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Odd Girl Out

An Autistic Woman in a Neurotypical World
Narrated by: Louiza Patikas
Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (91 ratings)

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Summary

What do you do when you wake up in your mid-40s and realize you've been living a lie your whole life? Do you tell? Or do you keep it to yourself?

Laura James found out that she was autistic as an adult, after she had forged a career for herself, married twice and raised four children. Odd Girl Out tracks the year of Laura's life after she receives a definitive diagnosis from her doctor, as she learns that 'different' doesn't need to mean 'less' and how there is a place for all of us, and it's never too late to find it.

Laura draws on her professional and personal experiences and reflects on her life in the light of her diagnosis, which for her explains some of her differences; why, as a child, she felt happier spinning in circles than standing still and why she has always found it difficult to work in places with a lot of ambient noise.

Although this is a personal story, the book has a wider focus, too, exploring reasons for the lower rate of diagnosed autism in women and a wide range of topics including eating disorders and autism, marriage and motherhood.

This memoir gives a timely account from a woman negotiating the autistic spectrum, from a poignant and personal perspective.

©2017 Laura James (P)2017 Macmillan Digital Audio
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating, even if you don't have autism

I don't have autism (or at least I don't think I do), but I do have people in my life who have Asperger's (aka high-functioning autism).

My friends and family with Asperger's are wonderful, intelligent, often successful at work and sometimes have lifelong partners, but most people, including me, simply do not comprehend some of their behaviours or challenges. And in many cases, I don't think they even do!

This personal account resonates so much. I kept finding myself thinking, 'Oh yes, that's just what XXXX does', and then Laura often goes on to explain the WHY behind the behaviour.

So it's not just a personal account. It's also informative, helpful and, yes, the cliched inspirational. The inspiration comes from the fact that Laura learns to accept and deal with the diagnosis, and that both she and those in her life learn that just because people with Asperger's do things differently, that doesn't mean it's wrong. In fact, it can be often enlighteningly right.

This has certainly helped me gain perspective on my friends and family with Asperger's, but I also feel that it would help women who may not have Asperger's, but who have always felt slightly on the fringes of life, not quite sure why they don't fit in. So in that regard, it's not just about Asperger's so much as society's need to crowbar women into preconceived ideas of how women should act.

Thank you so much for writing this, Laura!

6 people found this helpful

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Odd women of the world

This is a wonderfully written book, a biography that is tenderly told and informative. Autism, for girls and women, is a tough one, not because we are autistic but because we were missed. Laura captures that so perfectly. Relating to people is a difficulty for us but Laura’s life is very relatable. Even if you’re neuro-typical you can really get to know what life can be like for us atypical folk.
My ASD review: well written and easy flow, intense empathy can happen but with balanced (wonderful) feelings of shared experiences.
The narrator, Louiza Patikas, captures Laura’s voice so well, she is clear and has an ease with the emotions in the book. My ASD review: Clear musical voice, not shouty or too high/low pitched, not annoying or nasal. Lovely way of balancing performance and narration.

3 people found this helpful

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A must read. giving hope for autistic adults.

most compelling brilliant read. i am a 54 year old female undiagnosed & searching for help. I know at least now, after reading this that I'm not alone & that there can be help for me in the big wide world. Thank you so much Laura James for telling your story.

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

Much of this book seemed too trivial,
personal and filtered through a textbook account of what female Aspergers is supposed to be. The writing style is journalistic, which is unsurprising , but it all seemed very superficial to me.

4 people found this helpful

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Ladies, do you suspect you may be Asperger's?

Here is a mirror in which you will discover yourself. Well written and pleasantly read. Beautiful to listen to; it includes plenty factual information presented in a straight forward manner, although embedded on the story.

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mindblowing

great book lovely story with a fair amount of supporting research which is very helpful.

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A Blessing ....

As a 55yr old, who is just going through the process of being diagnosed, this book has been a real blessing and an insight. I have hidden all of this from the world (thinking I was crazy).
Laura has given me moments of laughter and ‘ah-has’, others of tears and even more of ‘I can do this’.
Thank You

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Great for women who are new to understanding ASD.

Very insightful, would recommend to anyone who is new to austism, in particular to being woman

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A voyage of self-discovery

I was diagnosed myself at 42 and found this book an excellent explanation of how it feels.

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It was okay

It s a bit mundane and laboured.
I no longer wish to seek a diagnosis as the author made it clear it’s not life altering.
This was helpful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dorina
  • 03-06-20

Brilliant performance of a captivating story

I absolutely loved Laura’s story. I am thankful to the way she allowed me to have a look inside her magnificent autistic brain. At times, I felt overwhelmed and sad. And at times, I felt happy and relaxed, as if I was there, with her, inside the story.
The narrator’s voice and performance are excellent. Looking forward to be read to again.