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Girls and Autism


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Table of Contents


About the Editors


Preface - Professor Sheila, the Baroness, Hollins

Foreword - Sophie Walker

PART 1: Introduction

Chapter One: Where are all the autistic girls?: an introduction - Barry Carpenter, Francesca Happe and Jo Egerton Chapter Two: What does research tell us about girls on the autism spectrum? - Francesca Happe PART 2: Girls and autism - the lived experience Chapter Three: The advantages of autism: a personal journey - Katie Buckingham Chapter Four: Raising the voice of the lost girls - Carrie Grant Chapter Five: Introducing `What we want the world to know' from the girls of Limpsfield Grange School - Girls of Limpsfield Grange School and Sarah Wild, Head Teacher Chapter Six: Black girls and autism - Venessa Bobb Chapter Seven: Girls Group: respecting the female identity of girls with autism in a school setting - Sharonne Horlock PART 3: Girls, autism and education Chapter Eight: Leadership issues in the current educational climate - Rona Tutt Chapter Nine: Building a specialist curriculum for autistic girls - Sarah Wild Chapter Ten: Included or excluded?: school experiences of autistic girls - Jane Friswell Chapter Eleven: Girls who `can't help won't': understanding the distinctive profile of Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) and developing approaches to support girls with PDA - Ruth Fidler PART 4: Autism, adolescence and social networks Chapter Twelve: What do we know about the neuroscience of autism in girls and women? - Meng-Chan Lai Chapter Thirteen: Mental health and girls on the autism spectrum - Tina Rae and Grace Hershey Chapter Fourteen: Friendships on the autism spectrum - Felicity Sedgewick and Liz Pellicano Chapter Fifteen: Help us make our own way: talking to autistic women and girls about adolescence and sexuality - Gillian Loomes PART 5: Autistic girls - looking to the future Chapter Sixteen: Girls for the future: transitions and employment - Jo Egerton, Helen Ellis and Barry Carpenter Chapter Seventeen: Supported teachers supporting girls: a whole-school model of support for the education of young people with autism - Sarah-Jane Critchley Chapter Eighteen: Run the world, girls: success as an adult autistic female - Rachel Townson and Carol Povey Chapter Nineteen: Epilogue: a call for action - Wenn Lawson

About the Author

Barry Carpenter, CBE, OBE is professor of mental health in education at Oxford Brookes University, UK. Francesca Happe, FBA FMedSci is professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, UK. Jo Egerton is a schools research consultant, running school-based research courses for teaching school alliances and academies.


This book provides an excellent combination of personal experience and current research to highlight the importance of understanding girls and women on the autism spectrum. Throughout the chapters the issues of importance that are presented over and over again are about the need to value strengths and individuality; develop relevant strategies; be flexible; and build supportive networks, including `true' friends; to ensure autistic girls grow into strong and self-reliant young women who can be whatever they want to be. I would recommend this book to anyone teaching, working with, or supporting young autistic women, who wants to contribute to their future success. Dr Debra Costley, Associate Professor of Education, University of Nottingham, UK.

A very well-timed book for the field, it deals a topic that is extremely underrepresented, girls with autism. It offers a thorough exploration of the topic that has a strong foundation in research. It is a very comprehensive analysis, which is particularly powerful when you read the lived experience section. Congratulations to the authors on producing a coherent, engaging and important book. Phyllis Jones PhD, Professor in the department of Teaching & Learning, University of South Florida, USA.

This book is essentially very positive despite the unflinching descriptions of the complexities of life and school and the barriers that exist for girls with autism. It maintains a focus on what is possible and what is achievable even with the current reality for the majority of poorly coordinated support and insufficient services. It is a highly recommended read both for parents and for professionals working in or with schools, colleges, career services, as well as the health and social care sectors.

Dr Rob Ashdown, Editor, PMLD Link

What stands out most from this new, highly informative and skilfully edited collection are the lived experiences of the contributors; presented as honest and open accounts by girls, young and adult women describing the way autism affects their relationships with the world around them... For any social worker with an interest in the life course development of girls to adolescents to young adults this book will provide a heartfelt and highly informative insight into the lives of vulnerable and often marginalised females.

Mark Goodman, British Journal of Social Work The subject of girls with autism has so far been under represented and this timely book addresses the knowledge gap with a thorough exploration of the topic and up-to-date research... Giving voice to the experiences, concerns, needs and hopes of girls on the autism spectrum, results in a text that will help to provide parents, teachers and other professionals with essential information to support and teach them more effectively. Early Years Educator (EYE) "Girls and Autism by Carpenter, Happe and Egerton brings together an important blend of personal and family experiences and the current research evidence. The focus of this book is specifically on girls and women on the autism spectrum, an area that has up to now been neglected, due to the attention on boys and men... This book makes an important and new contribution and is relevant to practitioners working in education, health, social care and independent sectors supporting young women with autism." Professor Michael Brown, Learning Disability Practice

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