• Featured

    THE TOP TEN THINGS PARENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GIRLS ON THE SPECTRUM

    Feature photo: Becca Lory with her mom ©Becca Lory 2018 A Spectrum Women collaboration, edited by Maura Campbell In honour of International Women’s Day, the Spectrum Women writers have compiled a list of things we think it’s particularly important for parents or carers of girls on the autism spectrum to know. 1. Recognise how autism presents differently in girls In adult studies, the 4:1 male/female ratio in autism diagnosis disappears. This means autistic girls are not rare. Persist when they say so. Look for intensity and insistence on sameness. Many of our behaviours are quite typical but we won’t choose to stop, have trouble when things aren’t done ‘just so’ and resist change. At first glance, we may appear to you to have mental health issues [...]
  • Refelection

    The Best Version of Me by Lisa Morgan

    I am an autistic adult who lived undiagnosed through the sixties and seventies in a school environment where differences were not accepted and teachers thought quiet, bright, students could be left alone in favor of the more vocal, struggling ones.  I fell through the cracks and landed in a no-man’s land of bullying, rejection, sensory assaults, and pervasive loneliness. As I think about those early years, my mind wanders back to a typical day and I visualize one of the most important conversations of my life. In my mind’s eye I see her sitting alone in a room full of people.  The setting:  a middle school cafeteria during the time the kids are finishing their lunches and there’s a cacophony of voices reaching an ear-piercing [...]
  • Arts

    Tempus Fugit! The Aspergers Girl Becomes the Spectrum Woman by Kimberly Gerry-Tucker

    Painting by Kimberly Gerry Tucker, superhero interpretation of ‘The Last Supper’. Is life not an elaborate Goldberg Machine; like the old game MouseTrap? A complex state of affairs in which a series of actions are linked together to produce a domino effect in which activating one device triggers the next device in the sequence? Tempus Fugit! (Time is wasting). Making and keeping friends growing up was like the Goldberg Machine. I knew that just one accepted invitation, (like the Goldberg) would trigger more invites, would lead to chit-chatty parties, and (gasp) sleepovers with Dads who made gross things for breakfast and Moms who would ask me if the cat had my tongue. Also, if one decided the risk was worth it, friendship could lead to hurt, wounded pride, shame, and [...]
  • General

    Six Kindnesses for Living by Jennifer Lisi in partnership with Happy Hands Toys

    The body is a wonderful thing, complete with a glorious system of nerves for experiencing our resplendent world.  Most individuals seamlessly navigate their sensory environment.  But for myself and other autistics, simple tasks lay at the mercy of sensation.  I am forty-one years old trying to make each day of my life matter.  I have the same drive for success as any other woman: career, family, autonomy and financial stability.  But too often I have been paddling upstream against a current of external factors I can’t control.  Finding ways to turn the boat downstream and work with those factors can afford me the energy to do the things I want to do rather than just trying to stay afloat.  This isn’t about sensory therapy.  This [...]
  • Autism April

    WHY WE THINK OUR PETS MIGHT ALSO BE ON THE SPECTRUM

    A Spectrum Women collaboration, edited by Maura Campbell Kate Ross, Anita Lesko, Jen Elcheson, Lisa Morgan, Becca Lory, Christine Jenkins, Terri Mayne, Jeanette Purkis, Barb Cook Spectrum Women share a love of animals and we definitely reckon Kathy Hoopmann was on to something in her best-selling book, All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome (2006). Here’s why….     Kathy’s other titles include All Dogs Have ADHD, All Birds Have Anxiety, Inside Asperger’s Looking Out and The Asperger Adventure series. You can read more about Kathy and her books here.
Featured

Stess: Anxiety, Perfectionism, Black and White Thinking and Catastrophising by Jeanette Purkis

by Spectrum Women in Featured

This article focuses on the stresses which are more likely to be the domain of autistic people: what they are and some strategies that can help address them. Social anxiety While this is not exclusive to autistic people, it is a very common occurrence for us. We might think that other people don’t like us or are judging or discriminating against us. This often comes from being bullied or invalidated in other ways in the [...]

‘DINA’ – MOVIE REVIEW

by Spectrum Women in Featured

by Maura Campbell Dina (2017) is an unconventional love story featuring an autistic couple, Dina Buno and Scott Levin, and was the recipient of the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The movie charts the weeks leading up to Dina and Scott’s wedding day.  From a touchingly intimate yet unobtrusive viewpoint, it reveals some of [...]

