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Family Dynamics – Jeanette Purkis

January 22, 2018 Spectrum Women

Next week I m going to visit my parents. Despite having a difficult relationship in the past between us, I now love seeing them. I’m thinking how my mum will have a mango ready for my breakfast that she has specially bought and that Jalna yoghurt I like too. She has been telling me all about the shops in Beechworth that she wants to show me and the weekend will be spent just with family and friends I grew up with. Everyone will be happy to see me and ask me about what I am doing and it will be […]

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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 […]

Inspiration

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 […]

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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.” […]

Inspiration

Autistic Pride: Be Unashamedly You ~ Barb Cook

June 18, 2017 Spectrum Women

I believe in myself… finally. It hasn’t always been this way. Life was this strange existence that I could never quite figure a way to get through. Well, that was to the outside world. Life in my own world made perfect sense, especially as a young girl, but that changed as the years went by and self-doubt began to creep in. I have blundered my way through most of my life until I learnt about Aspergers Syndrome in 2008 leading to a diagnosis in 2009. That day, March 3rd was the best day of my life. Seriously. It was a […]

Inspiration

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

June 18, 2017 Spectrum Women

Sunday 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 week 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? […]

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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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