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. […]

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Making Myself Proud! – Reflections on Autistic Pride – Yenn 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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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 […]

Latest News

My Life – Barbara Schaefer

May 10, 2017 Spectrum Women

I remember the day last April when I heard this Professor interviewed on the radio about his diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome (AS) and what it meant. I just sat there open-mouthed. The fact that he was an intellectual, a fully-fledged academic even, who had been diagnosed in his late forties probably helped me. I am a granny of now 62, and I felt the beginning of yet another reckoning, a making peace with myself dawning. As a social worker dealing with mental health clients since my fifties, I had already had many opportunities to reflect when thinking of individual clients’ […]

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 […]

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