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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 […]

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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 […]

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Spectrumly Speaking Episode 13 – Autism Advocacy in Australia, with Barb Cook of Spectrum Women Magazine

June 28, 2017 Spectrum Women

(28 mins) In this episode, hosts Katherine Cody, Psy.D. and Becca Lory, CAS, BCCS speak with Barb Cook. Barb was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome in 2009 and is Founder and Editor in Chief of Spectrum Women Magazine. She is a highly committed Autism/Aspergers advocate, keen motorcyclist and web/graphics guru. Barb has made numerous appearances on Australian television and radio, in national newspapers and magazines, was part of a documentary The Chameleons: Women with Autism. She is also the Founder and Director of Bikers for Autism Australia and Co-Founder/Director of the Australian Autism Aspergers Network Inc. Barb discusses her personal diagnosis, the autism gender gap in […]

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Proud of being myself ~ Renata Jurkevythz

June 18, 2017 Spectrum Women

Today is Autistic Pride Day. When I sat at my computer thinking about the best way to address this subject, I realized I just couldn’t think of autism on its own, but of all of my traits as a person. When we talk about being proud of our neurology it is not a lot different to being proud of our physical traits, our nationality or belief systems. Talking about pride is usually very controversial for the simple reason that people see themselves very differently. I might like something about myself, but someone else who is like me might not like […]

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What Autistic Pride means to me by Maura Campbell

June 18, 2017 Spectrum Women

“What’s wrong with him, then?”  The man gawped at my nine-year-old son, taking in his noise-cancelling headphones, the belt around his waist and the strap attaching him to the dog. He then turned his full attention to me. He stared, demanding a response, expecting a justification to be provided for why we had brought a dog into the shop and were queuing beside him. Darragh was impatient for us to pay and leave so that he could enjoy his chosen treat for being a great boy that week at school. “Nothing. There’s nothing wrong with him. In fact, he’s wonderful.” […]

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Why I Write… A Spectrum Women Collaboration

June 12, 2017 Spectrum Women

Inspired by “Why I Ride”, Barb Cook’s love letter to motorcycling published in Spectrum Women in October 2016, some of the Spectrum Women Writing Team have decided to share their thoughts on their shared passion for writing… Jeanette Purkis I am Autistic and also have schizophrenia. I often joke that it was pretty much guaranteed I would end up being a writer with those two diagnoses and the creativity which so often comes along with them. I started writing young. I got to read out my poetry at school assemblies from about the age of eight. High school English was […]

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Nightclub Nightmare & The Day I Stood Up For Myself – Jen Elcheson

May 28, 2017 Spectrum Women

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am not the kind of person who likes to go out much and explore uncharted social territory. It is a strong innate dislike as I am quite introverted and not much of a people person. However, in my younger days, before I had come to terms with being an autistic introvert, I desperately wanted to fit in so bad.  When I could muster the courage to do so, I would occasionally step outside my comfort zone and make myself do things many others would hardly bat an eyelash at. I would do them whether I liked them or not, even at the expense of my […]

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How does it feel, to live in my “own world” ~ Renata Jurkevythz

May 19, 2017 Spectrum Women

A very common statement people make about autistics is how they “live in their own world”. For non-autistics it can very much look like the person is locked in, in a parallel world, not acknowledging what goes on around them. For each individual on the autism spectrum, this “inner world” definitely feels different and may have an effect on their interactions with the world around them. Here, I want to explain my personal experience of being in my inner world. Some may resonate with my personal experience and for others it may be completely different. But as human beings, we […]

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

May 7, 2017 Spectrum Women

**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 […]

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Disability Free December — Linda Wemyss

May 4, 2017 Linda Wemyss

A few years ago, I had had enough of disability to last me a lifetime. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) which involves faulty collagen, which is the glue that holds our bodies together, so I am literally falling apart. Ehlers Danlos in my case, involves multiple joint dislocations and subluxations every day, generalised pain and fatigue, a seven year old migraine, a neurological condition called dysautonomia, and a wide range of medical problems involving my organs. I use a wheelchair. I also have autism, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (c-PTSD), anxiety disorder, dysthymia, and a few common medical problems […]

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