• Featured

    It’s Here, and It’s Real: Emotional Pain in the Body by Mary P. Donahue, Ph.D.

    In my experience working with autism and trauma, I’ve noticed a large number of autistic people who report physical pain that’s there “for no reason.” They haven’t over-exercised, moved furniture, or otherwise knowingly taxed the physical body. So, know this: physical pain can also result from strong emotional stress. It’s a real thing. Taking a few minutes to consider the miracle that is the body, physical pain resulting from over-taxing the brain makes sense; high stress creates high anxiety, and over time, that can cause tightened muscles, constrained blood flow, increased heart rate, and joint pain, among other things. Such pain is not “in the head.” It’s real. And it can be toxic. But there’s more. Besides the super high stress that can occur from [...]
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    Unmet Needs During the Pandemic By Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

    **Content warning: Suicide Crisis supports for the autism community are sparse.  Autistic people need support specific to their way of thinking and understanding the world.  This often differs from the type of support available for the general public.  Thankfully, there is an existing research study published in Molecular Autism that we, autistic people, can use to help ourselves now, in real time, as we need it during the pandemic. This research can help guide us in how we can take care of ourselves and our loved ones as we experience the unexpected changes in the world.  The immediate changes we were unprepared for in all aspects of our lives can be individually traumatic.  Processing the experiences as they happen can prevent trauma from developing into [...]
  • Featured

    Today by Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

    My alarm goes off.  As my mind transitions from sleeping to waking up, I wonder what day it is.  Oh, yeah, it’s today.  It’s always today now.  There’s no schedule to discern one day from the next anymore.  It’s the spring of 2020 and the whole world changed just a couple of weeks ago. Then, I start to remember.  This today is going to be a great day!  Things are really going to get exciting!  I had decided the night before to shake things up a bit and have my coffee in the living room by the window instead of at the kitchen table.  I hurry to get up.  I wonder what I’ll see!  Maybe a bird or a squirrel if I’m lucky.  If not, [...]
  • Featured

    Be Mindful, Be Present, Be You: How to Handle Crisis Anxiety – Becca Lory Hector, CAS, BCCS

    With the world around us a chaotic mess, it is getting harder and harder to avoid becoming a giant, swirling, ball of anxiety. The current pandemic has disrupted our lives and the world as we know it is on hold for the foreseeable future. It has interrupted routines, forced schools to close, and sent many of us to work from home or not at all. It feels as though the rug has been pulled out from under our proverbial feet. If you are feeling a growing sense of dread, you are far from alone. Most of us are feeling overwhelmed and afraid, as we are being bombarded with changing facts and statistics on what feels like an almost hourly basis. Yet, it is hard to [...]
  • Featured

    The Carnival by Lisa Morgan M.Ed CAS

    When I was a kid I went to a carnival.  It was one of those small town carnivals celebrating summer with music, craft tables, the smell of fried food, and games to play for a stuffed animal. This carnival had a cake walk.  It’s a game like musical chairs where people walk around an area until the music stops.  If you happened to stop in front of a cake, you got to keep it.  All the cakes were homemade and delicious!  But, I digress. It wasn’t a time for cake then as you will see as my story progresses. So, I was taken to this carnival to have a good time, and I really, truly wanted to have fun.  For many people carnivals are happy [...]
Featured

When so Little was Known of Autism by Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

by Spectrum Women in Advocacy

Autistic adults who are now in their 30’s and older are a unique group of people twice over.  First, they are unique because they are autistic and second because most of them grew up undiagnosed.  In the US, autism did not become a common word until the 1960’s, even so, it was still extremely rare to have a diagnosis of autism in the 60’s and 70’s or even 80’s.  School kids were helped by IDEA [...]

It’s Here, and It’s Real: Emotional Pain in the Body by Mary P. Donahue, Ph.D.

In my experience working with autism and trauma, I’ve noticed a large number of autistic people who report physical pain that’s there “for no reason.” They haven’t over-exercised, moved furniture, or otherwise knowingly taxed the physical body. So, know this: physical pain can also result from strong emotional stress. It’s a real thing. Taking a few minutes to consider the miracle that is the body, physical pain resulting from over-taxing the brain makes sense; high [...]

Reducing Workplace Stress: Working Together on Self-Care by Barb Cook, M.Aut., Dip.HSc.

How often do we hear ourselves saying “I just need to finish this job and then I can take a break”, or “If I can get this project finished, I can then take a couple of days off”? When we tell ourselves this over and over again, without taking action to ‘look after ourselves’, the cracks inevitably will begin to appear. The internal motivation of “I’ll get this job done, then I can…”, becomes the ultimate words of dread, with the “then I can…” [...]

Autism: A Brave New World? by Maura Campbell

“You’re very brave.” I get that a lot. In fact, I’ve been hearing it constantly ever since I ‘came out’ as autistic. It’s usually said kindly (I think) and so I try to take it in the spirit intended. But every time someone says to me “You’re very brave” it gets me thinking: why is it ‘brave’ to be open about being autistic? I think there might be a few reasons for that. They might see it as ‘brave’ for me to apply a word to myself that’s generally represented as something very different in popular culture – usually a [...]

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NeuroEmploy provides a variety of neurodiversity specific educational and training programs for neurodivergent individuals, workplace staff, management and businesses. Training and tailored consulting delivered by NeuroEmploy provides essential knowledge on being a neurodiversity inclusive workplace, how to support neurodivergent employees and how to re-evaluate workplace design, policies and practices for all staff. Webinars, workshops and facilitated programs for neurodivergent people and staff have been designed by leading authorities in neurodivergent conditions and are delivered by neurodivergent people.
Featured

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

March 8, 2018

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 […]

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In the Spotlight

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

by Spectrum Women in General

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 [...]
Arts

What I like by Jenny Snyder

July 6, 2019

People make autism out to be scary and pitiable. But there are lots of things I LIKE about being autistic. Focus:  Focusing on an activity is incredibly energizing. You could say I have a one-track mind. I am good at certain kinds of things because it’s easy to totally commit myself to some drive and I am pretty much single minded.  Thoughts are like drugs to me.  A few times in my life people have commented, “You think too much,” like my focus was weird, but I love the non-stop inner deliberations.  My mind is not a bad place to […]

Arts

Anxiety and Autism Art by Dr Holly Priddis

December 21, 2018

I have always loved to create since I was quite young. I dreamt of being a writer and loved immersing myself in fantasy plot-lines, tapping furiously on my old school typewriter, or drawing abstract images on my art pad as a teen. In my early twenties once I became a mother I did not have much time to be creative while raising our 4 children, and slowly all my creative outlets slipped neglected to the wayside. However, over the past year, rediscovering art has been a saviour to me. On and off over my life I have experienced anxiety, however […]

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Spectrum Suite, LLC – Samantha Craft

Spectrum Suite, LLC is a service-oriented company founded in 2016 in Washington state, USA, dedicated to celebrating neurodiversity through all forms of art and artistic expression. Our services include supporting authors and artists, producing and providing quality and unique neurodiverse literature, and serving the neurodiverse community and their loved ones through community outreach, gatherings, and educational events.

http://www.myspectrumsuite.com/