Born in the small town of Teddington in South West London, Alis Rowe is both an acclaimed author and the founding CEO of esteemed social enterprise, The Curly Hair Project.
At the age of 25, Alis has faced many social obstacles due to her diagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome. However, with great difficulty and determination, she has managed to overcome such social obstacles, defying against her condition in the process.
One impressive example of Alis’ defiance against her Asperger’s is the fact that she has a strong academic track record, as she has not only obtained a First Class degree in Chemistry, but has also gone on to complete a Masters in it too.
Alis’ zest for science doesn’t stop there, as it is her exploration of how autism presents itself in women and girls which is one of the key components in the birth of the Curly Hair Project. With most work to date of how autism is presented only being on males, Alis felt the need to combine the experience of her condition and her expertise to offer valuable help, support and advice to women and girls on the autistic spectrum.
Incredibly, Alis has managed to do this through writing and publishing a range of books. One of her publications, entitled The 1st Comic Book, is an engaging picture book which presents simple, insightful, communicative comic strips of everyday situations between the person with Asperger’s Syndrome and the neurotypical person in their overlapping worlds. The concept for this book is the perfect combination of quirky and educating, whilst two more editions in the series (entitled The 2nd Comic Book and The 3rd Comic Book) have since been published.
In addition to this, Alis has also written a book series entitled the ‘Curly Conundrums’, which focuses on a range of puzzling situations that social groups (such as families and secondary school teachers, for instance) face when being around people on the autistic spectrum. Alis has also produced a series of Visual Guides Books, which again focus on helping various social groups such as partners and parents of Asperger’s women and children.
Other written works of Alis’ include ‘Asperger’s Syndrome for Parents of Young Children’, ‘22 Ways To Show You Love Your Neurotypical Partner’, ‘9 Reasons Why You Should Consider Getting A Diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome’ and ‘What’s it like to have a Daddy with Asperger’s Syndrome?’.
It is clear to see from Alis’ flourishing bibliography that she has created a series of books and guides which covers autism from a number of angles, and which makes life easier not only for women and girls on the autistic spectrum, but also for the people around them. Alis has drawn from her own social challenges to provide a vast range of expertise and advice which was much needed for females with autism – advice which barely even existed before Alis seized the initiative to plug a gaping gap in the market.
Perhaps what is most impressive of all though is the fact that Alis only started publishing her books last year, with the Curly Hair Project only becoming an official social enterprise in April 2014. Since then, the Curly Hair Project has grown from strength to strength, with a constantly evolving social media base engaging a wide range of people on a vast variety of autism matters. To date, ‘the girl with the curly hair’ Facebook page has earned over a staggering 9,300 ‘likes’, and it serves as a means to offer daily advice and guidance, as well as information upon up and coming publications which the Curly Hair Project’s following may find of interest.
Alis’ work has garnered a raft of endorsements, with one reader stating that “Alis clearly has a tremendous ability to articulate a complex subject in a way that is educational, enlightening and easy to understand”.
In addition to this, Alis has already won a number of awards including the 2014 Temple Grandin Award, the ‘Do It’ Award and the Impact Award. With such a strong impact being made by Alis in such a short time, there is absolutely no surprise as to why she has been shortlisted for the Entrepreneur of Excellence award at the National Diversity Awards 2014.