• Featured

    Meet the Spectrum Women Book Authors: Dr Michelle Garnett

    The Spectrum Women and authors of this book, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism, 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 Dr Michelle Garnett…   When Barb invited me to be a co-author of “Spectrum Women,” involving reading 19 chapters written by 15 autistic women about a diversity of life topics, I could not reply quickly enough to say “Yes!” in case she asked someone else before I replied! I felt “dead chuffed” (as they say in England) that she had invited me, I couldn’t wait to [...]
  • Advocacy

    If Neurodiversity Doesn’t Challenge You, You’re Not Doing It Right by Maura Campbell

    “Would you like to pet the lambs?”  This story comes back to me whenever I have to check in with myself on whether I’m ‘doing neurodiversity right’. Let me explain. It was shortly after my son’s autism diagnosis, and many months before I’d cottoned on that I was also autistic. We were visiting an open farm as part of a large group of families, enjoying the opportunity to meet other parents raising kids on the spectrum.  Our lives had become very small in those early days, as we tried to process what autism meant for our beautiful boy, and even though our conversations with others in the group were fleeting (punctuated as they were by Darragh’s frequent bids for freedom), it was the most relaxed [...]
  • Pride

    My Pride by Jennifer O’Toole

    I’m not proud to be autistic. Which, I realize, may seem like an odd way to start a piece that’s meant to celebrate Autistic Pride Day. But it’s not. Not really, anyway. It just takes some explaining. I played competitive tennis as a teenager. Twenty-five years later, I can clearly remember parents cheering courtside, our coach quick to praise us for making a strategic shot or communicating well with a doubles partner. It was, and is, easy to get swept along with the motion of things. To feel the irritation of “unforced errors” and find ourselves trapped in the toxic thoughts tangled along their edges. By calling attention to our choices, behavior, and achievements — no matter how big or small — she forced us [...]
  • Identity

    I have a mental illness, I’m autistic and proud by Jeanette Purkis

    This is a piece about mental illness and autism. It was quite difficult to write as it looks at issues of discrimination and exclusion from some parts of the autistic community. While it may be uncomfortable, issues like this need to be raised so we can address them. The name of my personal blog is Jeanette Purkis: Thoughts on All Things Autism and Mental Health. Occasionally I get a comment saying ‘Autism is not a mental illness.’ Cue someone very carefully and painstakingly setting me straight on something I apparently don’t know — that autism and mental illness are not that same thing. As I have a diagnosis of atypical schizophrenia in addition to my autism and have been speaking and writing on this topic [...]
  • Education

    Just How Hard Can Easy Be? By Lisa Morgan

    I’d like to take a look at how hard ‘easy’ can be for an autistic person. For this purpose, I’m going to use actors in a play. The setting is a classroom.  The lead role is an autistic student (played by me). The supporting roles are comprised of the teacher, other students, and any aides in the room. The antagonist is the environment. Let’s take a moment and look at a school environment through the eyes of an autistic student. First, let’s consider the setting of a typical classroom in an elementary school. The room is bright and colorful with pictures, charts, a calendar, and completed assignments displayed for all to see. Some colors are neutral, some colors are abrasive, and there’s enough of my [...]
Featured

15 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY TO AN AUTISTIC WOMAN

by Spectrum Women in Featured

A Spectrum Women Compilation, edited by Jen Elcheson and Maura Campbell Barb Cook, Dena Gassner, Renata Jurkevythz, Anita Lesko, Becca Lory, Terri Mayne, Jeanette Purkis, Kate Ross, Lisa Morgan Content Warning: ableism, paternalizing, bullying, sexism (pretty much a smorgasbord of awful). We present to you another collaborative piece where we discuss a bunch of things people should not say to autistic women (or, indeed, to any autistic person, female-presenting or otherwise) and why saying them [...]

Non-Verbals and Me by Jen Elcheson

by Spectrum Women in Featured

“Smile,” “look, natural, Jen,” “stop making funny faces,” “stop moving,” “look at me.” Those were just some of the things that were said when I was younger. This didn’t just happen when my photo was being taken, it also happened whenever someone wanted to get my attention. I did not even realize my idiosyncratic body language/movements or facial expressions (or lack thereof), and was actually doing what came natural to me at the time, whether it was zoning out or looking perpetually astonished like the proverbial deer in the headlights (those are just a couple of examples). To further confound others, I would also do these sorts of [...]