RESEARCH: Clinical trial using non-invasive brain stimulation — Deakin University

by Spectrum Women in Research Studies

Dinisha Parmar is a provisional psychologist at Deakin University (Burwood Campus) conducting a clinical trial with Professor Peter Enticott and Dr. Natalia Albein-Urios. They are conducting a clinical trial will investigate a new non-invasive brain stimulation technique called High-Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (HD-tDCS) for [...]

The Best Version of Me by Lisa Morgan

by Spectrum Women in Refelection

I am an autistic adult who lived undiagnosed through the sixties and seventies in a school environment where differences were not accepted and teachers thought quiet, bright, students could be left alone in favor of the more vocal, struggling ones.  I fell through the cracks and landed in a no-man’s land of bullying, rejection, sensory [...]

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 I stay in bed a little longer I can make it eleven. As I close my eyes, hoping for a lessened sentence, the dogs start to rouse. I hear the [...]

Sex and the Single Aspie — ARtemisia

by Spectrum Women in Book Releases

Addressing the issues women with Asperger’s face with sexuality and the single life, this ground-breaking book reveals all and blows the lid off taboo subjects for those on the spectrum. Looking at one night stands, intimacy, and integrity, this is illuminating reading for all Aspie women. One of the many problems women on the spectrum face is not always understanding [...]
Featured

‘DINA’ – MOVIE REVIEW

January 24, 2018

by Maura Campbell Dina (2017) is an unconventional love story featuring an autistic couple, Dina Buno and Scott Levin, and was the recipient of the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The movie charts the weeks leading up to Dina and Scott’s wedding day.  From a touchingly intimate yet unobtrusive viewpoint, it reveals some of the pivotal moments in their relationship. Dina succeeds in smashing several of the pervasive stereotypes about disability and personal relationships, and we see some beautifully tender moments as this engaging couple navigate their changing circumstances against the backdrop of suburban […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. [...]

swmstories

Family Dynamics – Jeanette Purkis

Featured
January 22, 2018
Next week I m going to visit my parents. Despite having a difficult relationship in the past between us, I now love seeing them. I’m thinking how my mum will have a mango ready for my breakfast that she has specially bought and that Jalna yoghurt I like too. She has been telling me all [...]

Why We Are Not Puzzle Pieces – Renata Jurkevythz

Latest News
July 26, 2017
So, let’s talk about the dreaded puzzle piece. The community of autistic adults is hurt by it because we perceive it as offensive. On the other hand, non-autistics who have autistic people in their lives, be it a family member, friend, colleague or client, consider it not harmful because it just represents their wish to [...]

From the inside, looking out.

Education
July 1, 2016
ASD is for life: just like having grey eyes, or short fingers. We can choose to change these things of course, if we want to; mask them with coloured contacts or long fingernails. But underneath [...]
Spectrum Women Authors

Meet the Spectrum Women Book Authors: Jen Elcheson

April 19, 2018

Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism is now in its final stages of publication, preparing to be printed for the wide world to see by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, we, the Spectrum Women and authors of this book, felt it would be a great opportunity to tell you a little about ourselves and the reasons why we were part of this incredible project. Each Spectrum Woman has a unique story to tell and today we would like to introduce you to Jen Elcheson…   Hello Spectrum Women Readers! I live in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, a small northern […]

BOOK: SPECTRUM WOMEN

Pre-order now at

Jessica Kingsley Publishers     JKP.com

USA — Amazon.com

Australia — Amazon.com.au

UK — Amazon.co.uk

This is an edited collection that tackles a range of issues that affect autistic women, including chapters on growing up, identity, diversity, parenting, independence and self-care. Well-known writers provide advice, support and empowerment to fellow autistic women, and expert Dr Michelle Garnett provides professional commentary for each chapter.

 

Contributing authors: ARtemisia, Maura Campbell, Barb Cook, Samantha Craft, Jen Elcheson, Dena Gassner, Liane Holliday Willey, Christine Jenkins, Renata Jurkevythz, Anita Lesko, Becca Lory, Kate Ross, Terri Mayne, Jeanette Purkis, Catriona Stewart

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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

Sex and the Single Aspie — ARtemisia

February 14, 2018

Addressing the issues women with Asperger’s face with sexuality and the single life, this ground-breaking book reveals all and blows the lid off taboo subjects for those on the spectrum. Looking at one night stands, intimacy, and integrity, this is illuminating reading for all Aspie women. One of the many problems women on the spectrum face is not always understanding how relationships and boundaries work for other people. This book provides answers, plus more that they may not even have thought to ask. Covering one night stands, the importance of safe sex, self-respect, and double standards, there is a wealth […]

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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