• Featured

    Salads, Spreadsheets & the Spectrum: The Fight that Has Nothing to Do with Food – Jennifer O’Toole

    **Content Warning: Eating Disorders, Self-Harm Including excerpts from Sisterhood of the Spectrum: An Asperger Chick’s Guide to Life” Some years ago, psychologist Carol Dweck took a good, hard look at a bunch of very bright fifth-grade boys and girls. Specifically, she observed what happened when these kids were presented with new concepts — confusing information meant to cause them a bit of frustration. How, Dr. Dweck wondered, would they handle the stress? Among the girls in the study, the higher the IQ, the more likely they were to give up when asked to learn something that was particularly foreign or complex. That’s right: the most intelligent girls didn’t stick around and keep thinking. They didn’t persevere. They quit. Fast. And there’s more bad news. The [...]
  • My Life

    The Glass of Milk – Maura Campbell

    The teacher, a stern woman of a certain age, folded her arms across her ample bosom and stared intently over the top of her thick-rimmed glasses.  The reason for her evident irritation cowered before her – a painfully shy seven-year-old girl. A glass of milk sat untouched in front of the child. Mrs S. had presided over her terrified charges in this classroom for as long as anyone in the school – teachers and pupils alike – could remember. The children knew she meant business and none of them had ever had the temerity to defy her. Not until the girl who refused to drink the milk.  An elaborate bun sat atop her head like the valve of a pressure cooker ready to blow. The [...]
  • Featured

    POEM by Lennée Reid

    Say I’m sensitive. Do not enlighten people with neurology 101 or explain how I feel sound like whispers are feathers and pow wows are heart beats and a dog squealing in pain stings like needles. Say I meditate. Don’t say transcendence is one of your hobbies. No one knows what a zen master actually does anyway. Be general and vague. Say I’m a walking encyclopedia a treasure trove of information knowledgeable well read observant. Do not hint that I download skills like Neo in the Matrix. Say you’re a geek or a nerd. Briefly people will think of Bill Nye the science guy or Big Bang Theory and think I’m cool. Don’t say autistic that screams rain man. Say my social skills suck. Don’t say [...]
  • Featured

    Why are they so mean? — Barb Cook

    The words, “Why are they so mean?” has constantly rolled around in my mind, haunting me on and off for a lifetime. A recent encounter, hearing that very same statement from a young soul, tugged at my very core. Why indeed are people at times so mean? Why do they hurt us without a moment’s thought for the consequence that befalls another? How can they laugh and smile while you are fighting back the tears at being shunned, called names or made to feel inferior, less than? It never really made any sense, nor could I find the answers, at those times, as to why. It is something I have experienced throughout my lifetime, even though I have tried my hardest to be a friend, [...]
  • Featured

    Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism — Some thoughts and reflections by Jeanette Purkis

    As a child I was told I was a ‘tomboy’. I rarely wore skirts or dresses and was far more interested in toy trucks and cranes than dolls, which I was confused by. What was the point of plastic people and what was I supposed to do with them? I wasn’t interested in boys growing up and couldn’t understand why anyone would intentionally wear uncomfortable high heeled shoes. Makeup baffled me. It looked like clay on people’s faces and red lipstick just made them look like a clown — or, as I got older and knew about such things — my idea of what a sex worker looked like. As a teen I had a shaved head and wore check shirts, Doc Marten boots and [...]
Featured

With a bit of luck… Jeanette Purkis

by Spectrum Women in Featured

This post is about the idea behind ‘luck’—the impact of people’s attitudes, motivation and aspirations. It is first and foremost my own experience of these things. I will preface the piece by stating that your attitude is not a determinant of good or poor character, that it is never OK to blame someone for not managing adversity well and that different people can respond vastly differently to similar things. Autistic people often find they have [...]

Meaning of Life—an over-thinker’s guide to the universe by Barb Cook

by Spectrum Women in Arts

I have elevated over-thinking to an art form. Ever since I was a small girl, I often wondered what life meant, right down to the atom level of existence. I have always felt compelled to believe that there was some higher meaning or bigger picture to this existence on planet earth and I want to know why, in detail, from [...]

Behaviour is Language ~ Renata Jurkevythz

by Spectrum Women in Relationships

In this insightful and thought provoking piece, Renata talks about how for her, learning languages (English being second to her native Portuguese) significantly compares to learning the innate social cues that non autistic individuals inherently know… People are so quick to doubt my diagnosis of [...]

Jingle Hells by Maura Campbell

by Spectrum Women in Culture

The festive season is when I feel most like an alien.  Christmas is, from my perspective, the untidiest of the holidays. It is a bizarre mishmash of unconnected traditions overlaid with cloying sentimentality. Why do otherwise sane people dress as Victorians and sing at you until you give them money? Why do [...]

Autistic Women, Pregnancy and Motherhood – Lana Grant

by Spectrum Women in Featured

I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in 2007 at the age of 38. I was already a mother of five children when I received my diagnosis. The process was not straightforward and it followed on, as is quite common, from one of my son’s diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. Two years later I was pregnant with [...]

The Big Sigh by Becca Lory, CAS, BCCS

by Spectrum Women in Featured

This is one of those days. I feel it the moment I open my eyes. I instantly loathe that I am awake. I fall into an old habit of calculating how many hours I will have to reasonably be out of my bed before I can crawl back into it without having to feign illness or apologize for not returning a text. Twelve? Maybe if [...]

