Jeanette Purkis spent her early life reacting violently against her feelings of embarrassment, anger and confusion about her ‘difference’ from other people. She was unaware until well into adulthood that everything she found difficult, including her lack of success in forming relationships, could be a result of having Asperger Syndrome.
Used to being a misfit from a very young age, Jeanette found that being a member of a group in which she had a label – Jeanette the Communist; Jeanette, Enemy of the State; Jeanette the convict; Jeanette the drug addict – gave her a sense of order she could depend on, particularly in prison, where each day had a set routine and the inmates accepted her because of her rebel attitude. Finally diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at the age of 20, the author only began to accept her diagnosis some years later when she felt for the first time that she might learn to cope with being herself.
Jeanette’s remarkable life and her journey towards finding a different kind of normal is compelling and inspiring reading for people with autism spectrum disorders, and those living or working with them.
This is a well written and remarkable account of the life story of Jeanette Purkis, who has Asperger Syndrome.The book gives lots of examples of Jeanette's survival mechanism - to play whatever role was expected of her . Her inability to communicate her feelings and the reasons for her actions led to frequent misunderstandings. Not knowing the `rules' of relationships also resulted in Jeanette being used by others. It was quite compelling reading, with Jeanette's life unfolding like a novel. Overall, I would recommend this book to professionals and parents or carers of those with Asperger Syndrome. Teenagers and adults with autistic spectrum disorders may also find it helpful to read Jeanette's journey towards finding a 'different kind of normal . -- NAPLIC
Subtitled 'Misadventures with Asperger Syndrome', with a Foreword written by Donna Williams. Jeanette's journey has been far from easy - she was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome whilst serving a prison sentence. Her story is harrowing at times but extremely informative for those wanting to understand more of the challenges that a person with Asperger Syndrome has to live with and manage. -- The Spectrum
Finding A Different Kind of Normal offers straightforward and extremely valuable introspective advice and hope for young people with ASD and their families, this advice is oftentimes best heard from individuals who live everyday with autism spectrum disorders. The hope is something we all can learn from. -- Dennis Debbaudt's Autism Risk and Safety Newsletter
This autobiography demonstrates the impact of undiagnosed Asperger Syndrome on the author's childhood, adolescence and early adult life. Jeanette Purkis responds to a tortuous awareness of her difference by endeavouring to mould herself into shapes that others will find acceptable. With the lack of awareness of social rules and inability to read other's facial expressions that is characteristic of autism spectrum disorders, her quest is further complicated when she looks to addicts, criminals and militant political activists as role models. -- HCPJ Magazine
There are so few books written by people with Asperger's that I would rate Finding a different kind of normal essential reading in terms of the insights it offers into the condition - and ultimately the uplift and inspiration it gives as we see Jeanette conquer her difficulties, find self-acceptance and get the support she needs. I would commend it to those working in the mental health services and in prisons and to those with an interest in Asperger's syndrome, self- harming behaviours and addictions. -- HCPJ Magazine
I Think that this is a bookt that all sufferers of Autism or Aspergers syndrome should try to read.. I Woiuld like to say thank you to Jeanette for sharing her story. -- BFKBooks - The Bookfriends Kingdom blog
This powerful autobiography is wrtiten without embellishment to provide an open and frank look at the author's life. Her loneliness, confusion and vulnerability whilst growing up are apparent as, having not fitted in from a young age, she adopts a series of different indentities from Christian to Communist, criminal and drug addict before being diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and then finally coming to terms with who she is. -- Youthmind
1. Being in the world but not of it. 2. Searching for the rules. 3. Learning which way is left. 4. Acting, independently. 5. Becoming the enemy. 6. Losing friends and gaining contacts. 7. Watching the end of the world. 8. Dying and surviving. 9. Educating the mad. 10. Forgetting the script.