Competent, capable, different not disabled

I decided to write this book after reading in a newspaper about a 16-year old aspie girl who had been locked in a cupboard and raped by her special needs teacher over a period of two years. He had told her that she wanted it, and I suppose she must have believed him. I felt really shocked and wondered how that could have possibly happened -  particularly how anyone (aspie or otherwise) could have believed that and how it could have gone on for so long. However, later that day, I remembered a long-suppressed memory that I had completely forgotten about, to do with a bad experience I had had many years ago with a man. I thought: “Oh, I get it now, that’s how it happens...”. 


Because I had suppressed it and not dealt with it at the time, I felt re-traumatised all over again when I remembered the experience and I had to get help to deal with it. This meant I had to tell someone about it. After doing this and getting de-traumatised, I realised that a major problem is what we are taught is far too brief. We are taught the rule “obey your teacher” but no-one teaches us the rule “Do not obey your teacher if they want to lock you in a cupboard and have sex with you”.  Also, it is often the case that no-one explicitly teaches us what to do to protect ourselves from what we do not want to happen. 


Writing this book was one of the most courageous and difficult things that I have ever done.  It was extremely challenging to be so honest and open about these highly personal and sensitive topics, but I decided that the fact that lots of people are getting raped had to be more important than my embarrassment. And not being open and honest would be to completely miss the point.


Some of this book will not be easy reading. Some of the subject matter is scary and potentially upsetting, but ultimately, although reading the information might hurt a bit, NOT having the information will hurt a lot because the alternative is learning through experience in dangerous situations. Aspies need the facts, even about the bad stuff. Ultimately, nothing hurts so much as not having them. The truth is always the best way.


The book touches on dating, relationships and sex but, just as crucially, how to be physically and emotionally safe with men even if you have no intention of doing any of these things. The 16-year old who got locked in the cupboard with her special needs teacher was not in a dating situation, and nor was I when I had my own bad experience. All girls and women need this knowledge, because this is about safety.


This essential book will give important insights to professionals, but it is of the greatest importance that it reaches aspie women and girls of ages 13 and upwards, their parents and anyone who loves them.


 “The Aspie Girl’s Guide to being Safe with Men: The Unwritten Safety Rules No-one is Telling You”, is being published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers on 15 December 2012.

To contact, e-mail: debi@aspiedebi.com

The Aspie Girl’s Guide

to Being Safe with Men

The Unwritten Safety Rules

No-one is Telling You

Isle of Arran