Playing by the rules by Lisa Morgan

by Spectrum Women in Featured

Remember playing tag?  Trying to avoid the person who was “it” as they chased you around?  Laughing and playing as kids dodged around running as fast as they could to not get tagged?  There was always the time when running just a bit ahead of the tagger, who was gaining on you, that home base [...]

Featured

Part 1 of 2 SWM Interview: Dr William Mandy discussing Women & Autism with Correspondent Christine Jenkins

July 2, 2017

Part 1 of 2 (18 minutes) Spectrum Women Magazine presents an interview with Dr William Mandy (Clinical Psychologist at University College London) speaking with SWM Correspondent Christine Jenkins about Autistic women, camouflaging, strengthening of traits, diagnostic tools specifically for women and the “gatekeepers” to obtaining a diagnosis. Recording date June 27, 2017 Toronto. Part 2 of 2 can be viewed here. Slides: Gender Differences on the Autism Spectrum. Professor David Skuse MD FRCP Institute of Child Health. https://saac.chu-sainte-justine.org/pages/Autisme%202016%20-%20David%20Skuse.pdf “Putting on My Best Normal”: Social Camouflaging in Adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions Laura Hull K. V. Petrides Carrie Allison Paula Smith Simon Baron‑Cohen Meng‑Chuan Lai William Mandy https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10803-017-3166-5.pdf The Experiences of Late-diagnosed Women […]

Book Releases

Living Through Suicide Loss with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) ~ Lisa Morgan M.Ed.

November 20, 2016

An Insider Guide for Individuals, Family, Friends, and Professional Responders Losing someone to suicide brings daily tribulations and long-term challenges. These challenges are exacerbated when you have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This book looks at how suicide loss is experienced and processed by people who have ASD, and how they can be supported by those around them. Losing someone to suicide can open up a world of pain, confusion and grief, and for people with ASDs, the effect can be acute and extremely challenging. Reaching out to fellow Aspies, Lisa Morgan proffers her insight and advice to ensure that others […]

General

The Chameleons: Women with Autism

June 19, 2016

We often hear about autism in men, but rarely in women. SBS The Feed, looks at three different generations of women living with autism and how the stigma of the condition is amplified. We often hear about autism in men, but rarely in women. The Feed looks at three different generations of women living with autism and how the stigma of the condition is amplified by gender. More than 200,000 Australians have autism. It’s diagnosed four times more in males than in females and some experts in the field believe this reflects a failure of diagnostic processes rather than a […]

Autism April

Disclosure – The Pros and Cons – Maura Campbell

April 22, 2017

Whether to disclose an autism diagnosis is an important issue for many newly diagnosed adults. I would never presume to tell someone in that position what to do, though I would encourage them to take a bit of time to think about it.  What is said cannot subsequently be unsaid. After I was told, in a private consultation, that I had Asperger Syndrome I pretty much burst out of the Aspie closet immediately.  I hadn’t given the matter of disclosure much thought, which was uncharacteristic for me since I usually overthink practically everything.  I was so euphoric on the day […]

POEM by Lennée Reid

July 28, 2017
Say I’m sensitive. Do not enlighten people with neurology 101 or explain how I feel sound like whispers are feathers and pow wows are heart beats and a dog squealing in pain stings like needles. [...]

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Spectrum Suite, LLC – Samantha Craft

Spectrum Suite, LLC is a service-oriented company founded in 2016 in Washington state, USA, dedicated to celebrating neurodiversity through all forms of art and artistic expression. Our services include supporting authors and artists, producing and providing quality and unique neurodiverse literature, and serving the neurodiverse community and their loved ones through community outreach, gatherings, and educational events.

http://www.myspectrumsuite.com/

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Latest Book Releases

Book Releases

BOOK REVIEW: The Chalk Rainbow

July 24, 2017

The Chalk Rainbow – Deborah Kelly & Gwynneth Jones Publisher: Exisle Publishing Price: $24.99 Ages: 4- 8 years Specifications: Hardback | 215 x 288 mm | Colour | 32 Pages | Bundled with Teachers Notes Download Zone Independent review by Linda Wemyss The Chalk Rainbow, by Deborah Kelly (author of the Ruby Wishfinger series), and illustrated by Gwynneth Jones, is a story about Zane and his sister. Written in first person from the point of view of Zane’s sister (her name is not revealed), we learn that there are many things about Zane that are different: he has his own language, […]

Book Releases

BOOK REVIEW: Am I Autistic? by Lydia Andal

January 19, 2017

AM I AUTISTIC? A guide to Autism & Asperger’s Self-Diagnosis for Adults By Lydia Andal Published by New Idealist Limited, London Review by Terri Mayne International Aspergirl Society UK Ambassador    “Am I Autistic?” is a refreshing and positive book about autism in adults, focusing on autistic adults without learning difficulties. What makes this book stand out is that the author demonstrates the things that autistics can do, and do well, and not just what they can’t do. Lydia Andal uses the phrase “Professional Autistic” to perfectly describe the autistic who has a career, lives independently yet may find it difficult […]

Book Releases

Living Through Suicide Loss with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) ~ Lisa Morgan M.Ed.

November 20, 2016

An Insider Guide for Individuals, Family, Friends, and Professional Responders Losing someone to suicide brings daily tribulations and long-term challenges. These challenges are exacerbated when you have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This book looks at how suicide loss is experienced and processed by people who have ASD, and how they can be supported by those around them. Losing someone to suicide can open up a world of pain, confusion and grief, and for people with ASDs, the effect can be acute and extremely challenging. Reaching out to fellow Aspies, Lisa Morgan proffers her insight and advice to ensure that others […]

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