I wrote this book to try and help other people with Asperger Syndrome, and their families. I hope that my experiences and the way I have dealt with situations will guide others so that they can further understand themselves, feel less alone, and hopefully go about getting the help they need – whether that’s a diagnosis, or just ways to cope as a person on the spectrum, in a world full of people who see things differently.
“WillowHope, like many people on the autism spectrum, is a visual thinker. She can peek back to her earliest memories and bring them to life with detail and elaboration as fresh and vivid as a sharply taken photograph. WillowHope’s story is like her name, filled with hope. She expresses her memories with articulate thoughts that bring the reader into the world of Asperger syndrome and autism.” – from the foreword by Liane Holliday Willey
"It's absolutely outstanding and has completely changed my perspectives on a number of things." - reader review
"The biographical material is engrossing and well-written; your story is told with even-handedness and without the bitterness that so often crops up when writers present the struggles and difficulties they have faced. The structure of the advice sections, and the timeline material, is innovative and quite effective." -reader review
I wanted to write this book in a style which would be the most helpful for everyone, whether you’re on the spectrum or are a parent/family member/friend (etc.) of someone who is. After much debate (with myself) I opted to write it in two halves, which run parallel to each other. The first half is my story and how I’ve navigated my way through life. The second half is all advice based; things which I found to be helpful (or unhelpful) and things which, looking back, I feel would have been useful to my situation (and hopefully other people’s situations as well).
The reason I chose to run them parallel to each other is so that you can relate my story directly to the advice sections, which are placed after each chapter. I didn’t want to break the tone and tense of my story, but I didn’t want to miss out vital information either.
I hope that you find this format to be useful; I have also included some parts at the end which didn’t have a place anywhere else in the book, but are definitely worth a read.
I called the book ‘The Other Side’ because, for the vast majority of my life, I had to struggle through as a confused, undiagnosed Aspie – and with the clarity of the diagnosis, I feel able to look back through everything that has happened (from the other side) and figure out why things went the way they did, and hopefully from that, give useful insight and advice which I hope will be valuable to you, the reader.
I’ve had parts of this book written for years – it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m so excited that it’s finally happened.
It took a long time for me to feel okay enough to look back over all the negatives and write about them in a non-angry way, so that they would actually be of use to people. The very first few chapters have been re-written several times, each time becoming less filled with bitterness, until this point where I can happily say that I don’t resent anything that’s happened, anymore, and am sure that it has only resulted in my being a stronger person.
I felt that if my experiences throughout life, both before and after a diagnosis, are going to help people if they read about it, then I should definitely write about it!
Publish Date: 2nd April 2014 (Autism Awareness Day)
Category: Self Help | Asperger Syndrome | Autobiography
Foreword: Liane Holliday Willey