Featured

15 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY TO AN AUTISTIC WOMAN

August 13, 2018 Spectrum Women

A Spectrum Women Compilation, edited by Jen Elcheson and Maura Campbell Barb Cook, Dena Gassner, Renata Jurkevythz, Anita Lesko, Becca Lory, Terri Mayne, Jeanette Purkis, Kate Ross, Lisa Morgan Content Warning: ableism, paternalizing, bullying, sexism (pretty much a smorgasbord of awful). We present to you another collaborative piece where we discuss a bunch of things people should not say to autistic women (or, indeed, to any autistic person, female-presenting or otherwise) and why saying them can be negative from an autistic perspective. 1. “Are you sure you’re autistic?” Trying to talk someone out of their diagnosis, questioning their identity, saying […]

Advocacy

If Neurodiversity Doesn’t Challenge You, You’re Not Doing It Right by Maura Campbell

June 23, 2018 Spectrum Women

“Would you like to pet the lambs?”  This story comes back to me whenever I have to check in with myself on whether I’m ‘doing neurodiversity right’. Let me explain. It was shortly after my son’s autism diagnosis, and many months before I’d cottoned on that I was also autistic. We were visiting an open farm as part of a large group of families, enjoying the opportunity to meet other parents raising kids on the spectrum.  Our lives had become very small in those early days, as we tried to process what autism meant for our beautiful boy, and even […]

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 […]

Insights

Autistic and Damn Proud of It! ~ Jen Elcheson

June 19, 2017 Spectrum Women

It wasn’t too long ago that I could admit to myself that I am truly damn proud to be autistic. It was a serious lesson in self-acceptance. Learning to accept being autistic meant learning to accept myself. As I have mentioned in some of my other writings, my diagnosis story differs from the narratives of the later and recently diagnosed autistic people featured nowadays. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in late 1998 right after I turned 17, as my school, counsellor, and mom were concerned about how I was getting on socially and wanted me assessed. This was back […]

Featured

Proud of being myself ~ Renata Jurkevythz

June 18, 2017 Spectrum Women

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 that part […]

Featured

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.” […]

Insights

Making Myself Proud! – Reflections on Autistic Pride – Jeanette Purkis

June 18, 2017 Spectrum Women

June 18 is Autistic Pride Day. I usually pop an Autistic Pride themed meme on social media and tell everyone to ’get their pride on’. I see myself as a proud Autistic but I never really unpacked the concept of pride and why I identify with it. It just seemed an affirming sentiment. I saw something this which got me examining my thoughts on pride. Someone had posted on a friend’s Facebook timeline, ‘Why would you be proud of something you can’t help?’ This had me thinking — why do I say I am a proud Autistic woman? Why do […]

Featured

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 […]

Autism April

Attracting the Kind of Life that You Want and Stepping out of the Bubble – Rudy Simone

April 8, 2017 Spectrum Women

There are people in the world who spend their whole life chasing happiness from without. They buy boats, cars, planes, trains, corporations, islands, trying to amass as much stuff as they can to see where the happiness lies. Maybe they have a great time, but if wealth (and fame) were everything, so many rich people wouldn’t be overdosing in hotel rooms across the globe, entering rehab, and/or psychotherapy. Sometimes people spend all their time and money searching and when they don’t find it in material things, they do a 180 and search for a higher power—doing good works, praying, lunching […]

Insights

Living Life as a Formal Event

August 18, 2016 Spectrum Women

Ever since I found out about my Asperger’s my life has really changed… Or better said, my perception of life changed. Suddenly everything started to make sense, all the answers I never thought I’d get were just coming and I even found lots of people that spoke my language who were looking for the same answers. It was very enlightening and liberating as most of you who are reading this are already are very much aware of and have gone through the same (or a similar) experience. After feeling engulfed by this wave of energy and excitement, that only such […]

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