Arts

The Artist

April 2, 2024 Spectrum Women

Poem by Elizabeth Ruben   Over the sparkling city I shall build A bridge Of prism glass   And the rainbows Of this overpass Will enchant The passers by   For the arch Over the heavens Has now been Rendered   By human hand The rainbow’s seven And now with Pride I stand   My inner beauty Once expressed Outside, that The river’s gentle tide   Shall play the Music of my heart when The harshness of this world Tears me apart.   Elizabeth Ruben is a neurodivergent writer who has always had an affinity with the written word. Her […]

Arts

‘What I (Don’t) Know About Autism’ – Interview with Jody O’Neill

October 27, 2021 Spectrum Women

  Interview by Maura Campbell, Spectrum Women Features Writer. When writer and actor Jody O’Neill reached out to Spectrum Women about ‘What I (Don’t) Know About Autism’, I couldn’t resist getting in touch with her to find out more about the woman behind this groundbreaking Irish theatre production (soon to be available on demand). Performed by a cast of autistic and non-autistic actors and inspired by Jody’s own experiences, the play takes the audience on a journey that celebrates autistic identity and offers deeper insights to those less familiar with autism, smashing some tired old myths along the way.   […]

Arts

Representation Matters by Yenn Purkis

January 27, 2021 Spectrum Women

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. […]

Advocacy

Stranger in a Strange Land: The Autistic Expatriate – Yenn Purkis

September 3, 2018 Spectrum Women

I was at a conference this week and it generated some interesting thoughts in my mind. The light bulb moment was when a speaker talked about their child being ‘resistant to using the telephone’. I would have said that the child didn’t like using the telephone and I think the speaker would have too if the child were not autistic. Autistic people are frequently pathologised and our experiences seen in terms of being somehow deficient and in need of fixing. I do not want to detract from the conference, which was great, but that comment really set me thinking. I […]

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. […]