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I Didn’t Know Back Then by Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

February 3, 2020 Spectrum Women

Being born autistic in the 60’s put my life on a trajectory of unknowns. Although there were hints about the way my brain was wired – they were misunderstood back then.  People couldn’t figure me out. I couldn’t figure me out. The comments I heard the most were: ‘you are so quiet’, ‘you are too sensitive’, ‘you should try to make friends’, and ‘can I copy your homework?’. ‘You are so quiet.’  I’ve heard this statement so much throughout my life I could scream, but that would be uncharacteristic – wouldn’t it?  One of the great mysteries of my life […]

Employment

Reducing Workplace Stress: Working Together on Self-Care by Barb Cook, M.Aut., Dip.HSc.

January 27, 2020 Spectrum Women

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…” seeming to never come, and the list of ‘things to do’ becomes increasingly bigger. The more […]

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Proverbs 31, What? by Shannon Hughes

January 23, 2020 Spectrum Women

*Content warning: suicidal ideation, depression, language Any woman who grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home knows that the Proverbs 31 woman is the ideal she should aspire to. Even if she’s not familiar with the scripture reference, she’s familiar with the archetype. The Proverbs 31 woman is the backbone of her community, the Martha Stewart who cares for her husband and children with stalwart devotion, executing feats of organization and economy that undergird civilization itself. She’s strong, savvy, and entrepreneurial. Because of her, her loved ones are protected, and most importantly, her husband is a success. When I was […]

Employment

It’s Never too Early to Start: Planning Employment Futures with Autistic and Neurodivergent People by Barb Cook, M.Aut.

January 17, 2020 Spectrum Women

Opinion piece. The employment world can be a difficult one to navigate for most people, let alone for autistic and neurodivergent people. The employment journey starts way before getting a job. Society is led to believe that from a young age we need to get a good education, strive for a well-paid job, earn money to buy your first car, earn more money to move out and live on your own or with a partner, save and earn to support a family… the list goes on. This is something that many people aim for, that idyllic, perfect, fulfilling life. But […]

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The Power of Acceptance by Lisa Morgan

December 22, 2019 Spectrum Women

I got a homemade gift the other day. It’s absolutely incredible in so many ways. The gift itself is beautiful, the person who made it even more so.  There are many layers of meaning within the gift; I’m still processing it days later. I want to share one meaning because it shows the power of acceptance. The gift is a stunning stained glass picture of an elegant flower sitting atop a strong stem with various swirling leaves. It is important to note that, as the colors were chosen with care, there were colors not chosen with just as much, if […]

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Overcoming PTSD with ASD by Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

December 1, 2019 Spectrum Women

PTSD is a harsh, stern, taskmaster.  Triggers are everywhere. They can even come in safe places and through a person you trust.  Those are the difficult ones because, if the trigger was very unpleasant, going back to that same safe place or person for help – does not feel safe. Living with ASD keeps the traumatic reliving of memories all close and fresh so to speak.  For many, our autism keeps the triggered memories alive through rumination of thought; keeps them graphic through visual thinking and lucid nightmares, and keeps us alone through withdrawing to cope. With PTSD there’s a […]

Employment

It’s not all about IT… Breaking the stigma in employment choices for autistic & neurodivergent people by Barb Cook

November 15, 2019 Spectrum Women

Information and technology (IT) has boomed over the past 30 years and become an integral part of the modern developed world. Employment opportunities in IT exploded alongside this growth and created pathways for autistic people in finding job security in an industry that has been stigmatized as the place where the ‘geeks’ gravitate. Software giants headhunt talented autistic people for positions in program development and defending against cybercrimes. Autistic people have been pigeonholed into this perception that we are gifted and talented in computers, math and science. Certainly, some of us fit this role like a glove, but what about […]

Asking Spectrum Women

October 2019 Segment: ASKING SPECTRUM WOMEN with Becca Lory Hector CAS, BCCS

September 30, 2019 Spectrum Women

Welcome to October’s segment of Asking Spectrum Women with Becca Lory Hector. This month Becca discusses three questions asked by our followers. First up (01:18) Becca discusses identifying with autism, validation, and seeking diagnosis. The second part (06:40) focuses on masking and is it possible to “unmask”. The last part of the video (14:17) Becca explores PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) and Executive Functioning and what is looks like in adults. If you have a question you would like answered, please email us at support@spectrumwomen.com or Becca directly at info@beccalory.com

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A Silver Lining… By Lisa Morgan

September 9, 2019 Spectrum Women

Trigger Warning ***This is an article on suicide prevention.*** In honor of September being National Suicide Prevention month, I thought I’d dedicate this column to issues of suicide in the autism community.  While I do understand suicide is not a welcome topic, I believe that is one of the reasons it is such a problem.  No one wants to talk about it.  Although, I believe if we did talk about it more, people wouldn’t feel like they have to keep their feelings a secret and there’s a better chance they will reach out for help. Another unwelcome topic, at least […]

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Life Through the Lens of Autism: Defining Success by Lisa Morgan

August 10, 2019 Spectrum Women

I have never really known how to define success.  For me, it has always seemed connected to how I’m feeling and subjective to circumstances. Along with being diagnosed as autistic later in life, come holes in my general knowledge of life.  Ideas and concepts I probably would have learned if I was included in the social life of school and society while growing up. I’m gradually filling in the holes of my knowledge, such as defining success. For example… the other day, a program manager came to my home to introduce a new support person to help a family member.  […]

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