• Featured

    It’s Not A Personality Problem by Mary P. Donahue, Ph.D.

    Recently I was asked to sit in on a meeting between an autistic parent and the managers of her child’s home mental health support team. The parent was having trouble communicating her concerns to the in-home supports. It had become frustrating for both mom and team, and services had ceased. Mom wanted to continue finding ways to help her son and also had to have information from the managers to help her process what had happened. Though considered a neurotypical person, I am fortunate to have some ability to translate between the neuro-typical and autism worlds. So I went. Holy cow! We neurotypicals have issues! While mom presented her concerns efficiently, the two managers failed to re-state or clarify what she’d said. Instead, they defended [...]
  • Education

    How Self Care, Interoception & Co-Regulation has Increased Peace in Our Family Life by Christina Keeble

    Why is interoception & co-regulation important to being able to self-regulate? I get asked this quite often when I introduce families and professionals to these concepts. For more than a decade I’d worked with children and families and used programs such as the Zones of Regulation, sensory profiles, and sensory diets while working on increasing the child’s ability to self-regulate. It wasn’t until I had my own children that I learned and understood the importance of interoception and co-regulation. It was just never introduced in the trainings or literature I read. Interoception is our 8th sense and is our awareness of our internal states, everything from emotions to hunger, thirst, the feeling of full, the urge to go to the toilet etc, Co-regulation is when [...]
  • Advocacy

    Imposter Syndrome by Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

    Have you ever felt the thrill of a hard-won success – only to completely doubt your abilities soon after? Maybe you stepped out of your comfort zone, worked very hard, did an incredible job, but then started to rationalize it was all just luck?  How about feeling like a fraud, even though you have clear evidence you are not? Even irrefutable, written, positive feedback can be dismissed by the doubt and angst inflicted upon people by the Imposter Syndrome. The Imposter Syndrome is a lying thief. Just as I started moving forward, taking risks, and enjoying successes; it crashed into my life uninvited. It relentlessly accuses me of being a fraud because – for the first time in my adult life – I’ve been able [...]
  • Featured

    “MILDLY DIFFERENT” – Interview with Anna Czarska

    Mildly Different is an exciting new film project which aims to shed light on what autism in women looks and feels like from an autistic perspective. Maura Campbell met up with Anna Czarska, Managing Director of Sticky Tape Productions, to find out more. How did the idea for the film come about and what are you hoping to achieve through this project? The film was inspired by my own experiences. I went through most of my life not knowing about my autism and believing there was something inherently wrong with me. This not only led to a great deal of inner turmoil, but it left me unable to communicate with others in a way that worked. Instead, I lost many important people in my life [...]
  • Featured

    Rituals, Routines and Stims – Oh My! by Maura Campbell

    Imagine you’re standing on a makeshift stage. Just you. It’s time to dance. You start to move around the stage, the dancing getting better as you feel more comfortable. Then somebody removes some of the struts holding up the rickety stage. You start to wobble. You slow down to a hesitant shuffle and eventually you have to stop… As an autistic, there are days when the world feels firm under my feet. Those are the days when what I’m doing seems familiar and ‘right’. I know what to expect and what is expected of me. I have the right balance between the demands being placed on me and the things I need to do to feel comfortable. I can move the way I need to. [...]
Featured

Representation Matters by Yenn Purkis

by Spectrum Women in Arts

Musician Sia recently released a film called Music which caused controversy in the autism / neurodiversity community as it features an allistic actor playing an autistic character. Sia caused further offence by talking about levels of functioning and at one point called an autistic actor who said they would have liked to have been cast in the film as ‘a bad actor.’ This post isn’t going to be all about ‘what Sia did’ but the [...]

Laughter Means Something was Funny By Lisa Morgan

‘Laughing all the way to the bank’… I tried it once, but only made it halfway.  My sides hurt, I was holding onto the steering wheel with one hand and wiping the tears of laughter out of my eyes with the other hand.  I’m lucky I even made it to the bank! Ok, yes, I like to have fun with idioms sometimes. I do have a point to this, I really do.  I was just [...]

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 [...]

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…” [...]

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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

Representation Matters by Yenn Purkis

January 27, 2021

Musician Sia recently released a film called Music which caused controversy in the autism / neurodiversity community as it features an allistic actor playing an autistic character. Sia caused further offence by talking about levels of functioning and at one point called an autistic actor who said they would have liked to have been cast in the film as ‘a bad actor.’ This post isn’t going to be all about ‘what Sia did’ but the situation does highlight a big issue in the autism community and the disability community more broadly – that of representation in media and representation generally. […]

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 […]

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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.

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