Odd Girl Out: An Autistic Woman in a Neurotypical World by Laura James
What do you do when you wake up in your mid-forties 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. This book 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.
Odd Girl Out gives a timely account from a woman negotiating the autistic spectrum, from a poignant and personal perspective.