Advocacy

Masking and Camouflaging: The Where, When and Why by Barb Cook Developmental Educator

September 28, 2021 Spectrum Women

Autistic people often mask and camouflage as they feel uncomfortable about showing their true selves, or, to avoid standing out in the crowd. This occurs due to a lack of understanding and acceptance of difference within society, and the autistic person feeling they must hide who they really are, in fear of being seen as odd, weird or strange. There are some differences between masking and camouflaging and when this can happen. Camouflaging is generally seen as trying to merge into the background, not to be seen or stand out to other people. Another term is blending. You are trying […]

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Disability Behind The Curtain by Gabrielle Hailstone

August 9, 2021 Spectrum Women

Standing in B+ behind a draped curtain was my most anticipated experience as an autistic dancer. “5, 6, 7, 8…and pirouette! That’s great, now again.” I loved that part. The “again” part. Until I was twenty years old, ballet was my special interest. It’s what I wanted to be when I grew up: A prima ballerina. A dream that would ultimately end in failure when I couldn’t “take it” any longer. But what was “it” that I couldn’t “take” exactly? Rhetorical Question (RQ), I thought it was the “dance world”. I thought it was a number of different things other […]

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Autistic Pride: Be Unashamedly You ~ Barb Cook

June 18, 2021 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 around me. 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 autism back in 2008, leading to my diagnosis in 2009. That day, March 3rd, was the best day of my life. […]

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Pity? Ugh! by Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

March 12, 2021 Spectrum Women

**Content warning: suicide I had a service provider working with one of my sons say they were ‘sorry’ to me the other day.  This person hadn’t done anything wrong – until their apology.  They were ‘sorry’ for the state of my life.  Sorry… for my life being the way it is as far as they understood it! Yes, parenting as an autistic adult is difficult.  (I imagine parenting as a non autistic adult is difficult as well.)  Yes, growing up autistic in the 60’s/70’s was very difficult.  Yes, being bullied throughout my lifespan so far has been demeaning and harsh.  […]

Arts

Representation Matters by Yenn Purkis

January 27, 2021 Spectrum Women

Musician Sia recently released a film called Music which caused controversy in the autism / neurodiversity community as it features an allistic actor playing an autistic character. Sia caused further offence by talking about levels of functioning and at one point called an autistic actor who said they would have liked to have been cast in the film as ‘a bad actor.’ This post isn’t going to be all about ‘what Sia did’ but the situation does highlight a big issue in the autism community and the disability community more broadly – that of representation in media and representation generally. […]

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It’s Not A Personality Problem by Mary P. Donahue, Ph.D.

January 8, 2021 Spectrum Women

Recently I was asked to sit in on a meeting between an autistic parent and the managers of her child’s home mental health support team. The parent was having trouble communicating her concerns to the in-home supports. It had become frustrating for both mom and team, and services had ceased. Mom wanted to continue finding ways to help her son and also had to have information from the managers to help her process what had happened. Though considered a neurotypical person, I am fortunate to have some ability to translate between the neuro-typical and autism worlds. So I went. Holy […]

Education

How Self Care, Interoception & Co-Regulation has Increased Peace in Our Family Life by Christina Keeble

January 6, 2021 Spectrum Women

Why is interoception & co-regulation important to being able to self-regulate? I get asked this quite often when I introduce families and professionals to these concepts. For more than a decade I’d worked with children and families and used programs such as the Zones of Regulation, sensory profiles, and sensory diets while working on increasing the child’s ability to self-regulate. It wasn’t until I had my own children that I learned and understood the importance of interoception and co-regulation. It was just never introduced in the trainings or literature I read. Interoception is our 8th sense and is our awareness […]

Advocacy

Imposter Syndrome by Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

October 12, 2020 Spectrum Women

Have you ever felt the thrill of a hard-won success – only to completely doubt your abilities soon after? Maybe you stepped out of your comfort zone, worked very hard, did an incredible job, but then started to rationalize it was all just luck?  How about feeling like a fraud, even though you have clear evidence you are not? Even irrefutable, written, positive feedback can be dismissed by the doubt and angst inflicted upon people by the Imposter Syndrome. The Imposter Syndrome is a lying thief. Just as I started moving forward, taking risks, and enjoying successes; it crashed into […]

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“MILDLY DIFFERENT” – Interview with Anna Czarska

August 25, 2020 Spectrum Women

Mildly Different is an exciting new film project which aims to shed light on what autism in women looks and feels like from an autistic perspective. Maura Campbell met up with Anna Czarska, Managing Director of Sticky Tape Productions, to find out more. How did the idea for the film come about and what are you hoping to achieve through this project? The film was inspired by my own experiences. I went through most of my life not knowing about my autism and believing there was something inherently wrong with me. This not only led to a great deal of […]

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Rituals, Routines and Stims – Oh My! by Maura Campbell

July 22, 2020 Spectrum Women

Imagine you’re standing on a makeshift stage. Just you. It’s time to dance. You start to move around the stage, the dancing getting better as you feel more comfortable. Then somebody removes some of the struts holding up the rickety stage. You start to wobble. You slow down to a hesitant shuffle and eventually you have to stop… As an autistic, there are days when the world feels firm under my feet. Those are the days when what I’m doing seems familiar and ‘right’. I know what to expect and what is expected of me. I have the right balance […]

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