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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.” […]

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Why I Write… A Spectrum Women Collaboration

June 12, 2017 Barb Cook

Inspired by “Why I Ride”, Barb Cook’s love letter to motorcycling published in Spectrum Women in October 2016, some of the Spectrum Women Writing Team have decided to share their thoughts on their shared passion for writing… Jeanette Purkis I am Autistic and also have schizophrenia. I often joke that it was pretty much guaranteed I would end up being a writer with those two diagnoses and the creativity which so often comes along with them. I started writing young. I got to read out my poetry at school assemblies from about the age of eight. High school English was […]

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Nightclub Nightmare & The Day I Stood Up For Myself – Jen Elcheson

May 28, 2017 Spectrum Women

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am not the kind of person who likes to go out much and explore uncharted social territory. It is a strong innate dislike as I am quite introverted and not much of a people person. However, in my younger days, before I had come to terms with being an autistic introvert, I desperately wanted to fit in so bad.  When I could muster the courage to do so, I would occasionally step outside my comfort zone and make myself do things many others would hardly bat an eyelash at. I would do them whether I liked them or not, even at the expense of my […]

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How does it feel, to live in my “own world” ~ Renata Jurkevythz

May 19, 2017 Spectrum Women

A very common statement people make about autistics is how they “live in their own world”. For non-autistics it can very much look like the person is locked in, in a parallel world, not acknowledging what goes on around them. For each individual on the autism spectrum, this “inner world” definitely feels different and may have an effect on their interactions with the world around them. Here, I want to explain my personal experience of being in my inner world. Some may resonate with my personal experience and for others it may be completely different. But as human beings, we […]

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Salads, Spreadsheets & the Spectrum: The Fight that Has Nothing to Do with Food – Jennifer O’Toole

May 7, 2017 Spectrum Women

**Content Warning: Eating Disorders, Self-Harm Including excerpts from Sisterhood of the Spectrum: An Asperger Chick’s Guide to Life” Some years ago, psychologist Carol Dweck took a good, hard look at a bunch of very bright fifth-grade boys and girls. Specifically, she observed what happened when these kids were presented with new concepts — confusing information meant to cause them a bit of frustration. How, Dr. Dweck wondered, would they handle the stress? Among the girls in the study, the higher the IQ, the more likely they were to give up when asked to learn something that was particularly foreign or […]

Autism April

To the person who changed my life: A tribute to Polly Samuel by Yenn (Jeanette) Purkis

April 30, 2017 Spectrum Women

This is probably the hardest thing I have had to write so far. It is also something I desperately need and want to do. When I was asked to write this I felt conflicted. Would it be enough? Would I say the ‘right’ things? Would it do justice to the person it is written for, my first and most influential mentor? This is the sincerest of thank you’s but also an apology for not staying in touch, and not really appreciating what I was given so freely. Now that time is limited I feel I do not have enough to […]

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

“Autism Saved My Life” By Becca Lory, CAS, BCCS

April 20, 2017 Spectrum Women

For 36 of my 40 years, I was disabled. I was cut off from the world but for the tiny bubble that was my bedroom. Barely able to care for myself, angry, scared and lonely, I felt hopeless and broken. Suicidal thoughts were a daily reminder of my inadequacies and failures. I was certain there had been a mistake. I was clearly not meant for this existence. That is until autism entered my world and saved my life. I’m certain you must be wondering how a deeply depressed and suicidal, disabled person could have been saved by an autism diagnosis. […]

Autism April

Pieces of April… Peace of April (Poem) — Christine Jenkins

April 16, 2017 Spectrum Women

Every spring the showers start Fresh ideas tumble from my mind and heart Like a basket of mewling kittens I turn each one over with care Make sure they are alive and well I’m tired of the autism war — of the name calling; of the taking sides; of fighting over funding; of folk assuming the autistic one I love is not me I’m sad it took five decades to find my identity How I must compete to be the worst victim To qualify for supports I’m not ageing out; I’m ageing out of sight. Orphaned by the death of […]

Autism April

THE SENSORY WORLD – Renata Jurkevythz

April 14, 2017 Spectrum Women

One thing very common to autistic people (but not exclusive to our type of brain) is the so-called “Sensory Processing Disorder”. Being perceived as a disorder, people tend to only refer to the problems it brings… there are indeed many (some very difficult ones), but overall I personally do not like the term “disorder” very much. I prefer calling it a different way to perceive the world through your senses. It might be better or worse, depending on your levels of sensitivity and the situation you are in. It is indeed very different from the “regular” way of processing your […]

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