• Culture

    Truth About the Standards of Society by Kate Gaster

    Society’s standards and ideas of how you should be seen and to present yourself are set for, and by neurotypicals (NTs). It feels like everything that is to be aimed for is perfection; white teeth, tan, perfect hair, designer clothes, new car, holidays, and on it goes. People are viewed and measured by these standards. I see many NTs struggling to meet these standards, as the truth is, these standards are not reachable for the mainstream average person. The photographs in glossy magazines, the television shows, portray lifestyles that are not realistic. They are unreachable, unrealistic, but nobody speaks of this! Many autistics look to NTs and observe them for the social cues and standards, mimicking NT behaviour, using language scripts to cope in social [...]
  • Book Releases

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

    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 friend and is in turn moving and wickedly funny. Debby’s deep love and absolute respect for her 14-year-old boys — minimally verbal and sensory-seeking Alec [...]
  • Featured

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

    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 have to wait”. One of my favorites over the years has been, “Text (or call) you later” meaning “goodbye”.  Where is this all written down?  How do other people know this language within our language? I don’t know, but what I do know is, when I take people’s words at face value, it can get very confusing. [...]
  • Featured

    Non-Verbals and Me by Jen Elcheson

    “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 things either to be funny or seek attention, because all kids do. Still, for the most part [...]
  • Advocacy

    Barb Cook on the Autism Gender Gap, Being a Chameleon and Finding Your Tribe

    Barb Cook is founder and editor in chief of the international publication Spectrum Women Magazine, co-founder and director of the Australian Autism Aspergers Network Inc., and founder of Bikers for Autism Australia. Barb is a passionate autism advocate, keen motorcyclist with a love for visual arts. Barb has been recognised nationally and internationally for her work spanning from her original publication the Autism Aspergers Network Magazine. Today Nick McAllister from Autism West catches up with Barb for an exclusive interview. You were diagnosed as being autistic at the age of 40, is that unusual to have such a late diagnosis? Getting a diagnosis later in life, especially for women, is not that uncommon these days. With myself, Aspergers Syndrome and Autism wasn’t really recognised in women when I [...]
Featured

Anxiety and Depression — A Spectrum Women Collaboration for Mental Health Awareness Week

by Spectrum Women in Featured

Anxiety and depression is a common factor for many of us on the autism spectrum and something we battle, struggle, tussle, manage, and cope with most days. Many of us have our own strategies to manage the difficult times that consume us, and some of the Spectrum Women wanted to share with you their personal insights into how they tackle anxiety and depression. We also want to highlight for Mental Health Awareness Week just how [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Mental Health Care and Gaming — The CheckPoint Organisation

by Spectrum Women in Featured

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 [...]

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 assaults, and pervasive loneliness. As I think about those early [...]
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 […]

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: Renata Jurkevythz

May 27, 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 Renata Jurkevythz…   For 35 years of my life, I had no idea I was autistic. By that […]

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

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

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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