Featured

Jessica Kingsley Wins International Excellence Award

March 18, 2019 Spectrum Women

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 […]

Book Releases

‘KNOW YOUR SPECTRUM!’ – BOOK REVIEW AND INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR FINN MONAGHAN

February 9, 2019 Spectrum Women

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 […]

Advocacy

Stranger in a Strange Land: The Autistic Expatriate – Jeanette 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 […]

Featured

Family Dynamics – Jeanette Purkis

January 22, 2018 Spectrum Women

Next week I m going to visit my parents. Despite having a difficult relationship in the past between us, I now love seeing them. I’m thinking how my mum will have a mango ready for my breakfast that she has specially bought and that Jalna yoghurt I like too. She has been telling me all about the shops in Beechworth that she wants to show me and the weekend will be spent just with family and friends I grew up with. Everyone will be happy to see me and ask me about what I am doing and it will be […]

Latest News

Why We Are Not Puzzle Pieces – Renata Jurkevythz

July 26, 2017 Spectrum Women

So, let’s talk about the dreaded puzzle piece. The community of autistic adults is hurt by it because we perceive it as offensive. On the other hand, non-autistics who have autistic people in their lives, be it a family member, friend, colleague or client, consider it not harmful because it just represents their wish to “figure autistics out”. My goal here is to address both sides and explain why in the end it does hurt people on the spectrum and why, in my humble opinion, it doesn’t actually make sense. Starting from the beginning: non-autistics live in a world that […]

Insights

Autistic and Damn Proud of It! ~ Jen Elcheson

June 19, 2017 Spectrum Women

It wasn’t too long ago that I could admit to myself that I am truly damn proud to be autistic. It was a serious lesson in self-acceptance. Learning to accept being autistic meant learning to accept myself. As I have mentioned in some of my other writings, my diagnosis story differs from the narratives of the later and recently diagnosed autistic people featured nowadays. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in late 1998 right after I turned 17, as my school, counsellor, and mom were concerned about how I was getting on socially and wanted me assessed. This was back […]

Featured

Proud of being myself ~ Renata Jurkevythz

June 18, 2017 Spectrum Women

Autistic Pride Day. When I sat at my computer thinking about the best way to address this subject, I realized I just couldn’t think of autism on its own, but of all of my traits as a person. When we talk about being proud of our neurology it is not a lot different to being proud of our physical traits, our nationality or belief systems. Talking about pride is usually very controversial for the simple reason that people see themselves very differently. I might like something about myself, but someone else who is like me might not like that part […]

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.” […]

Latest News

Autistic Pride: Be Unashamedly You ~ Barb Cook

June 18, 2017 Barb Cook

I believe in myself… finally. It hasn’t always been this way. Life was this strange existence that I could never quite figure a way to get through. Well, that was to the outside world. Life in my own world made perfect sense — especially as a young girl — but that changed as the years went by and self-doubt began to creep in. I have blundered my way through most of my life until I learnt about the autism spectrum in 2008 that lead to a diagnosis in 2009. That day, March 3rd was the best day of my life. […]

Insights

Making Myself Proud! – Reflections on Autistic Pride – Jeanette Purkis

June 18, 2017 Spectrum Women

June 18 is Autistic Pride Day. I usually pop an Autistic Pride themed meme on social media and tell everyone to ’get their pride on’. I see myself as a proud Autistic but I never really unpacked the concept of pride and why I identify with it. It just seemed an affirming sentiment. I saw something this which got me examining my thoughts on pride. Someone had posted on a friend’s Facebook timeline, ‘Why would you be proud of something you can’t help?’ This had me thinking — why do I say I am a proud Autistic woman? Why do […]

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