BPW Franklin hosts Asperger speaker

Jen Birch recently spoke at BPW Franklin on the topic of Asperger’s. Jen had struggled with anxiety, depression and confusion during her thirties. Her inability to read facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and whether people were joking or not, meant that she often made incorrect judgement calls.

In her late thirties, she decided to take a Bachelor of Arts degree. Near the end of her B.A., Jen attended a seminar where Dr. Angela Arnold (Department of Psychology) described a particular developmental disorder which affects one in every 300 people world-wide, and listed its characteristics. Shock waves hit Jen when she realised the description fitted her, a lifetime of inadequacy, guilt, confusion and fear was lifted from Jen. It was a light bulb moment.

BPW Franklin membership was very appreciative of Jen’s openness and bravery in speaking so candidly about the challenges of Asperger’s Syndrome. Jen does voluntary work in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders and for the first time in her life, having Asperger Syndrome was a benefit because her “Insider Knowledge” meant she can now be an advisor and consultant on the condition. Her book “Congratulations! It’s Asperger Syndrome”, is available to purchase by emailing jenbirch@actrix.gen.nz

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