Celebrate Female ASD

Welcome to the joint website of authors and Female AS advocates:

~ Shana Nichols, Rudy Simone, and Liane Holliday Willey ~

Our mission is to support, encourage and inspire women and girls on the autism spectrum through community awareness programs, publications, presentations and community networking.

"Exhaling Beauty" is the first event hosted by Celebrate Female ASD. An evening of inspiration, art, and celebration, Exhaling Beauty aims to share and showcase the talents, experiences, and spirit of the female ASD community.


In 2010, JKP authors Shana Nichols, Rudy Simone, and Liane Holliday Willey decided to host a special evening for females on the autism spectrum. The event, titled  Exhaling Beauty: an Evening Celebrating Females on the Autism Spectrum was for meeting and greeting, relaxing and refreshing, and most importantly, celebrating the loveliness of life, despite the tangled wires too many of the participants have to struggle through.


PJ writes: I love this site and what it stands for! The world needs to know that we exist and that the community that supports us is thriving. This in spite of some pretty intimidating social pressures faced by anyone who is different. For some reason, we are targets of those who would otherwise ignore us except when we challenge their world view by simply existing. Cruel comments in social media and unenlightened news organizations have caused great harm to innocents just trying to survive. Google has even contributed to this abuse by associating our names with despicable content whose only purpose is to ridicule us. Google is not the innocent search engine that does no evil. If you think this is not true, read this post. But we are not deterred from our mission to provide a forum for our members and to support all the world's females on the autism spectrum. We are not going away!



~Exhaling Beauty: an Evening Celebrating Females on the Autism Spectrum~


Sept 18, 2010 6-10pm


The Hotel Monaco, 501 Geary Street, San Francisco, California 94102  ph: 415 292-01


Tickets are $45-55 and valet parking will be available at reduced rates


The evening will consist of three individual presentations by Liane, Shana and Rudy, with book signing to follow. Meet and greet the authors and other attendees while sipping wine and looking at great Aspie-created art


Shana Nichols presents: Welcome to your future girls! Building confidence and self-esteem from a diagnosis in girlhood through adolescence

Rudy Simone presents: Loving the Aspergirl life: How to navigate the challenges of adulthood and have the fulfilling, inspired life you were meant to

Liane Holliday Willey presents: Life Shared with ASD: A Journey of Challenges, Self-Acceptance, Forgiveness & Healing.

The theme of our evening is taken from this painting by Kim Miller, "Exhaling Beauty". Kim is the subject and illustrator of the book "The Girl Who Spoke with Pictures: Autism Through Art" (JKP September 2008)  by her mother Eileen Miller. Kim is the featured artist of the evening and she and Eileen will be in attendance with books and more original art.
image 'Exhaling Beauty' by Kim Miller.

UPDATE: The event was an outstanding success. The positive energy of the group was tangible. Many people who attended the event shared amazing stories. One family recounted how they decided to leave the Baltimore rea where they were living and relocate to Sparta, Michigan near Kirkshire Farm, an equine boarding and training facility, which is owned by Lianne Willey. The move could have been a traumatic experience for their daughter who was diagnosed with ASD at three years old. She was seven at the time of the move. Fortunately they were able to find these excellent Baltimore movers who made the planning and execution of the move a real breeze. The Von Paris Moving & Storage team worked with the family, helping Alison pack up her bedroom, labeling each of the boxes with colorful stickers to identify her stuff and then unpacking all the boxes in Alison's new bedroom at the end of the move. They even gave Alison a a Baltimore Orioles baseball cap to wear on the trip north to Michigan. (Von Paris Moving is the official movers of the Baltimore Orioles and the Ravens). Somehow our daughter felt that was comforting to know.

