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Pretending to be Normal

Pretending to be Normal

Living with Asperger's Syndrome

Liane Holliday Willey
Foreword by Tony Attwood

Paperback: £12.99 / $19.95

1999, Royal, 176pp
ISBN: 978-1-85302-749-9, BIC 2: VFJD

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Pretending to be Normal tells the story of a woman who, after years of self-doubt and self-denial, learned to embrace her Asperger's syndrome traits with thanksgiving and joy. Chronicling her life from her earliest memories through her life as a university lecturer, writer, wife and mother, Liane Holliday Willey shares, with insight and warmth, the daily struggles and challenges that face many of those who have Asperger's Syndrome. Pretending to be Normal invites its readers to welcome the Asperger community with open acceptance, for it makes it clear that, more often than not, they are capable, viable, interesting and kind people who simply find unique ways to exhibit those qualities.

The last part of the book consists of a series of substantial appendices which provide helpful coping strategies and guidance, based on the author's own experience, for a range of situations. This positive and humane book will provide not only insight into the Asperger world which will prove invaluable for the professionals who work with people with Asperger's Syndrome, but also hope and encouragement for other people with Asperger's Syndrome, their families, and their friends.

Blog posts

In response to Suzanne Wright’s “Call for Action in DC,” from Author and Autism Adovcate Liane Holliday Willey, EdD.

14 November 2013

In response to Suzanne Wright’s Autism Speaks Call for Action Op-ed I know full well the emotional, physical and financial cost that lurks front and center, as well as behind the scenes of autism. My father, daughter, cousin’s children and cousin’s cousin’s children have some form of autism. So do I. Not one of us,...

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomatoe. So What? by Liane Holliday Willey

5 April 2013

Best-selling JKP author Liane Holliday Willey (Pretending to be Normal, Safety Skills for Asperger Women, and others) is credited with coining the term ‘Aspie’ to describe individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome. Here, Dr. Holliday Willey weighs in on the semantics debate within the autism community over the term. I am a psycholinguistics professor. I like to...

Join us at these upcoming National Autistic Society events featuring JKP authors!

12 September 2012

The Who Cares? conference will examine the unique challenges facing adults with autism as they age, and present best practice from experts in the field including JKP authors Dr Wendy Lawson, author of The Passionate Mind and Understanding and Working with the Spectrum of Autism, and Professor Digby Tantam, author of Autism Spectrum Disorders Through the Life...

“Itching to Laugh”: Jennifer Cook O’Toole recounts her wonderful evening at the GRASP awards gala in NYC (poison ivy and all)

16 May 2012

By Jennifer Cook O’Toole, author of the book, AsperKids: An Insider’s Guide to Loving, Understanding and Teaching Children with Asperger Syndrome. Visit Jennifer’s website at: You’ve probably heard the saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” That always seemed a bit flippant to me. Like someone at Hallmark needed a cute little “chin...

JKP authors Liane Holliday Willey and Jennifer Cook O’Toole win coveted GRASP award!

15 May 2012

Congratulations to Liane Holliday Willey (pictured left) and Jennifer Cook O’Toole who have both been honoured by GRASP (the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership) with the organisation’s 2012 Distinguished Spectrumite Medal. The award will be presented to them at a gala event today in New York City. Jessica Kingsley Publishers is proud to publish...

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