Featured

“What IS Wrong With People?” Struggling to comprehend injustice by Janine Kharey

December 30, 2018 Spectrum Women

I believe that altruism is at the center of how civilizations managed to be successful. I don’t think humans could have survived long in self-serving society. There must be something in us that makes us care about more than just getting our own needs met, yet tales of cruelty, injustice and man’s inhumanity to man bombard us. As an elementary teacher my life was deeply enriched by the beautiful souls that passed through my classroom. Among one of those souls was a child so full of undaunted  joy , compassion and wonder who could not understand how people could be […]

Featured

My Gratitude List by Jen Elcheson

December 17, 2018 Spectrum Women

Recently, I was talking with a friend I had not spoken to in a while. As I updated her on all the current happenings in my life, we both came to the realization that I have much to be grateful for right now and should write something about gratitude; so when things get bumpy, I will have something to fall back on. Also, as my autism diagnosis/professional identification turns 20 this year, it could not be a better time to do this! There is a lot of talk around gratitude in popular culture, social media memes, and psychology right now […]

Parenting

An open letter to ‘martyr’ parents – Jeanette Purkis

July 15, 2018 Spectrum Women

I will preface this by clearly stating that I have no issue with parents of autistic kids. It would be rude — and foolish — if I did, considering that a lot of my advocacy work is with parents. I recognise the vital role parents have in supporting their kids to grow to be strong and fulfilled autistic adults. Parenting can be very difficult and parents usually do an amazing job. This letter relates to a small subset of parents within the world of autism… I was in conversation online in response to a post about a TV program featuring […]

Advocacy

If Neurodiversity Doesn’t Challenge You, You’re Not Doing It Right by Maura Campbell

June 23, 2018 Spectrum Women

“Would you like to pet the lambs?”  This story comes back to me whenever I have to check in with myself on whether I’m ‘doing neurodiversity right’. Let me explain. It was shortly after my son’s autism diagnosis, and many months before I’d cottoned on that I was also autistic. We were visiting an open farm as part of a large group of families, enjoying the opportunity to meet other parents raising kids on the spectrum.  Our lives had become very small in those early days, as we tried to process what autism meant for our beautiful boy, and even […]

Featured

Oh! The Meaning of the Meaning of Words… by Lisa Morgan

May 8, 2018 Spectrum Women

Words have meanings!  Unfortunately, they have lots of different meanings for people, making it a challenge to communicate. There are phrases such as, “Let’s go for coffee soon,” which somehow usually means “Hi, it’s good to see you; I wish we could spend time together, but it’s impossible right now”. Also, “We need to talk about goals soon” can mean “I’m really busy and this is going to have to wait”. One of my favorites over the years has been, “Text (or call) you later” meaning “goodbye”.  Where is this all written down?  How do other people know this language […]

Refelection

The Best Version of Me by Lisa Morgan

March 11, 2018 Spectrum Women

I am an autistic adult who lived undiagnosed through the sixties and seventies in a school environment where differences were not accepted and teachers thought quiet, bright, students could be left alone in favor of the more vocal, struggling ones.  I fell through the cracks and landed in a no-man’s land of bullying, rejection, sensory assaults, and pervasive loneliness. As I think about those early years, my mind wanders back to a typical day and I visualize one of the most important conversations of my life. In my mind’s eye I see her sitting alone in a room full of […]

Featured

THE TOP TEN THINGS PARENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GIRLS ON THE SPECTRUM

March 8, 2018 Spectrum Women

Feature photo: Becca Lory with her mom ©Becca Lory 2018 A Spectrum Women collaboration, edited by Maura Campbell In honour of International Women’s Day, the Spectrum Women writers have compiled a list of things we think it’s particularly important for parents or carers of girls on the autism spectrum to know. 1. Recognise how autism presents differently in girls In adult studies, the 4:1 male/female ratio in autism diagnosis disappears. This means autistic girls are not rare. Persist when they say so. Look for intensity and insistence on sameness. Many of our behaviours are quite typical but we won’t choose to […]

Featured

Affliction or condition? Battle or journey? by Christine Jenkins, SWM Correspondent

February 16, 2018 Spectrum Women

I compare and contrast my discovery of breast cancer with Asperger’s (ASD Level 1) My 50s have been a tumultuous time; I’ve dealt with the unfolding realities of separation, eventual divorce, menopause, gynecological issues, self identification on the autism spectrum, then official ASD diagnoses from 2008 onward. Then the bottom fell out of my world in Spring 2016 when I had two abnormal mammograms, swiftly followed by a very painful stereotactic biopsy of my left breast in early May.  Due to our wonderful Canadian healthcare coverage, I went from that to lumpectomy surgery in five weeks, then on to radiation […]

Featured

With a bit of luck… Jeanette Purkis

January 5, 2018 Spectrum Women

This post is about the idea behind ‘luck’—the impact of people’s attitudes, motivation and aspirations. It is first and foremost my own experience of these things. I will preface the piece by stating that your attitude is not a determinant of good or poor character, that it is never OK to blame someone for not managing adversity well and that different people can respond vastly differently to similar things. Autistic people often find they have a negative attitude and / or a pessimistic view. Sadly this is often due to the horrors which other human beings put us through, particularly […]

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. […]

1 2