Featured

TOP TIPS FOR SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS WHEN YOU’RE ON THE SPECTRUM ~ by Maura Campbell

November 20, 2018 Spectrum Women

With Christmas fast approaching, our resident Agonising Auntie has put together some top tips on how to survive the festive season if you’re autistic. Whether you’re ‘ho ho ho!’ or ‘no, no, no!’, we hope these will help you have a happier holiday… 1. Be a party pooper! If you dread the thought of the office Christmas party, either politely decline the invitation or have an exit strategy for when you need to leave – for example, dare Mike from Accounts to press the fire alarm button once he’s on his third Sambuca. 2. Don’t stand in line – go […]

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 […]

Spectrum Women Authors

Maura Campbell: Meet the Spectrum Women Book Authors

April 13, 2018 Spectrum Women

As our book 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 Maura Campbell…   I was excited and honoured — and, I have to say, a […]

Culture

Jingle Hells by Maura Campbell

December 19, 2017 Spectrum Women

The festive season is when I feel most like an alien.  Christmas is, from my perspective, the untidiest of the holidays. It is a bizarre mishmash of unconnected traditions overlaid with cloying sentimentality. Why do otherwise sane people dress as Victorians and sing at you until you give them money? Why do offices across the land have stashes of sugary goods that could put an elephant into a coma? Why do I have to listen to Mariah Carey’s ear-splitting warbling over and over and over again, like a form of Sisyphean torture? It makes no sense! It’s incoherent and illogical. […]

General

The Same Only Different – Maura Campbell

September 6, 2017 Spectrum Women

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 […]

My Life

The Glass of Milk – Maura Campbell

July 24, 2017 Spectrum Women

The teacher, a stern woman of a certain age, folded her arms across her ample bosom and stared intently over the top of her thick-rimmed glasses.  The reason for her evident irritation cowered before her – a painfully shy seven-year-old girl. A glass of milk sat untouched in front of the child. Mrs S. had presided over her terrified charges in this classroom for as long as anyone in the school – teachers and pupils alike – could remember. The children knew she meant business and none of them had ever had the temerity to defy her. Not until the […]

Featured

What Autistic Pride means to me by Maura Campbell

June 18, 2017 Spectrum Women

“What’s wrong with him, then?”  The man gawped at my nine-year-old son, taking in his noise-cancelling headphones, the belt around his waist and the strap attaching him to the dog. He then turned his full attention to me. He stared, demanding a response, expecting a justification to be provided for why we had brought a dog into the shop and were queuing beside him. Darragh was impatient for us to pay and leave so that he could enjoy his chosen treat for being a great boy that week at school. “Nothing. There’s nothing wrong with him. In fact, he’s wonderful.” […]

Autism April

Disclosure – The Pros and Cons – Maura Campbell

April 22, 2017 Spectrum Women

Whether to disclose an autism diagnosis is an important issue for many newly diagnosed adults. I would never presume to tell someone in that position what to do, though I would encourage them to take a bit of time to think about it.  What is said cannot subsequently be unsaid. After I was told, in a private consultation, that I had Asperger Syndrome I pretty much burst out of the Aspie closet immediately.  I hadn’t given the matter of disclosure much thought, which was uncharacteristic for me since I usually overthink practically everything.  I was so euphoric on the day […]

Autism April

“So What Exactly is Autism?” ~ Maura Campbell

April 1, 2017 Spectrum Women

Around this time of year, I usually get asked to speak or write about autism.  I’m happy to do my bit. April is Autism Awareness Month and 2nd April is World Autism Awareness Day. It’s a good opportunity to engage with people outside the autism community. We get a bit side-tracked as a community over whether we should be promoting “awareness” or “acceptance”.  Or maybe some other word that conveniently starts with an “a”, like “action”. I don’t see these words as mutually exclusive. I appreciate the argument that’s usually put forward by those who are critical of the focus […]

Featured

WHAT’S IN A WORD? – MAURA CAMPBELL

February 21, 2017 Spectrum Women

Words are powerful.  They allow us to express our thoughts, feelings and opinions. Words can also hurt.  Whoever coined the old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me” must have led a charmed life. I approach this topic with some trepidation. I may need to take cover under my Thesaurus for daring to write these words. As soon as you broach the issue of appropriate language, many people will leap to the defence of the principle of free speech and accuse you of censorship.  Some people are weary of what they see as […]

1 2 3 4