Coming Events:

Monday, March 21, 2011
New Mystic, CT
5th annual Grace Curtis "Stand Up & Be Counted" Day Conference
“Celebrating Females on the Autism Spectrum”


Who We Are


Liane Holliday Willey, EdD

Liane Holliday Willey, Ed.D. is an inspirational speaker who helps her audience truly understand the importance of accepting people with differences. All her life, Liane knew she was different, but only after one of her family members was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome did Liane realize the reason behind her own differences; she too was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Liane rose to the challenge of life as it comes to you – as she puts it – through the broken glass of autism to a place where she is happy, healthy and well balanced. Today Liane spends much of her time working with horses at the equestrian facility she owns. Dr. Willey has authored several internationally bestselling books including Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger Syndrome (foreword by Tony Attwood), Asperger Syndrome in Adolescence: Living with the ups, the Downs, and Things in Between, and Asperger Syndrome in the Family: Redefining Normal.

She is currently working on a book for women on the spectrum. Liane has contributed to many additional books and journals, and is currently the senior editor for Autism Spectrum Quarterly. In addition to her numerous interviews on national and international television and radio, Liane’s life story was an inspiration for the film Normal Folk, currently in production and the feature film, Adam, as well as the focus of the video Asperger Syndrome: Crossing the Bridge with Dr. Tony Attwood. Liane has heard it said that she is unusual for one with Asperger Syndrome and she is dedicated to making sure her successes are not the exception to the rule for those with an ASD, but rather, the norm. Liane is the founder of ASPIE, a not-for-profit organization providing scholarships and educational materials for families and individuals affected by autism. Liane is the founder of ASPIE, a not-for-profit organization providing scholarships and educational materials for families and individuals affected by autism.



Shana Nichols, PhD

Shana Nichols, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and researcher and has worked in the field of autism spectrum disorders and child development for over fifteen years. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada and completed her internship and post-doctoral training at JFK Partners Center for Autism in Denver, Colorado. She currently specializes in adolescence and growing up, dual diagnosis and mental health issues, and the experiences of girls and women with autism spectrum disorders. Originally from Ontario, Canada, she now lives on Long Island, NY and is Clinical Director of ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development. She is the author of Girls Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum: What Parents Should Know about the Pre-teen and Teenage Years (Jessica Kingsley, 2008), and she is currently working on the follow-up book for teen girls on the spectrum.

She was a recipient of the Canadian Psychological Association Certificate of Academic Excellence in 2005 Award for her Ph.D. thesis work, and has received grant support for her work in sexuality, puberty, healthy living, and autism spectrum disorders from the Organization for Autism Research, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and the Jack Fanning Memorial Foundation. When not writing, speaking at conferences, and working with clients and families, Shana pursues her other interests including galloping through the woods on horseback, photography, writing children’s fiction, and trying to read as many books as she can.


Rudy Simone

Rudy Simone is a writer and Asperger Syndrome educator and self-advocate who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her website supplies information and support to individuals and AS groups throughout the world. Rudy has begun to establish herself through her workshops, websites, and writings as a force for change in the world of Aspergers Awareness. She is the author of Asperger’s on the Job: Must-Have Advice for People with Asperger’s or High-Functioning Autism, and their Employers, Educators, and Advocates with a foreword by Temple Grandin (Future Horizons 2010) and Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger’s Syndrome Foreword by Liane Holliday Willey (Jessica Kingsley 2010) as well as 22 Things a Woman Must Know if She Loves a Man with Asperger Syndrome (Jessica Kingsley 2009). She also wrote “My Life with Puddleglum,” an essay published in the book Voices of Autism (LaChance NY 2008). Rudy will be speaking at Autism conferences this year, both as a solo speaker and with a panel of Female Asperger’s Experts, comprised of herself and Drs. Shana Nichols and Liane Holliday Willey. Prior to making Asperger Education and Awareness her personal calling, Rudy was a Senior editor at Moka, and staff writer for TAPS Paramagazine, owned by the creators of Sci-fi Channel’s successful "Ghost Hunters" series. She is a novelist, screenwriter and is also a sought-after Jazz singer, performing at venues and events in California.