Advocacy

Striking a Path into Neurotypical Space – Jeanette Purkis

September 21, 2017 Spectrum Women

I am a forty-three year old Autistic woman. Like many other Autistic people I have some quite significant ‘differences’ setting me apart from my neurotypical peers. Some of these stem directly from my Autism—things like being unable to read body language or not noticing anyone’s emotions unless they tell me or give a strong hint. I don’t usually notice if someone is crying unless they are doing it loudly! I don’t ever ‘do’ eye contact. If I remember I will look at a spot on the bridge of the nose of the person I’m talking with, but more often than […]

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Thinking the Autism Way by Lisa Morgan

September 8, 2017 Spectrum Women

Friendships are one of the best things in life, as well as, one of the hardest of all things to understand.  I want friendships, but they are a mystery to me.  Friendships are complicated, simple, painful, loving, scary, safe, and I could go on with my diametrically opposed words but I think I’ve made my point. So, when I have a friendship, I try to safeguard it from any possible mix-ups that can happen.  I know what these are because they’ve all happened before at some time in a previous friendship.  I safeguard it by explaining about autism and what […]

Advocacy

‘Take me to your leader’ – Autism and leadership by Jeanette Purkis

September 3, 2017 Spectrum Women

Last night I was in a room full of people considered leaders—people making a difference in community work, CEOs and entrepreneurs, people with even longer CV’s than me! I was a finalist in the ACT Excellence in Leadership Awards for the second year running. As I listened to the accomplishments of all the finalists and when I heard my own biography read out, I reflected on leadership—specifically what it means to me and why it is useful in the Autism community. I jotted down a note to write a post on Autism and leadership, got my certificate and then did […]

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How does it feel, not being able to leave my own world? – Renata Jurkevythz

August 10, 2017 Spectrum Women

A while ago I wrote a piece about the feeling of living in my own world. It is a world that exists deep within me, and I am its sole inhabitant and ruler. It is very different from the outside world where this world feels like home to me. It feels natural. With this ascertained, I wanted to explain a different aspect of this world in how hard it is to simply leave it and enter the outer one, where everybody else is. My world is very busy, often confusing and extremely deep, but this is home. This isn’t a […]

Employment

Tech Reject and Still Autistic. An Opinion Piece by Jen Elcheson SWM Features Writer

August 5, 2017 Spectrum Women

It goes without saying that autistic people should have reasonable access to gainful employment in a supportive and understanding workplace. How ‘inclusive’ is it when people automatically assume the most suitable jobs for autistics are always in the tech industry? What about those of us who are lucky enough to just be able to navigate the basic functions of our computers or electronic devices and are employed or seeking employment in non-tech industries? Are we not worthy of support and accommodation? Don’t we deserve the job or career that best suits us? All I know is society still has a […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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