Last night, Karen and I attended Exhaling Beauty: an Evening Celebrating Females on the Autism Spectrum. The aim of the event was to share and showcase the talents, experiences, and spirit of the female ASD community. They definitely did that. I have never heard of another event like this and I am very thankful that they put on this amazing show and will be taking it on the road. It was really nice to be there with Karen, especially on the day that she passed her national social work license test. Congratulations Karen! 😀
Shana Nichols is a psychologist who specializes in working with girls on the autism spectrum. I don’t think there are too many other people in existence with this specialty. Hopefully she will start a trend! She spoke about girls growing up on the autism spectrum and some of the challenges they face. It was really amazing to hear about how she helps these girls to try and see the positive aspects of being on the spectrum and empower them to make the most of their skills and interests. It makes me incredibly happy to know that young girls will have the chance to be understood and taught to deal with living in the world on their own terms. I imagine it to be the polar opposite of how things were for many of us who did not grow up in a time where services like this existed. Shana is the author of Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum: What Parents and Professionals Should Know About the Pre-teen and Teenage Years.
Rudy Simone is a jazz singer and the author of Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome, Asperger’s on the Job, and 22 Things a Woman Must Know: If She Loves a Man With Asperger’s Syndrome. Rudy’s presentation was called “Loving the Aspergirl life: How to navigate the challenges of adulthood and have the fulfilling, inspired life you were meant to”. She spoke about her life and many of the challenges that she has been through and how she ultimately pieced together her skills and talents to make a better life for herself.
Liane Holliday Willey was the last to speak. Her presentation was titled “Life Shared with ASD: A Journey of Challenges, Self-Acceptance, Forgiveness & Healing”. She told some heart-felt and personal stories about growing up on the spectrum, her current life and challenges, and some really amazing stories about her father, who also had Asperger syndrome, and how much he meant to her and taught her throughout her life. Liane is the author of Pretending to Be Normal: Living With Asperger’s Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome in the Family Redefining Normal: Redefining Normal, and Asperger Syndrome in Adolescence: Living With the Ups, the Downs and Things in Between.
Me and K had a really great time and met some great people, in particular a mother and daughter who travelled all the way from Missouri to see the show. The both seemed like really great people and it was nice to get to talk to them. It was also nice to meet the authors and Kim Miller.