A Little Less Broken: How an Autism Diagnosis Finally Made Me Whole

A Little Less Broken: How an Autism Diagnosis Finally Made Me Whole

by Marian Schembari

Narrated by Not Yet Available


A Little Less Broken: How an Autism Diagnosis Finally Made Me Whole

A Little Less Broken: How an Autism Diagnosis Finally Made Me Whole

by Marian Schembari

Narrated by Not Yet Available


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One woman's decades-long journey to a diagnosis of autism, and the barriers that keep too many neurodivergent people from knowing their true selves

Marian Schembari was thirty-four years old when she learned she was autistic. By then, she'd spent decades hiding her tics and shutting down in public, wondering why she couldn't just act like everyone else. Therapists told her she had Tourette's syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sensory processing disorder, social anxiety, and recurrent depression. They prescribed breathing techniques and gratitude journaling. Nothing helped.

It wasn't until years later that she finally learned the truth: she wasn't weird or deficient or moody or sensitive or broken. She was autistic.

Today, more people than ever are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Testing improvements have made it easier to identify neurodivergence, especially among women and girls who spent decades dismissed by everyone from parents to doctors, and misled by gender-biased research. A diagnosis can end the cycle of shame and invisibility, but only if it can be found.

In this deeply personal and researched memoir, Schembari's journey takes her from the mountains of New Zealand to the tech offices of San Francisco, from her first love to her first child, all with unflinching honesty and good humor.

A Little Less Broken breaks down the barriers that leave women in the dark about their own bodies, and reveals what it truly means to embrace our differences.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Astutely observed, incandescently written, and unexpectedly hilarious, A Little Less Broken is a riveting account of the costs of masking your authentic autistic self, as well as a tribute to the life-changing power of finding a diagnosis and a community."
- Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

"A Little Less Broken provides great insights for autistic women. It will help them understand meltdowns, masking, and the stressful intense world of sensory oversensitivity."
- Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism

“I feel weepy with gratitude for this book. Marian writes with such humor, insight, and immediacy that it's an absolute page turner. This book is a gift to humanity — no exaggeration — and should be required reading for all. A Little Less Broken will make the world a better, more compassionate place."
- Joanna Goddard, Cup of Jo

"Everyone's autism is different, but Marian writes with frank honesty that allows us to see ourselves and our divergent experiences in hers. It's a necessary exploration of the personal impact of living at a pivotal moment in the history of autism, when diagnosis is catching up with all of us who grew up before the science included us."
Amelia Nagoski, co-author of Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

"Marian Schembari writes with such extraordinary warmth and vulnerability it's as if she's in the room with you. Her sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious story reveals important lessons about difference, compassion and survival. A magnificent read."
- Sarah Hendrickx, author of Women and Girls on the Autism Spectrum

"A Little Less Broken is a celebration of neurodiversity—a memoir that reveals the unvarnished reality of what it’s like to navigate life without a diagnosis. There is pain here and beauty, too. Wherever you land on on the spectrum, you will undoubtedly identify with Marian Schembari’s search to find a home in her self."
- Susannah Cahalan, author of The Great Pretender and Brain on Fire

“A sharp, unputdownable story that speaks to the extraordinary healing power that happens when you finally understand who you are.”
- Marie Forleo, New York Times bestselling author of Everything is Figureoutable

“Written with candor and no small amount of wit, A Little Less Broken is a captivating story of self-discovery. Marian writes about autism with remarkable insight, giving readers a jolt of the sparkling diversity all around us.”
- Meredith May, author of The Honey Bus

Product Details

BN ID: 2940160444840
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 09/24/2024
Edition description: Unabridged
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