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

by Spectrum Women in General

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, [...]

WHY WE THINK OUR PETS MIGHT ALSO BE ON THE SPECTRUM

by Spectrum Women in Autism April

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 [...]

“FIFTEEN THINGS THEY FORGOT TO TELL YOU ABOUT AUTISM” — BOOK REVIEW AND INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR DEBBY ELLEY

by Spectrum Women in Book Releases

Interview by Maura Campbell, Spectrum Women Features Writer. I just blitzed through the book I wish I could have read when my son was diagnosed with autism eight years ago. Fifteen Things They Forgot To Tell You About Autism, penned by Debby Elley, one of the driving forces behind Aukids magazine, was published in April and is already attracting great reviews. I can see why. Debby’s book is packed with helpful advice and practical tips [...]

Oh! The Meaning of the Meaning of Words… by Lisa Morgan

by Spectrum Women in Featured

Words have meanings!  Unfortunately, they have lots of different meanings for people, making it a challenge to communicate. There are phrases such as, “Let’s go for coffee soon,” which somehow usually means “Hi, it’s good to see you; I wish we could spend time together, but it’s impossible right now”. Also, “We need to talk about goals soon” can mean “I’m really busy and this is going to [...]

Meet the Spectrum Women Book Authors: Christine Jenkins

by Spectrum Women in Featured

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 [...]
Featured

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

March 8, 2018

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 […]

Identity

I have a mental illness, I’m autistic and proud by Jeanette Purkis

June 13, 2018

This is a piece about mental illness and autism. It was quite difficult to write as it looks at issues of discrimination and exclusion from some parts of the autistic community. While it may be uncomfortable, issues like this need to be raised so we can address them. The name of my personal blog is Jeanette Purkis: Thoughts on All Things Autism and Mental Health. Occasionally I get a comment saying ‘Autism is not a mental illness.’ Cue someone very carefully and painstakingly setting me straight on something I apparently don’t know — that autism and mental illness are not […]

Featured

Mental Health Care and Gaming — The CheckPoint Organisation

April 30, 2018

Interview by Spectrum Women feature writer Renata Jurkevythz Video Games are a common special interest among autistics. They provide experiences and teach tools in a safe environment ruled by logic, where you can fail and retry as many times as you need without getting hurt, or can simply enjoy a beautiful world that is not governed by confusing social rules. Especially for autistic minds, that must bear a never-ending flow of thoughts and emotions, they can provide a moment of focus and immersion that silences the brain while entertaining. Video games have been one of my major interests since I […]

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. [...]

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 [...]

Just How Hard Can Easy Be? By Lisa Morgan

Education
June 2, 2018
I’d like to take a look at how hard ‘easy’ can be for an autistic person. For this purpose, I’m going to use actors in a play. The setting is a classroom.  The lead role [...]

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 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

 
Featured

Meet the Spectrum Women Book Authors: Dr Michelle Garnett

August 3, 2018

The Spectrum Women and authors of this book, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism, 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 Dr Michelle Garnett…   When Barb invited me to be a co-author of “Spectrum Women,” involving reading 19 chapters written by 15 autistic women about a diversity of life topics, I could not reply quickly enough to say “Yes!” in case […]

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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

“FIFTEEN THINGS THEY FORGOT TO TELL YOU ABOUT AUTISM” — BOOK REVIEW AND INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR DEBBY ELLEY

May 12, 2018

Interview by Maura Campbell, Spectrum Women Features Writer. I just blitzed through the book I wish I could have read when my son was diagnosed with autism eight years ago. Fifteen Things They Forgot To Tell You About Autism, penned by Debby Elley, one of the driving forces behind Aukids magazine, was published in April and is already attracting great reviews. I can see why. Debby’s book is packed with helpful advice and practical tips based on what she’s learned over the years as a mother of twin autistic boys.  It reads like a conversation with a wise and trusted […]

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 […]

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