General

Six Kindnesses for Living by Jennifer Lisi in partnership with Happy Hands Toys

March 14, 2018 Spectrum Women

The body is a wonderful thing, complete with a glorious system of nerves for experiencing our resplendent world.  Most individuals seamlessly navigate their sensory environment.  But for myself and other autistics, simple tasks lay at the mercy of sensation.  I am forty-one years old trying to make each day of my life matter.  I have the same drive for success as any other woman: career, family, autonomy and financial stability.  But too often I have been paddling upstream against a current of external factors I can’t control.  Finding ways to turn the boat downstream and work with those factors can […]

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 Barb Cook

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 […]

Arts

Tempus Fugit! The Aspergers Girl Becomes the Spectrum Woman by Kimberly Gerry-Tucker

March 3, 2018 Spectrum Women

Painting by Kimberly Gerry Tucker, superhero interpretation of ‘The Last Supper’. Is life not an elaborate Goldberg Machine; like the old game MouseTrap? A complex state of affairs in which a series of actions are linked together to produce a domino effect in which activating one device triggers the next device in the sequence? Tempus Fugit! (Time is wasting). Making and keeping friends growing up was like the Goldberg Machine. I knew that just one accepted invitation, (like the Goldberg) would trigger more invites, would lead to chit-chatty parties, and (gasp) sleepovers with Dads who made gross things for breakfast and Moms who would ask […]

Featured

‘DINA’ – MOVIE REVIEW

January 24, 2018 Spectrum Women

by Maura Campbell Dina (2017) is an unconventional love story featuring an autistic couple, Dina Buno and Scott Levin, and was the recipient of the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The movie charts the weeks leading up to Dina and Scott’s wedding day.  From a touchingly intimate yet unobtrusive viewpoint, it reveals some of the pivotal moments in their relationship. Dina succeeds in smashing several of the pervasive stereotypes about disability and personal relationships, and we see some beautifully tender moments as this engaging couple navigate their changing circumstances against the backdrop of suburban […]

Book Releases

Sex and the Single Aspie — ARtemisia

February 14, 2018 Spectrum Women

Addressing the issues women with Asperger’s face with sexuality and the single life, this ground-breaking book reveals all and blows the lid off taboo subjects for those on the spectrum. Looking at one night stands, intimacy, and integrity, this is illuminating reading for all Aspie women. One of the many problems women on the spectrum face is not always understanding how relationships and boundaries work for other people. This book provides answers, plus more that they may not even have thought to ask. Covering one night stands, the importance of safe sex, self-respect, and double standards, there is a wealth […]

Featured

Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism — Some thoughts and reflections by Yenn Purkis

November 29, 2017 Spectrum Women

As a child I was told I was a ‘tomboy’. I rarely wore skirts or dresses and was far more interested in toy trucks and cranes than dolls, which I was confused by. What was the point of plastic people and what was I supposed to do with them? I wasn’t interested in boys growing up and couldn’t understand why anyone would intentionally wear uncomfortable high heeled shoes. Makeup baffled me. It looked like clay on people’s faces and red lipstick just made them look like a clown — or, as I got older and knew about such things — […]

Featured

The Big Sigh by Becca Lory, CAS, BCCS

November 27, 2017 Spectrum Women

This is one of those days. I feel it the moment I open my eyes. I instantly loathe that I am awake. I fall into an old habit of calculating how many hours I will have to reasonably be out of my bed before I can crawl back into it without having to feign illness or apologize for not returning a text. Twelve? Maybe if I stay in bed a little longer I can make it eleven. As I close my eyes, hoping for a lessened sentence, the dogs start to rouse. I hear the shuffle of early morning stretches, […]

Featured

Why are they so mean? — Barb Cook

November 14, 2017 Barb Cook

The words, “Why are they so mean?” has constantly rolled around in my mind, haunting me on and off for a lifetime. A recent encounter, hearing that very same statement from a young soul, tugged at my very core. Why indeed are people at times so mean? Why do they hurt us without a moment’s thought for the consequence that befalls another? How can they laugh and smile while you are fighting back the tears at being shunned, called names or made to feel inferior, less than? It never really made any sense, nor could I find the answers, at […]

Employment

Tech Reject and Still Autistic. An Opinion Piece by Jen Elcheson SWM Features Writer

August 5, 2017 Spectrum Women

It goes without saying that autistic people should have reasonable access to gainful employment in a supportive and understanding workplace. How ‘inclusive’ is it when people automatically assume the most suitable jobs for autistics are always in the tech industry? What about those of us who are lucky enough to just be able to navigate the basic functions of our computers or electronic devices and are employed or seeking employment in non-tech industries? Are we not worthy of support and accommodation? Don’t we deserve the job or career that best suits us? All I know is society still has a […]

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