• Special Feature

    EVENT: Empowerment on the Autism Spectrum Workshop with Barb Cook & Yenn Purkis – 16 August 2019, Penrith NSW

    CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKET Venue: Penrith RSL Club, 8 Tindale Street, Penrith NSW 16th August 2019 – 9.30am – 2.30pm Ticket Price:  Autistic Person $55  General $99 About the workshop… This workshop focuses on strategies and supports to empower women and non-male individuals on the autism spectrum in gaining self-advocacy and self-determination skills to set them on a pathway to a more fulfilling life. Throughout this workshop, Barb and Yenn will explore issues faced by autistic individuals in a variety of life settings, resonating from their personal lived experience, current research and community knowledge. Practical group activities and discussion will provide an opportunity to expand knowledge within the wider community and to enlighten health professionals and educators in how to best support and [...]
  • Featured

    Spectrum Women Interview Series with Jen Elcheson: Meet Shadia Hancock

    Shadia Hancock is an 18 year old Australian entrepreneur, coach, speaker, writer, animal empath, university student, and visual artist professionally identified as autistic at the early age of three. They recently started their own business where they are proud to offer life coaching and academic tutoring from an autistic perspective for other young people on the spectrum. In addition, Shadia is involved in other projects aimed to assist autistic people in finding their purpose in this often tough to navigate world. Since we at Spectrum Women are all about working to help empower fellow autistic and neurodivergent people, I knew Shadia would be an excellent person to feature. They share many of the same values we do and as you will see, they are an [...]
  • Featured

    How Meditation Has Helped Me by Anlor Davin

    First of all, I want to state that I am privileged and my basic survival needs are covered. Nowadays, and for the past ten years or so, I can make ends meet.  I am, by the standards of most “civilized countries” (not in all domains…), rather poor.  I am disabled, often invisibly, due to my autism. I live with my partner in a one bedroom rented apartment; we do not have a car, and I qualify for many low-income programs, but I am relatively healthy and I have quality health coverage and my health. This in turn means I have relative peace of mind, which is quite important to me and in order for meditation to become something one can explore.  Thus, this article is [...]
  • Featured

    “What IS Wrong With People?” Struggling to comprehend injustice by Janine Kharey

    I believe that altruism is at the center of how civilizations managed to be successful. I don’t think humans could have survived long in self-serving society. There must be something in us that makes us care about more than just getting our own needs met, yet tales of cruelty, injustice and man’s inhumanity to man bombard us. As an elementary teacher my life was deeply enriched by the beautiful souls that passed through my classroom. Among one of those souls was a child so full of undaunted  joy , compassion and wonder who could not understand how people could be mean. Her realization upon encountering someone acting unkindly was to exclaim “what is wrong with people?” Indeed, Ramsey, what is wrong? One of my greatest [...]
  • Featured

    Self-Protection by Jeanette Purkis

    I was in a documentary alongside three other autistic people which aired in 2010. In one scene, the four of us are having a conversation. One person, Akasha, said ‘The amount of money I have been ripped off is getting close to $500,000’. The other three of us all nodded in a very knowing way. I’m not sure about $500K but I have definitely been ripped off a lot of money over the years. I have been victim of scams and cons, plus toxic and dangerous people have manipulated me and taken advantage of me in many different areas of life. In the worst of these incidences I ended up committing crimes and going to prison to please my ‘boyfriend’ because it took me so [...]
Featured

Jessica Kingsley Wins International Excellence Award

by Spectrum Women in Featured

Jessica Kingsley, who founded Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 1987, has been awarded The London Book Fair’s Simon Master Chairman’s Award for her work in publishing books about autism. The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards, held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association, celebrate publishing success in seventeen categories, representing the best publishing ambassadors, innovative publishing, and ground-breaking initiatives in the industry. Jessica Kingsley Publishers have long been known for their pioneering publishing in non-fiction [...]

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Anxiety and Autism Art by Dr Holly Priddis

by Spectrum Women in Arts

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 [...]

