By Debra Hosseini
“One thing I’ve learned is that no matter how many times you tell someone you have Asperger’s, they won’t get it unless they have it themselves or are the rare person who speaks it as a second language.” Rudy Simone
I first became aware of the author, singer, songwriter Rudy Simone when the artist Rosemary Stephens told me that Rudy’s book Aspergirls: Empowering Girls with Asperger’s Syndrome changed her life.
I looked up Rudy Simone on the internet and discovered that she had a recently-released solo album Gothic Blues which included the mysterious and emotive track “Take Me Back Home.”
This video stars fifteen of Rudy’s facebook friends from all over the world. All of them are on the autism spectrum. The song was inspired by Cab Calloway’s Minnie the Moocher, the Doors’ People are Strange, and David Bowie.
I was impressed. Often people on the spectrum say they feel as if they are from another planet. I feel Rudy captures that feeling in her music and videos.
Besides Aspergirls, Rudy has authored three other books on Aspergers syndrome and she even has written a fantasy book – Orsath, showing yet again that people on the autism spectrum can develop great bodies of work due to their intense ability to concentrate and lack of social distractions.
Rudy, who has resided in big cities and countries all over the world, now calls home a quiet town in New York off the shore of Lake Eerie. She prefers “unpretentious places,” and rarely leaves her home as she has “floated around” so much in her life.
As a child, undiagnosed, she was gifted teaching herself how to read. She suffered from health and emotional difficulties. She’s close to one of her four siblings who she thinks is an Aspie as well. “She never calls herself that. She just says ‘us’ and ‘them’ which makes me smile.”
From a young age Rudy had sensory issues. From age two, she found solace and escape in music. “I would listen to a song over and over again until I incorporated it into my soul.” She wrote her first song at age six. “I played most of the instruments on the record–guitar, bass, percussion. I needed a bass player and didn’t have one so I taught myself to play in one day.”
Rudy grew up in a working class family. A self-described “crayon sorter, the extent of art education in her family was a “velvet Jesus hanging on the wall,” and paint-by-numbers landscape kits. As an adult she has developed her appreciation of art visiting many major museums around the globe.
Throughout her life, music has been Rudy’s primary outlet for creativity, emotion, and escape. Recently she started songwriting again. Of her recent album Gothic Blues, she states “this is the first time I’ve been happy with every single song on the recording.” She’s received stellar reviews.
Now she finds living alone in her quiet town conducive to her music and writing. Like many brilliant minds, she has a fascination with many things and has to limit her interests.
Although she has friends around the globe, she socializes through connections on the internet. Rudy lives a full life – writing, producing and recording music, writing books, cooking, and working out in her home. Her next project is a book of one of her alter-egos, Aunt Aspie. “It’s going to be funny yet informative.”
She’s also working on producing a second album, which she says “will probably be called Asperwitch.”
Yesterday on Facebook she posted the definition of Asperwitch.
Asperwitch – a term coined by Rudy Simone to denote a person with Asperger’s who has a high level of intuition and insight of a kind often found in autistic people. Since people with Asperger’s generally spend more time alone than nonautistics, we often have an intense relationship with our own thoughts, using imagination to manifest these thoughts into action. The Asperwitch creates opportunities for herself through research, study, meditation and action. She makes a positive change in the world. She is a force to be reckoned with. She will not let the fact that society in general might view her as odd stop her from manifesting what she was put on earth to do. It is not easy being an Asperwitch. Other people will not understand and at times will vilify you. But you must go forth, for you are in this world, though you are not of it. You are here to make a difference.
Rudy for sure is a powerful force to be reckoned with.
When asked if she has any words of advice for those with Asperger’s she says. “Look at yourself as perfectly fine and normal within the context of Aspergers. Work on your challenges and don’t beat yourself up for your mistakes. Everybody makes them.”