Jennifer Cook O’Toole is a mother, self-advocate, and prolific writer. Since emerging in the Autism community a few years ago, she has taken the world by storm. Asperkids has become an international sensation with readers and followers across the world. She has several award winning books already including “The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules: A Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Guidelines for Teens & Tweens with Asperger Syndrome” which won the Dr. Temple Grandin Outstanding Literary Work of the Year last year. This year, a new book is highly anticipated and has been a collaborative project with other self-advocates.
“Sisterhood of the Spectrum: An Asperger Chick’s Guide to Life” is currently scheduled to be released in April and is already gaining attention. This book, like her previous books, helps shine light on some of the lesser known hidden curriculum and social elements of growing up as a girl in today’s world. From body images to bullying, Jennifer uses her own experiences and the voices of other notable women on the autism spectrum to help teach girls ways to be their own powerful selves. With fun illustrations through the book and inspirational quotes in each chapter, this book is geared towards all girls and women. With the easy to read format and chapters that draw you in, it is a book you won’t want to put down.
The idea came from Jennifer’s own experience with sisterhood. As a member of Kappa Alpha Theta at Brown University, she was able to meet life long friends and strong women who helped support her. Jennifer found one of her best friends, Lori Goldstein Schiffer, in her sorority all those years ago. When Jennifer was first diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum, it was Lori who helped Jennifer realize how special she was and how she deserved kindness from others. Even after Lori passed away in 2013, Jennifer feels the work she does to help promote positivity and acceptance is also a tribute to her late friend’s good nature.
Spreading positivity is something Jennifer does well with her work at a national an international level. As highlighted in this new book, she promotes the message of celebrating what makes everyone unique. Frequently in her writings and presentations, she highlights how boring things would be if everyone was exactly alike. The advice and strategies in her book are not about changing a person’s individuals, but are tools to help navigate in the socially demanding female culture. From her own struggles, she gives some hints and tips that have served her well.
The difference between autistic males and females continues to gain attention as the disorder affects the genders differently.. We now know the diagnosed rate of girls on the spectrum is at least 1 girl for every 4 males. With the increase in diagnoses over the past few years, a large part of that is due to better identification of autistic characteristics. This book is perfect for all those girls who ask “what about me” when trying to find helpful information on how they view the world. With girls sometimes slipping through the diagnostic cracks until later in life, this book is also wonderful for those females who wonder why they have always viewed the world a little differently. Preorder your copy today and get ready to share it with the autistic women in your life.