Featured

“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 […]

Featured

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 […]

Advocacy

When so Little was Known of Autism by Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

June 29, 2020 Spectrum Women

Autistic adults who are now in their 30’s and older are a unique group of people twice over.  First, they are unique because they are autistic and second because most of them grew up undiagnosed.  In the US, autism did not become a common word until the 1960’s, even so, it was still extremely rare to have a diagnosis of autism in the 60’s and 70’s or even 80’s.  School kids were helped by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) from 1975 and beyond, but at first all kids were labeled “disabled” and the techniques used to help them were […]

Featured

It’s Here, and It’s Real: Emotional Pain in the Body by Mary P. Donahue, Ph.D.

April 26, 2020 Spectrum Women

In my experience working with autism and trauma, I’ve noticed a large number of autistic people who report physical pain that’s there “for no reason.” They haven’t over-exercised, moved furniture, or otherwise knowingly taxed the physical body. So, know this: physical pain can also result from strong emotional stress. It’s a real thing. Taking a few minutes to consider the miracle that is the body, physical pain resulting from over-taxing the brain makes sense; high stress creates high anxiety, and over time, that can cause tightened muscles, constrained blood flow, increased heart rate, and joint pain, among other things. Such […]

Featured

Unmet Needs During the Pandemic By Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

April 11, 2020 Spectrum Women

**Content warning: Suicide Crisis supports for the autism community are sparse.  Autistic people need support specific to their way of thinking and understanding the world.  This often differs from the type of support available for the general public.  Thankfully, there is an existing research study published in Molecular Autism that we, autistic people, can use to help ourselves now, in real time, as we need it during the pandemic. This research can help guide us in how we can take care of ourselves and our loved ones as we experience the unexpected changes in the world.  The immediate changes we […]

Featured

Today by Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

March 31, 2020 Spectrum Women

My alarm goes off.  As my mind transitions from sleeping to waking up, I wonder what day it is.  Oh, yeah, it’s today.  It’s always today now.  There’s no schedule to discern one day from the next anymore.  It’s the spring of 2020 and the whole world changed just a couple of weeks ago. Then, I start to remember.  This today is going to be a great day!  Things are really going to get exciting!  I had decided the night before to shake things up a bit and have my coffee in the living room by the window instead of […]

Featured

Be Mindful, Be Present, Be You: How to Handle Crisis Anxiety – Becca Lory Hector, CAS, BCCS

March 21, 2020 Spectrum Women

With the world around us a chaotic mess, it is getting harder and harder to avoid becoming a giant, swirling, ball of anxiety. The current pandemic has disrupted our lives and the world as we know it is on hold for the foreseeable future. It has interrupted routines, forced schools to close, and sent many of us to work from home or not at all. It feels as though the rug has been pulled out from under our proverbial feet. If you are feeling a growing sense of dread, you are far from alone. Most of us are feeling overwhelmed […]

Featured

The Carnival by Lisa Morgan M.Ed CAS

March 7, 2020 Spectrum Women

When I was a kid I went to a carnival.  It was one of those small town carnivals celebrating summer with music, craft tables, the smell of fried food, and games to play for a stuffed animal. This carnival had a cake walk.  It’s a game like musical chairs where people walk around an area until the music stops.  If you happened to stop in front of a cake, you got to keep it.  All the cakes were homemade and delicious!  But, I digress. It wasn’t a time for cake then as you will see as my story progresses. So, […]

Featured

Autism: A Brave New World? by Maura Campbell

February 10, 2020 Spectrum Women

“You’re very brave.” I get that a lot. In fact, I’ve been hearing it constantly ever since I ‘came out’ as autistic. It’s usually said kindly (I think) and so I try to take it in the spirit intended. But every time someone says to me “You’re very brave” it gets me thinking: why is it ‘brave’ to be open about being autistic? I think there might be a few reasons for that. They might see it as ‘brave’ for me to apply a word to myself that’s generally represented as something very different in popular culture – usually a […]

Featured

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 […]

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