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What to Say Next: Successful Communication in Work, Life, and Love—with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Using her personal experience living as a professional woman with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sarah Nannery, together with her husband, Larry, offers this timely communication guide for anyone on the Autism spectrum looking to successfully navigate work, life, and love. When Sarah Nannery got her first job at a small nonprofit, she thought she knew exactly what it would take Using her personal experience living as a professional woman with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sarah Nannery, together with her husband, Larry, offers this timely communication guide for anyone on the Autism spectrum looking to successfully navigate work, life, and love. When Sarah Nannery got her first job at a small nonprofit, she thought she knew exactly what it would take to advance. But soon she realized that even with hard work and conscientiousness, she was missing key meanings and messages embedded in her colleagues’ everyday requests, feedback, and praise. She had long realized her brain operated differently than others, but now she knew for sure: she had Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). With help from her neurotypical partner—now husband—Larry, mostly in frantic IM chats, Sarah rose to Director of Development at one of the world’s largest nonprofits. Together they have tackled challenges in how Sarah navigates personal and professional relationships, how they navigate marriage and parenthood, all of which are differently challenging for someone with ASD. But she wonders, at times, how life would be different if she’d had to figure it all out herself. So, in What to Say Next, she offers advice, empathy, and straightforward strategies from her own tool-kit—not only for others who see the world differently, but for their families, partners and colleagues. In What to Say Next, Sarah breaks down everyday situations—the chat in the break room, the last-minute meeting, the unexpected run-in—in granular detail, explaining not only how to understand the goals of others, but also how to frame your own. Larry adds his thoughts from a neurotypical perspective, sharing what was going on in his brain and how he learned to listen and enlighten, while supporting and maintaining Sarah’s voice. At a time when more and more people are being diagnosed with ASD—especially women and girls—this book tells important truths about what it takes to make it in a neurotypical world, and still be true to yourself.


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Using her personal experience living as a professional woman with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sarah Nannery, together with her husband, Larry, offers this timely communication guide for anyone on the Autism spectrum looking to successfully navigate work, life, and love. When Sarah Nannery got her first job at a small nonprofit, she thought she knew exactly what it would take Using her personal experience living as a professional woman with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sarah Nannery, together with her husband, Larry, offers this timely communication guide for anyone on the Autism spectrum looking to successfully navigate work, life, and love. When Sarah Nannery got her first job at a small nonprofit, she thought she knew exactly what it would take to advance. But soon she realized that even with hard work and conscientiousness, she was missing key meanings and messages embedded in her colleagues’ everyday requests, feedback, and praise. She had long realized her brain operated differently than others, but now she knew for sure: she had Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). With help from her neurotypical partner—now husband—Larry, mostly in frantic IM chats, Sarah rose to Director of Development at one of the world’s largest nonprofits. Together they have tackled challenges in how Sarah navigates personal and professional relationships, how they navigate marriage and parenthood, all of which are differently challenging for someone with ASD. But she wonders, at times, how life would be different if she’d had to figure it all out herself. So, in What to Say Next, she offers advice, empathy, and straightforward strategies from her own tool-kit—not only for others who see the world differently, but for their families, partners and colleagues. In What to Say Next, Sarah breaks down everyday situations—the chat in the break room, the last-minute meeting, the unexpected run-in—in granular detail, explaining not only how to understand the goals of others, but also how to frame your own. Larry adds his thoughts from a neurotypical perspective, sharing what was going on in his brain and how he learned to listen and enlighten, while supporting and maintaining Sarah’s voice. At a time when more and more people are being diagnosed with ASD—especially women and girls—this book tells important truths about what it takes to make it in a neurotypical world, and still be true to yourself.

43 review for What to Say Next: Successful Communication in Work, Life, and Love—with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Arp

    I highly, highly recommend this book if you fall on the spectrum, if you love someone on the spectrum, work with someone on the spectrum, or really if you want a better understanding of how others may think in and feel that are different than you. The book is written by a wife/husband team and mostly deals with communication and relationships between someone on the spectrum and someone who may be considered not part of the spectrum. Mostly the book deals with adult topics, such as work environmen I highly, highly recommend this book if you fall on the spectrum, if you love someone on the spectrum, work with someone on the spectrum, or really if you want a better understanding of how others may think in and feel that are different than you. The book is written by a wife/husband team and mostly deals with communication and relationships between someone on the spectrum and someone who may be considered not part of the spectrum. Mostly the book deals with adult topics, such as work environments, coupling and the move into parenthood. I would suggest this book to late high school/college age students on the spectrum to help them start to think of ways they can successfully communicate without their iep/504 to back them up. To start building the tools early. I would recommend this book to the parents of kids on the spectrum as young as middle school, so you would have ideas on things to suggest and understand in certain circumstances.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

