• Autism April

    Part One: Spectrum Women April Collaboration – Awareness, Acceptance, and Action!

    A three part series by Spectrum Women – Lisa Morgan, Maura Campbell, Jen Elcheson, Dena Gassner, Christine Jenkins, Terri Mayne, Liane Holliday Willey, and Yenn Purkis Lisa Morgan writes: April is upon us once again, with April 2nd being the day the world will “Light it up Blue”.  People will be talking about autism awareness.  The world seems to be aware of autism, but celebrating what the color blue stands for shows the world is not aware of autistic people.  Autistic people are not in favor of “Lighting it up Blue” or anything that color stands for that day A better idea is to talk about autism acceptance because that is what is needed now.  Let’s go even further and suggest advocating, for autism acceptance [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Advocacy

    What is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’ and when should we just listen by Yenn Purkis

    I used to be friends with a narcissist (as I imagine most people have at some point). This person had to be right and they loved to argue. I deliberately stopped being offended when she repeatedly said something rude. This resulted in her stopping talking about that thing and moving on to another topic which bothered me! I remember having an argument when she was clearly in the wrong. There were witnesses who told me this as well but this woman couldn’t let it go. She HAD to be right. Thankfully, most of us don’t have that almost pathological need to be in the right, but wanting to ‘win’ an argument is something that is quite common. When I was younger I was a socialist. [...]
  • Featured

    Jessica Kingsley Wins International Excellence Award

    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 and are market-leaders in the field of autism, with more than seven hundred autism-specific titles to date. Best-selling books include Tony Attwood’s The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome and Luke Jackson’s Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome:  A User Guide to Adolescence, written when the author was just 13 years old. [...]
  • 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

Spectrum Women Interview Series with Jen Elcheson: Camouflage by Dr. Sarah Bargiela, Illustrated by Sophie Standing

by Spectrum Women in Book Releases

Interview by Jen Elcheson, Spectrum Women Sections Editor, Feature Writer, Interviewer  Camouflage is a Jessica Kingsley Publishers (JKP) new release this year in the ever growing literature on autism in girls, women, and gender-non-conforming people. Are you or someone you love newly diagnosed and don’t know where to begin, what book to start with, and looking for an informative, user friendly basic primer on how autism can present in girls and women? Are you a [...]

swmstories

Part 3: Spectrum Women April Collaboration – Awareness, Acceptance, and Action!

by Spectrum Women in Autism April

In the third and final part of our three-part series, we have more unique thoughts from Spectrum Women on awareness, acceptance and action.  Jen Elcheson – from the point of view of true awareness, self-acceptance, and ways we can all be active. There was a time, much like there is for most people new to autism, when I was not aware of autism, even though I had been given the professional identification! Of course there was not much information at that time and I was heavily in denial. I finally [...]

Part One: Spectrum Women April Collaboration – Awareness, Acceptance, and Action!

by Spectrum Women in Autism April

A three part series by Spectrum Women – Lisa Morgan, Maura Campbell, Jen Elcheson, Dena Gassner, Christine Jenkins, Terri Mayne, Liane Holliday Willey, and Yenn Purkis Lisa Morgan writes: April is upon us once again, with April 2nd being the day the world will “Light it up Blue”.  People will be talking about autism awareness.  The world seems to be aware of autism, but celebrating what the color blue stands for shows the world is not aware of autistic people.  Autistic people are not in [...]

Part 2: Awareness, Acceptance, and Action!- Awareness at the Key to Self by Dena Gassner

by Spectrum Women in Autism April

The second part of our series for Autism Awareness month features Dena Gassner with a clever twist on awareness and acceptance from a personal point of view. Awareness at the Key to Self When we think about Autism Awareness Month, we often think about Awareness as an outside force for assistance. But for me, the most impactful “awareness” has come with introspectively coming to “awareness” and “acceptance” of my own autistic identity. For most of us, we develop suspicious inklings [...]

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 [...]
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

Can All People be: ‘a Little Autistic’? By Lisa Morgan

A lot of people have told me they are “a little autistic”.  It’s usually when I’m losing my mask of “normalcy” because of a change, a sensory overload, or from socializing.  I’m reaching out for help by disclosing my autism to a person I’ve deemed safe to help me find a place to regulate and get my mask back on before I really start melting down. Then they say – they are a little autistic too, or – isn’t everyone a little autistic? And, I know I’ve been completely misunderstood…  again. Can all people be ‘a little autistic’? A couple of questions first… Is a person who wears glasses – a little bit blind?  No, and hopefully not ever. Is a person who broke their leg(s) – a [...]
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

Spectrum Women Interview Series with Jen Elcheson: Camouflage by Dr. Sarah Bargiela, Illustrated by Sophie Standing

April 7, 2019

Interview by Jen Elcheson, Spectrum Women Sections Editor, Feature Writer, Interviewer  Camouflage is a Jessica Kingsley Publishers (JKP) new release this year in the ever growing literature on autism in girls, women, and gender-non-conforming people. Are you or someone you love newly diagnosed and don’t know where to begin, what book to start with, and looking for an informative, user friendly basic primer on how autism can present in girls and women? Are you a clinician who is brushing up on your research? Look no further! This accessible easy to read book is a great starting point of reference on […]

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 […]

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