• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”
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About Jeannie

Jeannie Davide-Rivera (Aspie Writer) is the author of the award-winning book, Twirling Naked in the Streets and No One Noticed; Growing up With Undiagnosed Autism, and Answers.com’s  Autism Expert Category Writer.

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I am an author, student, and stay-at-home mother of four boys, stumbling through life with a form of Autism called Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but am living in South Carolina with my husband of 17 years, our four sons, three of which are on the autism spectrum.

My oldest son Aspie Teen (15, ASD), is attending a virtual high school from home.  The middle boy, Little Man (Asperger’s), is an extremely literal-minded 10-year-old live wire, who can routinely be found climbing up any tree, or atop any roof that can be found.  Tantrum Tot (3 years) has recently been diagnosed with PDD-NOS and Receptive Expressive Speech Delay. My youngest edition is (so far) a very giggly 7-month-old.

As I write this Tantrum Tot is pulling my hands off the keyboard, which is after I have retrieved the mouse because that he threw down the air conditioning vent!  Life is massively chaotic in our home and never quiet, which hugely interferes with my writing and often leaves me in a serious state of sensory overload.

I am the author of, Twirling Naked in the Streets–and No-one Noticed, which is a memoir of sorts about my life growing up with undiagnosed autism. A glimpse of the pain and loneliness of living 38 years with undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome, and the myriad of wrong diagnosis’ and medication madness that ensued. Readers follow me along the path to discovery of my “condition” and my ongoing struggle to understand and accept myself.

Talk with Jeannie on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+

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Jeannie Davide-Rivera is an award-winning author (Twirling Naked in the Streets and No One Noticed; Growing Up With Undiagnosed Autism), the autism category expert writer for answers.com, a writer for Autism Parenting Magazine, The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, and a professional blogger with Asperger’s Syndrome. Growing up with undiagnosed autism, and now raising three ASD children gives her a unique inside look at the world of those living with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Jeannie lives in South Carolina with her husband and four sons.

 2013 International Reader’s Favorite Book Award Winner



  1. Dear Jeannie,

    I’m Myriam Leggieri and I’m a PhD student in computer science
    (http://www.insight-centre.org/users/myriam-leggieri) with a passion for
    social issues. Since social work doesn’t pay much, I’m trying to use my
    programming skills to help society nonetheless, especially those people
    more in need. I volunteer for an autism-related charity in my city,
    Galway, Ireland (Galway Autism Partnership) and that’s where the idea of
    a mobile app to support independent living for adult with autism raised.

    I’m currently developing a mobile app called “My Ambrosia”
    (my-ambrosia.com) that is a weekly meal recommender (for healthy diet
    style), planner (to take the fuss out of organizing) and grocery
    shopping support (to never waste or run out of food items).

    The idea was accepted to the second stage (out of three) of the Student
    Entrepreneur Awards competition, so that I’m now in the process of
    writing a Business Plan.

    In particular, I’m running a Market Research and I’d love to get
    feedback on the concept behind my app, from adults with autism. I’m a little struggling with this
    because all the charities I contacted deal with children and parents of
    children with autism, rather than with adults.

    Could you kindly help me out by simply filling the questionnaire at
    http://my-ambrosia.com/?q=survey , please? Also it
    would be super-awesome if you could spread the word and ask your friends to fill the questionnaire.

    I read that you usually eat the same thing for long time frames. I wonder, how would you like an app to recommend the best meal for you, taking into consideration your own preferences? Maybe the recommender could stick to only a small set of food items that you like in this specific time period. It would suggest the best combination of those food items which may not be the healthiest ever but still as healthy as you can get, while satisfying your current wishes.

    Thanks a million in advance! and keep up the great work 😉

    Best regards,
    Myriam Leggieri

  2. Your story is amazing! Thank you for taking the time to write it. I have 30 pages left and I don’t want it to end. You have put into words what many people with Autism have not been able to do. You have a gift of words. I can’t stop telling people about your story and how it’s changed how I work with my students and wonder what they are thinking even if they can’t tell me!