WOMEN & GIRLS RESEARCH – TIZARD University of Kent

by Spectrum Women in Research Studies

WOMEN & GIRLS RESEARCH   PARTICIPANTS WANTED   Are you a late-diagnosed autistic woman*?   Are you the parent/carer of an autistic woman or girl?   Do you self-identify as an autistic woman?   Are you a professional who comes into contact with autistic women or girls?   If so, we want to hear from you!   Researchers at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent are designing a screening tool for autism, which focuses on [...]

THE INVISIBLE PRICE OF ACCOMMODATION — Renata Jurkevythz

by Spectrum Women in Featured

Every accommodation provided for a person with a disability, be it physical or mental, visible or invisible, is usually perceived as something they are getting “for free”. Something is being facilitated for them in a way it wouldn’t for a person without said disability. Supposedly, it is understood that it is not an advantage, but a way to make things less difficult, or simply possible, [...]

Anxiety and Alexithymia

by Spectrum Women in Life Through the Lens of Autism

Remember the famous line – “The call is coming from in the house?”- from a classic urban legend horror scene?  When it’s discovered that the prank calls are coming from inside the house, the scare factor goes up exponentially.  Some people consider that scene to be one of the scariest openings in horror movie history. It kind of happened to me the other day.  I was walking around a store and I kept jumping because my heart would explode into [...]
Featured

Interview: Meet Cynthia Zuber

November 6, 2018

Spectrum Women Magazine Interview by Jen Elcheson Cynthia Zuber is a health and wellness writer from the U.S. who lives in the state of Minnesota with her husband, their adorable dog Jonah, and their 18 year old black cat, Juniper.  Cynthia, now 43, professionally identified as having Asperger’s (which in North America, according to the DSM-5 is ASD Level 1, or autism) at age 40, recently joined the autistic blogosphere with her Facebook based blog, The Neurodiverse Woman, which she hopes to eventually turn into a website. Her musings are deep and insightful, brimming with self-awareness, and empowering sentiments that […]

Just How Hard Can Easy Be? By Lisa Morgan

Education
June 2, 2018
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 [...]
General

The Same Only Different – Maura Campbell

September 6, 2017

Imagine for a moment what it would be like if medical practitioners talked about red haired people the way they talk about autistics.  (Stay with me.) A description of a redhead might go something like this: Nearly 2% of people worldwide suffer from redhead disorder. Symptoms include abnormally pale skin, unusually thick hair follicles, hyper-sensitivity to changes in temperature and excessive freckling. There is no known cure. Within the redhead community, a debate might ensue about the relative merits of identity-first language (‘redhead’) versus person-first language (‘person with redheadedness’).  Some people might get in a lather over whether those with […]

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 […]

Life Through the Lens of Autism – Monthly Column with Lisa Morgan

Anxiety and Alexithymia

Remember the famous line – “The call is coming from in the house?”- from a classic urban legend horror scene?  When it’s discovered that the prank calls are coming from inside the house, the scare factor goes up exponentially.  Some people consider that scene to be one of the scariest openings in horror movie history. It kind of happened to me the other day.  I was walking around a store and I kept jumping because my heart would explode into thumping wildly just like someone jumped out at me to scare me.  I would calm down, and then it would happen again, and again.  It was a bit creepy to figure out… it was coming from inside me. The culprits are anxiety and alexithymia (the inability to identify [...]
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 [...]

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Book Releases

‘KNOW YOUR SPECTRUM!’ – BOOK REVIEW AND INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR FINN MONAGHAN

February 9, 2019

Interview by Maura Campbell, Spectrum Women Senior Editor and Features Writer Finn Monaghan is a Northern Ireland based specific learning difficulties teacher working as a freelance Autism and Dyslexia Tutor and Disability Needs Assessor at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. She received a late diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, aged 38, and the impact of growing up without a diagnosis inspired her to write a book to help autistic teenagers recognise their own individual spectrum of autism. Maura: Why did you think a book like this was needed? Finn: I found it difficult to grow up with undiagnosed autism and […]

Book Releases

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

May 12, 2018

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 […]

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