Featured

Why are they so mean? — Barb Cook

November 14, 2017 Spectrum Women

The words, “Why are they so mean?” has constantly rolled around in my mind, haunting me on and off for a lifetime. A recent encounter, hearing that very same statement from a young soul, tugged at my very core. Why indeed are people at times so mean? Why do they hurt us without a moment’s thought for the consequence that befalls another? How can they laugh and smile while you are fighting back the tears at being shunned, called names or made to feel inferior, less than? It never really made any sense, nor could I find the answers, at […]

Featured

Playing by the rules by Lisa Morgan

October 11, 2017 Spectrum Women

Remember playing tag?  Trying to avoid the person who was “it” as they chased you around?  Laughing and playing as kids dodged around running as fast as they could to not get tagged?  There was always the time when running just a bit ahead of the tagger, who was gaining on you, that home base came into view.  Heading towards home base and getting there first without being tagged… and you’re safe!!  That wonderful feeling of being safe and catching your breath until you feel it’s okay to venture out again is priceless.  Those are happy memories of family get […]

Arts

Meaning of Life—an over-thinker’s guide to the universe by Barb Cook

October 2, 2017 Spectrum Women

I have elevated over-thinking to an art form. Ever since I was a small girl, I often wondered what life meant, right down to the atom level of existence. I have always felt compelled to believe that there was some higher meaning or bigger picture to this existence on planet earth and I want to know why, in detail, from every aspect and angle. In my pre-autistically identified younger days, I was often found lost in my head. The world inside often gave me a source of wonderment as well as a place to try and analyse all that I […]

Featured

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 […]

Featured

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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