What is it really like to grow up as a young woman with Asperger Syndrome? Olley Edwards, a UK born actress, model and mother to three young girls decided to use her own experiences to help others. Olley, herself has Asperger Syndrome and two of her daughters are on the autistic spectrum. Honey was diagnosed with Aspergers at age 6 and Cherish with Autism at age 2.
Olley recently published her book ‘Why Aren’t Normal People Normal? A Girl’s Survival Guide To Growing Up With Asperger Syndrome.‘ The book is a self-help guide and has a feel good factor.
Speaking exclusively to Autism Daily Newscast, Olley told us,
“It took a lot of guts to be so honest so publicly, but worth it if anyone is helped. I still haven’t had an official diagnosis in the Uk. I have had to seek help myself from doctors overseas as the adult female Asperger profile is poorly recognised in the Uk.”
Olley also states in her book:
‘There is a difference in the manner that Aspergers/High functioning Autism presents itself in girls and females, leaving many females behind as a result.’ She then goes on to say about the book, ‘It’s the guide I wish I could place in a time machine and send to my younger self, back when I didn’t know I was also growing up Aspergers.’
Olley continues by explaining to Autism Daily Newscast her reasons for writing the book.
“I had OCD, eating problems, anxiety, naivety and social issues all of my life. At 14 the doctor said I was lazy and at 16 I was told I was depressed. At 26 I went for diagnosis as I had two daughters diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. The doctor said I was very ASD on paper, yet said I didn’t look ASD as I wasn’t a train spotter and enjoyed acting. This wound me up so I wrote my book about the importance of diagnosis.”
The book is divided into small chapters which deal with the many different issues that young women face when growing up on the autistic spectrum. Issues raised include body image, vulnerability and embracing your individuality.
Olley also scripted, co-directed and acted in the film, ‘The Kindest Label’ which supports the book. This is being considered at the moment for the Sundance Film Festival.
‘Why Aren’t Normal People Normal? A Girl’s Survival Guide To Growing Up With Asperger Syndrome.’ Available to download from Amazon Kindle.
Paperback is available by contacting Olley Edwards at [email protected]