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 […]

Advocacy

Striking a Path into Neurotypical Space – Jeanette Purkis

September 21, 2017 Spectrum Women

I am a forty-three year old Autistic woman. Like many other Autistic people I have some quite significant ‘differences’ setting me apart from my neurotypical peers. Some of these stem directly from my Autism—things like being unable to read body language or not noticing anyone’s emotions unless they tell me or give a strong hint. I don’t usually notice if someone is crying unless they are doing it loudly! I don’t ever ‘do’ eye contact. If I remember I will look at a spot on the bridge of the nose of the person I’m talking with, but more often than […]

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 […]

My Life

My Safe Space – Barb Cook

July 28, 2017 Spectrum Women

Putting on my big black motorcycle jacket, boots and helmet makes me feel safe. I have an armour protecting me from the outside world that I don’t want to let in… but only for a while. I need this time away, so sorry, I am not letting you in behind this barrier…. this time is for me and me alone. I need this time; this space is for me, just me, so I can find my way back into the world with a mind that has unscrambled itself. When the world around me gets too loud, too bright, too confusing […]

My Life

The Glass of Milk – Maura Campbell

July 24, 2017 Spectrum Women

The teacher, a stern woman of a certain age, folded her arms across her ample bosom and stared intently over the top of her thick-rimmed glasses.  The reason for her evident irritation cowered before her – a painfully shy seven-year-old girl. A glass of milk sat untouched in front of the child. Mrs S. had presided over her terrified charges in this classroom for as long as anyone in the school – teachers and pupils alike – could remember. The children knew she meant business and none of them had ever had the temerity to defy her. Not until the […]

Parenting

Parental Invalidation ~ Jeanette Purkis

July 7, 2017 Spectrum Women

A good friend of mine who is the mum of one of the young women I mentor asked me to write this piece after she had witnessed another parent of an autistic teen post negative things about their child on social media without the teen’s consent. The content was something I can imagine the young person would have found monumentally embarrassing. Sadly if I recounted every instance where someone who should be a responsible adult belittles an autistic child or young person who is standing right next to them it would make quite a long and unpleasant book. This stuff […]

Relationships

Behaviour is Language ~ Renata Jurkevythz

July 5, 2017 Spectrum Women

In this insightful and thought provoking piece, Renata talks about how for her, learning languages (English being second to her native Portuguese) significantly compares to learning the innate social cues that non autistic individuals inherently know… People are so quick to doubt my diagnosis of Asperger’s just because I “behave like a regular person” and “don’t look autistic”. This really bothers me! This doesn’t just happen with me, but with the vast majority of diagnosed people that don’t match the male/classic stereotypes. And here lies a substantial problem. Too many of us have to go out proving ourselves all the […]

Featured

Spectrumly Speaking Episode 13 – Autism Advocacy in Australia, with Barb Cook of Spectrum Women Magazine

June 28, 2017 Spectrum Women

(28 mins) In this episode, hosts Katherine Cody, Psy.D. and Becca Lory, CAS, BCCS speak with Barb Cook. Barb was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome in 2009 and is Founder and Editor in Chief of Spectrum Women Magazine. She is a highly committed Autism/Aspergers advocate, keen motorcyclist and web/graphics guru. Barb has made numerous appearances on Australian television and radio, in national newspapers and magazines, was part of a documentary The Chameleons: Women with Autism. She is also the Founder and Director of Bikers for Autism Australia and Co-Founder/Director of the Australian Autism Aspergers Network Inc. Barb discusses her personal diagnosis, the autism gender gap in […]

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