    This is a really good book. Clear, logical, and helpful. I think the different exchanges between the husband and wife are so cute. They remind me of how my neurotypical hubby helps me with things. I am going to suggest this to my book club as our next possible selection when it's my turn to host. This is a really good book. Clear, logical, and helpful. I think the different exchanges between the husband and wife are so cute. They remind me of how my neurotypical hubby helps me with things. I am going to suggest this to my book club as our next possible selection when it's my turn to host.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marina Klimova

    I'm starting to doubt that I'm neurotypical after reading this book. I could relate so much to Sarah and her way of seeing the world. She explained so many of the things I've struggled with understanding about myself and why I struggled with those things such as my inability to have a good conversation with a stranger (my always feeling I'm a few steps behind in the conversation), my social awkwardness, my difficulty with making decisions, proceeding from vague directions or subjective decision- I'm starting to doubt that I'm neurotypical after reading this book. I could relate so much to Sarah and her way of seeing the world. She explained so many of the things I've struggled with understanding about myself and why I struggled with those things such as my inability to have a good conversation with a stranger (my always feeling I'm a few steps behind in the conversation), my social awkwardness, my difficulty with making decisions, proceeding from vague directions or subjective decision-making, and just understanding others. Growing up with a twin has helped me blend in a because I always followed my twin sister's lead but now that I'm an adult I've had to face the reasons for why it was so hard for me. Some of the things explained in this book were things I've already figured out and it felt like I was reading a summary of the lessons I've learned but some things were new. All of the stuff about work politics was interesting. I'm definitely going to have to keep that in mind for my future.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erin Nigh

    This book was a lot more detailed and technical than I was expecting, which didn’t really work for me in a practical way because it felt very overwhelming. But I can see it being a great resource for someone who does benefit from going through different scenarios with a close analytical lens. At the very least, it was helpful for me to read a book about what daily life and interactions can be like for a person who is on the Autism spectrum. The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via N This book was a lot more detailed and technical than I was expecting, which didn’t really work for me in a practical way because it felt very overwhelming. But I can see it being a great resource for someone who does benefit from going through different scenarios with a close analytical lens. At the very least, it was helpful for me to read a book about what daily life and interactions can be like for a person who is on the Autism spectrum. The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ina

    If you've ever needed a textbook for understanding what is happening between the lines - this book is for that. I wish I had this before I've started out in the corporate world. Some awkward silences where I dig my brain for something to say to successfully participate in casual conversation could have been avoided. It doesn't matter if you have ASD brain or not. If you've ever needed a textbook for understanding what is happening between the lines - this book is for that. I wish I had this before I've started out in the corporate world. Some awkward silences where I dig my brain for something to say to successfully participate in casual conversation could have been avoided. It doesn't matter if you have ASD brain or not.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    It is exactly what it says it is, so there's that. Did not go as far as I expected/hoped on relationship logistics, but maybe that can be their next book? (Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.) It is exactly what it says it is, so there's that. Did not go as far as I expected/hoped on relationship logistics, but maybe that can be their next book? (Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Insightful. Both NTs and those with ASD will find this book applicable to work, marriage, and parenthood.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christina C.

    This book offers clear, actionable steps for navigating a variety of everyday scenarios. It's like a how-to manual for those on the spectrum, and for those who interact with them. This book offers clear, actionable steps for navigating a variety of everyday scenarios. It's like a how-to manual for those on the spectrum, and for those who interact with them.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dr G

    very useful and interesting.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chandler McGovern

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elle Barrett

  14. 5 out of 5

    TEELOCK Mithilesh

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

  16. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alessandra

  18. 5 out of 5

    Towandajane

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  20. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bettye Short

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kye Cantey

  23. 4 out of 5

    V Dixon

  24. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  25. 5 out of 5

    Leah

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  27. 4 out of 5

    James

  28. 5 out of 5

    amy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ahmed

  30. 5 out of 5

    Charissa Rate

  31. 4 out of 5

    Cody

  32. 5 out of 5

    Steff

  33. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Maki

  34. 4 out of 5

    Britt

  35. 5 out of 5

    Tess Marie

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    Jen Schlott

  37. 4 out of 5

    David

  38. 5 out of 5

    Raymond Stone

  39. 5 out of 5

    Judi

  40. 4 out of 5

    Lori Piscicelli

  41. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  42. 5 out of 5

    Mae

  43. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Moore

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