A woman called her Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis in 2011 the “greatest gift” in an upcoming memoir out in September, according to the New York Post Wednesday.
Jennifer O’Toole, 42, an autism advocate and author of the upcoming book “Autism in Heels: The Untold Story of a Female Life on the Spectrum” out Sept. 25, called her Asperger’s diagnosis a sense of relief to understand challenges she suffered from most of her life, the New York Post reported. After her diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, part of the autism spectrum, at age 35 she began understanding self-acceptance. She later became a distinguished author of the Asperkid’s series, books related to helping children with Asperger’s, according to her author page.
O’Toole explained difficulties she endured as an extremely intelligent child, despite suffering due to not yet being diagnosed with Asperger’s. She spent her childhood dealing with sensory issues, obsessions with certain facts, and difficulty understanding certain social cues that resulted in brutal bullying from her peers. (RELATED: Fired Google Engineer Says It’s ‘Likely’ He Is On The Autism Spectrum)
“I announced to my mother at a very young age that letters and numbers had colors, genders, and personalities,” O’Toole told the New York Post. O’Toole was later diagnosed with synesthesia, a condition that makes the five senses blend together, sometimes a commonality with autism.
The author then spent her college years at Brown University learning from her mistakes such as watching movies to better fit in socially with her peers. However, this was met with difficulty due to enduring a physically and verbally abusive relationship and later suffering from anorexia. She was then falsely diagnosed with bipolar disorder by a doctor while in the hospital. Her children were later diagnosed with Asperger’s, leading to her diagnosis at age 35.
O’Toole’s currently sits on the Autism Society of America’s Panel of People on the Spectrum, according to her personal website.
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