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 […]

Featured

Meet the Spectrum Women Book Authors: Dr Michelle Garnett

August 3, 2018 Spectrum Women

The Spectrum Women and authors of this book, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism, felt it would be a great opportunity to tell you a little about ourselves and the reasons why we were part of this incredible project. Each Spectrum Woman has a unique story to tell and today we would like to introduce you to Dr Michelle Garnett…   When Barb invited me to be a co-author of “Spectrum Women,” involving reading 19 chapters written by 15 autistic women about a diversity of life topics, I could not reply quickly enough to say “Yes!” in case […]

Parenting

An open letter to ‘martyr’ parents – Jeanette Purkis

July 15, 2018 Spectrum Women

I will preface this by clearly stating that I have no issue with parents of autistic kids. It would be rude — and foolish — if I did, considering that a lot of my advocacy work is with parents. I recognise the vital role parents have in supporting their kids to grow to be strong and fulfilled autistic adults. Parenting can be very difficult and parents usually do an amazing job. This letter relates to a small subset of parents within the world of autism… I was in conversation online in response to a post about a TV program featuring […]

Spectrum Women Authors

Meet the Spectrum Women Book Authors: Samantha Craft

June 28, 2018 Spectrum Women

Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism is now in its final stages of publication, preparing to be printed for the wide world to see by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, we, the Spectrum Women and authors of this book, felt it would be a great opportunity to tell you a little about ourselves and the reasons why we were part of this incredible project. Each Spectrum Woman has a unique story to tell and today we would like to introduce you to Samantha Craft…   There is a popular quote by American anthropologist Margaret Mead that reads: ‘Never doubt that […]

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 […]

Pride

My Pride by Jennifer O’Toole

June 18, 2018 Spectrum Women

I’m not proud to be autistic. Which, I realize, may seem like an odd way to start a piece that’s meant to celebrate Autistic Pride Day. But it’s not. Not really, anyway. It just takes some explaining. I played competitive tennis as a teenager. Twenty-five years later, I can clearly remember parents cheering courtside, our coach quick to praise us for making a strategic shot or communicating well with a doubles partner. It was, and is, easy to get swept along with the motion of things. To feel the irritation of “unforced errors” and find ourselves trapped in the toxic […]

Spectrum Women Authors

Meet the Spectrum Women Book Authors: Terri Mayne

June 15, 2018 Spectrum Women

Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism is now in its final stages of publication, preparing to be printed for the wide world to see by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, we, the Spectrum Women and authors of this book, felt it would be a great opportunity to tell you a little about ourselves and the reasons why we were part of this incredible project. Each Spectrum Woman has a unique story to tell and today we would like to introduce you to Terri Mayne…   Since as far back as I can remember, I’d always just been me. I’d always […]

Identity

I have a mental illness, I’m autistic and proud by Jeanette Purkis

June 13, 2018 Spectrum Women

This is a piece about mental illness and autism. It was quite difficult to write as it looks at issues of discrimination and exclusion from some parts of the autistic community. While it may be uncomfortable, issues like this need to be raised so we can address them. The name of my personal blog is Jeanette Purkis: Thoughts on All Things Autism and Mental Health. Occasionally I get a comment saying ‘Autism is not a mental illness.’ Cue someone very carefully and painstakingly setting me straight on something I apparently don’t know — that autism and mental illness are not […]

Spectrum Women Authors

Meet the Spectrum Women Book Authors: Jeanette Purkis

June 7, 2018 Spectrum Women

Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism is now in its final stages of publication, preparing to be printed for the wide world to see by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, we, the Spectrum Women and authors of this book, felt it would be a great opportunity to tell you a little about ourselves and the reasons why we were part of this incredible project. Each Spectrum Woman has a unique story to tell and today we would like to introduce you to Jeanette Purkis…   My chapter in the Spectrum Women book is about employment, which is a very important […]

Education

Just How Hard Can Easy Be? By Lisa Morgan

June 2, 2018 Spectrum Women

I’d like to take a look at how hard ‘easy’ can be for an autistic person. For this purpose, I’m going to use actors in a play. The setting is a classroom.  The lead role is an autistic student (played by me). The supporting roles are comprised of the teacher, other students, and any aides in the room. The antagonist is the environment. Let’s take a moment and look at a school environment through the eyes of an autistic student. First, let’s consider the setting of a typical classroom in an elementary school. The room is bright and colorful with […]

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