My Life

My Safe Space – Barb Cook

July 28, 2017 Spectrum Women

Putting on my big black motorcycle jacket, boots and helmet makes me feel safe. I have an armour protecting me from the outside world that I don’t want to let in… but only for a while. I need this time away, so sorry, I am not letting you in behind this barrier…. this time is for me and me alone. I need this time; this space is for me, just me, so I can find my way back into the world with a mind that has unscrambled itself. When the world around me gets too loud, too bright, too confusing […]

Featured

POEM by Lennée Reid

July 28, 2017 Spectrum Women

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 […]

Latest News

Why We Are Not Puzzle Pieces – Renata Jurkevythz

July 26, 2017 Spectrum Women

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 “figure autistics out”. My goal here is to address both sides and explain why in the end it does hurt people on the spectrum and why, in my humble opinion, it doesn’t actually make sense. Starting from the beginning: non-autistics live in a world that […]

Book Releases

BOOK REVIEW: The Chalk Rainbow

July 24, 2017 Spectrum Women

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, […]

My Life

The Glass of Milk – Maura Campbell

July 24, 2017 Spectrum Women

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 […]

Featured

The women who don’t know they’re autistic

July 21, 2017 Spectrum Women

Fabienne Cazalis, École des Hautes Études en sciences sociales (EHESS) This article was co-written by Adeline Lacroix, who works with Fabienne Cazalis and was recently diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. A second year master’s student in psychology, she is working on a scientific literature review about the characteristics of high-functioning autistic women. Let’s call her Sophie. The description we’ll give could be that of any woman who is on the autistic spectrum without knowing it. Because they’re intelligent and used to compensating for communication impediments they may not be consciously aware of, these women slip through the cracks of our still-too-inefficient […]

Parenting

Parental Invalidation ~ Jeanette Purkis

July 7, 2017 Spectrum Women

A good friend of mine who is the mum of one of the young women I mentor asked me to write this piece after she had witnessed another parent of an autistic teen post negative things about their child on social media without the teen’s consent. The content was something I can imagine the young person would have found monumentally embarrassing. Sadly if I recounted every instance where someone who should be a responsible adult belittles an autistic child or young person who is standing right next to them it would make quite a long and unpleasant book. This stuff […]

Relationships

Behaviour is Language ~ Renata Jurkevythz

July 5, 2017 Spectrum Women

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 Asperger’s just because I “behave like a regular person” and “don’t look autistic”. This really bothers me! This doesn’t just happen with me, but with the vast majority of diagnosed people that don’t match the male/classic stereotypes. And here lies a substantial problem. Too many of us have to go out proving ourselves all the […]

Interviews

Part 2 of 2 SWM presents Dr William Mandy speaking with Christine Jenkins ~ Women & Autistic Diagnosis

July 2, 2017 Spectrum Women

Part 2 of 2 (6 minutes) Spectrum Women Magazine presents Dr William Mandy (Clinical Psychologist at University College London) speaking with SWM Correspondent Christine Jenkins on women and autistic diagnosis. Recording date June 27, 2017 Toronto. Part 1 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 with Autism Spectrum Conditions: An Investigation of the Female Autism Phenotype. Sarah Bargiela Robyn Steward William […]

Featured

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

July 2, 2017 Spectrum Women

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 […]