  3. Thanks. I will keep looking. What kind of doctor can diagnose? (Does anyone know?) The therapists in this town have either no idea or have to look it up in the DSM IV book. Haha I just seem to have more knowledge than most people (authorities, docs, etc) in my life right now. Bah…

  4. Thank you so much for writing this book, Twirling Naked in the Streets–and No-one Noticed. By chance, in my continuing search for info on Aspergers, I happened upon this and OMG, it’s just like me. I see this in my babies. Holy crap, I had heard about Asperger’s, but never knew much about it. I too, thought, “what is ‘wrong’ with me?” Yet I accepted my different behavior as eccentricity. I joked about it as a ‘natural tweeker’ and a motormouth, autodidact, addicted to learning, OCD, you-name-it. I’ve been called bipolar. Some idiots even asked me if I “heard voices.” No disrespect to schizophrenics, as iI know a couple, but I am not. One question, where do I go to get a diagnosis? I have searched the internet but I don’t get it. I am attempt ing to hopefully avoid the apparent chaos that ensues with misdiagnosis…yet is this the only route? Even if I am sure I figured it out on my own (which is myMO) do iI still have to let every moronic shrink take their stab at a ‘maybe it’s this’? This question is actually for anyone who will read this. I have had problems with the law that scared the hell out of me and were all backwards. The cops think I really am a tweeker, or crazy. Anyone who knows me, knows I am an awesome mama and person, I just wig out under stress. Ha I could handle someone having a seizure or something, but get me in front of a critical person, like a divorce judge or police officer, and I twirl my hair, and stuttor. Most recently, I got accused of being a tweeker by CPS. They won’t stop it. They took my son, who is acting like me, and are saying he is a drug baby or something. I swear, I am hypersensitive to caffeine and aspirin, let alone meth. I didn’t know why I freaked out until this summer when I figured it might be hyperlexia/asperger’s. But everyone else seems to be so ignorant on the subject. With, I have never been a druggie. So if any of anyone knows who can help me in southern Cali, please let me know? I even emailed Tony Attwood. Anyone I find who might be able to help. I just need paperwork, because authorities all think I am defiant when I am just confused at the time. I mean, a lot of things are starting to men sense to me, I just have to explain it all to the moronic world, and even my words come out backwards. Or I guess, too literal? Yeah.

    • I am glad that you enjoyed it Melissa. I know exactly what you mean about your words coming out backwards! I wish I knew of more resources in your area, but I live in SC–even here there are few resources or avenues for diagnosis for adults. It is sadly really.

      But, if you know that this is the issue, don’t let it go. Talk to everyone who will listen, and eventually someone will! I just hope it doesn’t take too long to find that person. Keep your head up!

  5. Jeannie:
    I just finished your book and I had to let you know how inspiring it was for me. I live in Mount Pleasant, SC and am a single mother of 11 year old twin boys- one of which has been diagnosed with high functioning Aspergers and Dysgraphia. His recent diagnosis has given him the opportunity to attend a private school that specializes in children with all forms of Autism. My mom is a teacher there and I will be sharing your book with her as well as all the dedicated teachers she works with. Many thanks and congratulations for writing such an inspirational and honest book!

    • Thank you so much Leigh, I appreciate your sharing my book especially with the teachers! I wish they had some special schools or programs here in Florence, but there is nothing at all. Aspie Teen, who is starting HS this year, will be attending K12 online because there is nothing here that can help him.

  6. Hello Jeannie,
    I just finished your book. I’m a 4th grade teacher with 35 years of experience. Thank you for writing to all of us who care so much about our students and need to know so much more about those special ones who come into our care. I really have learned a lot from your shared experience. Thank you again.

    • Thank you Jan for taking the time to read my story! So many do not wish to learn more than they already think they know, it is awesome to see teachers, parents, and doctors read accounts from those of us who live on the spectrum!

  7. Pingback: Blogging a Book: Well Done, Aspie Writer! | Cathy C. Hall

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