Featured

Oh! The Meaning of the Meaning of Words… by Lisa Morgan

May 8, 2018 Spectrum Women

Words have meanings!  Unfortunately, they have lots of different meanings for people, making it a challenge to communicate. There are phrases such as, “Let’s go for coffee soon,” which somehow usually means “Hi, it’s good to see you; I wish we could spend time together, but it’s impossible right now”. Also, “We need to talk about goals soon” can mean “I’m really busy and this is going to have to wait”. One of my favorites over the years has been, “Text (or call) you later” meaning “goodbye”.  Where is this all written down?  How do other people know this language […]

Refelection

The Best Version of Me by Lisa Morgan

March 11, 2018 Spectrum Women

I am an autistic adult who lived undiagnosed through the sixties and seventies in a school environment where differences were not accepted and teachers thought quiet, bright, students could be left alone in favor of the more vocal, struggling ones.  I fell through the cracks and landed in a no-man’s land of bullying, rejection, sensory assaults, and pervasive loneliness. As I think about those early years, my mind wanders back to a typical day and I visualize one of the most important conversations of my life. In my mind’s eye I see her sitting alone in a room full of […]

Featured

THE TOP TEN THINGS PARENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GIRLS ON THE SPECTRUM

March 8, 2018 Spectrum Women

Feature photo: Becca Lory with her mom ©Becca Lory 2018 A Spectrum Women collaboration, edited by Maura Campbell In honour of International Women’s Day, the Spectrum Women writers have compiled a list of things we think it’s particularly important for parents or carers of girls on the autism spectrum to know. 1. Recognise how autism presents differently in girls In adult studies, the 4:1 male/female ratio in autism diagnosis disappears. This means autistic girls are not rare. Persist when they say so. Look for intensity and insistence on sameness. Many of our behaviours are quite typical but we won’t choose to […]

Featured

Affliction or condition? Battle or journey? by Christine Jenkins, SWM Correspondent

February 16, 2018 Spectrum Women

I compare and contrast my discovery of breast cancer with Asperger’s (ASD Level 1) My 50s have been a tumultuous time; I’ve dealt with the unfolding realities of separation, eventual divorce, menopause, gynecological issues, self identification on the autism spectrum, then official ASD diagnoses from 2008 onward. Then the bottom fell out of my world in Spring 2016 when I had two abnormal mammograms, swiftly followed by a very painful stereotactic biopsy of my left breast in early May.  Due to our wonderful Canadian healthcare coverage, I went from that to lumpectomy surgery in five weeks, then on to radiation […]

Featured

With a bit of luck… Jeanette Purkis

January 5, 2018 Spectrum Women

This post is about the idea behind ‘luck’—the impact of people’s attitudes, motivation and aspirations. It is first and foremost my own experience of these things. I will preface the piece by stating that your attitude is not a determinant of good or poor character, that it is never OK to blame someone for not managing adversity well and that different people can respond vastly differently to similar things. Autistic people often find they have a negative attitude and / or a pessimistic view. Sadly this is often due to the horrors which other human beings put us through, particularly […]

Culture

Jingle Hells by Maura Campbell

December 19, 2017 Spectrum Women

The festive season is when I feel most like an alien.  Christmas is, from my perspective, the untidiest of the holidays. It is a bizarre mishmash of unconnected traditions overlaid with cloying sentimentality. Why do otherwise sane people dress as Victorians and sing at you until you give them money? Why do offices across the land have stashes of sugary goods that could put an elephant into a coma? Why do I have to listen to Mariah Carey’s ear-splitting warbling over and over and over again, like a form of Sisyphean torture? It makes no sense! It’s incoherent and illogical. […]

Featured

Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism — Some thoughts and reflections by Jeanette Purkis

November 29, 2017 Spectrum Women

As a child I was told I was a ‘tomboy’. I rarely wore skirts or dresses and was far more interested in toy trucks and cranes than dolls, which I was confused by. What was the point of plastic people and what was I supposed to do with them? I wasn’t interested in boys growing up and couldn’t understand why anyone would intentionally wear uncomfortable high heeled shoes. Makeup baffled me. It looked like clay on people’s faces and red lipstick just made them look like a clown — or, as I got older and knew about such things — […]

Featured

The Big Sigh by Becca Lory, CAS, BCCS

November 27, 2017 Spectrum Women

This is one of those days. I feel it the moment I open my eyes. I instantly loathe that I am awake. I fall into an old habit of calculating how many hours I will have to reasonably be out of my bed before I can crawl back into it without having to feign illness or apologize for not returning a text. Twelve? Maybe if I stay in bed a little longer I can make it eleven. As I close my eyes, hoping for a lessened sentence, the dogs start to rouse. I hear the shuffle of early morning stretches, […]

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 […]

Latest News

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 […]

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