Culture

Truth About the Standards of Society by Kate Gaster

May 19, 2018 Spectrum Women

Society’s standards and ideas of how you should be seen and to present yourself are set for, and by neurotypicals (NTs). It feels like everything that is to be aimed for is perfection; white teeth, tan, perfect hair, designer clothes, new car, holidays, and on it goes. People are viewed and measured by these standards. I see many NTs struggling to meet these standards, as the truth is, these standards are not reachable for the mainstream average person. The photographs in glossy magazines, the television shows, portray lifestyles that are not realistic. They are unreachable, unrealistic, but nobody speaks of […]

Book Releases

“FIFTEEN THINGS THEY FORGOT TO TELL YOU ABOUT AUTISM” — BOOK REVIEW AND INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR DEBBY ELLEY

May 12, 2018 Spectrum Women

Interview by Maura Campbell, Spectrum Women Features Writer. I just blitzed through the book I wish I could have read when my son was diagnosed with autism eight years ago. Fifteen Things They Forgot To Tell You About Autism, penned by Debby Elley, one of the driving forces behind Aukids magazine, was published in April and is already attracting great reviews. I can see why. Debby’s book is packed with helpful advice and practical tips based on what she’s learned over the years as a mother of twin autistic boys.  It reads like a conversation with a wise and trusted […]

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 […]

Featured

Non-Verbals and Me by Jen Elcheson

May 6, 2018 Spectrum Women

“Smile,” “look, natural, Jen,” “stop making funny faces,” “stop moving,” “look at me.” Those were just some of the things that were said when I was younger. This didn’t just happen when my photo was being taken, it also happened whenever someone wanted to get my attention. I did not even realize my idiosyncratic body language/movements or facial expressions (or lack thereof), and was actually doing what came natural to me at the time, whether it was zoning out or looking perpetually astonished like the proverbial deer in the headlights (those are just a couple of examples). To further confound […]

Advocacy

Barb Cook on the Autism Gender Gap, Being a Chameleon and Finding Your Tribe

May 2, 2018 Spectrum Women

Barb Cook is founder and editor in chief of the international publication Spectrum Women Magazine, co-founder and director of the Australian Autism Aspergers Network Inc., and founder of Bikers for Autism Australia. Barb is a passionate autism advocate, keen motorcyclist with a love for visual arts. Barb has been recognised nationally and internationally for her work spanning from her original publication the Autism Aspergers Network Magazine. Today Nick McAllister from Autism West catches up with Barb for an exclusive interview. You were diagnosed as being autistic at the age of 40, is that unusual to have such a late diagnosis? Getting a diagnosis […]

Featured

Mental Health Care and Gaming — The CheckPoint Organisation

April 30, 2018 Spectrum Women

Interview by Spectrum Women feature writer Renata Jurkevythz Video Games are a common special interest among autistics. They provide experiences and teach tools in a safe environment ruled by logic, where you can fail and retry as many times as you need without getting hurt, or can simply enjoy a beautiful world that is not governed by confusing social rules. Especially for autistic minds, that must bear a never-ending flow of thoughts and emotions, they can provide a moment of focus and immersion that silences the brain while entertaining. Video games have been one of my major interests since I […]

Featured

Stess: Anxiety, Perfectionism, Black and White Thinking and Catastrophising by Jeanette Purkis

April 16, 2018 Spectrum Women

This article focuses on the stresses which are more likely to be the domain of autistic people: what they are and some strategies that can help address them. Social anxiety While this is not exclusive to autistic people, it is a very common occurrence for us. We might think that other people don’t like us or are judging or discriminating against us. This often comes from being bullied or invalidated in other ways in the past. We end up second guessing ourselves or being either way too trusting or, alternatively way too cynical, assuming that behind any kind gesture there […]

Autism April

WHY WE THINK OUR PETS MIGHT ALSO BE ON THE SPECTRUM

March 29, 2018 Spectrum Women

A Spectrum Women collaboration, edited by Maura Campbell Kate Ross, Anita Lesko, Jen Elcheson, Lisa Morgan, Becca Lory, Christine Jenkins, Terri Mayne, Jeanette Purkis, Barb Cook Spectrum Women share a love of animals and we definitely reckon Kathy Hoopmann was on to something in her best-selling book, All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome (2006). Here’s why….     Kathy’s other titles include All Dogs Have ADHD, All Birds Have Anxiety, Inside Asperger’s Looking Out and The Asperger Adventure series. You can read more about Kathy and her books here.

General

Six Kindnesses for Living by Jennifer Lisi in partnership with Happy Hands Toys

March 14, 2018 Spectrum Women

The body is a wonderful thing, complete with a glorious system of nerves for experiencing our resplendent world.  Most individuals seamlessly navigate their sensory environment.  But for myself and other autistics, simple tasks lay at the mercy of sensation.  I am forty-one years old trying to make each day of my life matter.  I have the same drive for success as any other woman: career, family, autonomy and financial stability.  But too often I have been paddling upstream against a current of external factors I can’t control.  Finding ways to turn the boat downstream and work with those factors can […]

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 […]

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