepted and valued seems to have been the assessment of her parents, physicians, and others early in her life. Her peculiarities inability to find her way in unfamiliar places, and extreme aversion to people coming too close to her, to noise, to confusion became a devastating issue when she left home for the unfamiliar environment of college. From then on, Willey struggled mightily until she reached the safe haven of marriage to an outstandingly sympathetic partner, a fulfilling job teaching college, and motherhood. When her own daughter, one of twins, was diagnosed as an infant with Asperger's Syndrome, Willey immediately recognized herself: ``social action impairments, narrow interests, an insistence on repetitive routines, speech and language peculiarities, non-verbal communication problems and motor clumsiness . . . each of these symptoms is manifested in a variety of unique and diverse ways.'' Willey here compares her own experiences with her daughter's, her daughter's with her twin sister, who doesn't have AS, and the childhood peak in intensity of her daughter's symptoms with her own waning symptoms in middle age. In her appendices Willey offers extensive practical help and resources to AS sufferers. But even those not directly affected by AS will find this an eye-opening view into a parallel world.
Your presentation to Parents as Teachers was the best presentation I have attended in 17 years as a Parent Educator.
Liane is a remarkable speaker. Everyone came away with so much more knowledge and understanding about living a life that marches to a different beat.
Holliday Willey was great. The participants were completely engaged and were comfortable asking their questions. You were frank, sincere and just awesome!
Liane was emotional, genuine, and funny! She truly inspired folks on the spectrum and parents in the audience...exactly the reason we invited her! She was great!!!
Director, Polar Communications LLC