Featured

Living with Suicide Ideation by Lisa Morgan

December 3, 2018 Spectrum Women

*** Trigger Warning – the article is about suicide ideation.  *** I’m sitting alone.  I can hear the clock ticking.  I can hear cars out on the road.  I’m physically alone, which usually is ok, but not tonight.  Tonight it’s difficult because I’m also emotionally alone.  I feel no connection to another person.  The aloneness is palpable.  How can I feel so utterly alone in a world with billions of people? My thoughts are with me though. My unwanted, intrusive thoughts about suicide are plentiful in my mind.  Where did they come from?  How can I get them to go […]

Featured

TOP TIPS FOR SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS WHEN YOU’RE ON THE SPECTRUM ~ by Maura Campbell

November 20, 2018 Spectrum Women

With Christmas fast approaching, our resident Agonising Auntie has put together some top tips on how to survive the festive season if you’re autistic. Whether you’re ‘ho ho ho!’ or ‘no, no, no!’, we hope these will help you have a happier holiday… 1. Be a party pooper! If you dread the thought of the office Christmas party, either politely decline the invitation or have an exit strategy for when you need to leave – for example, dare Mike from Accounts to press the fire alarm button once he’s on his third Sambuca. 2. Don’t stand in line – go […]

Featured

Interview: Meet Cynthia Zuber

November 6, 2018 Spectrum Women

Spectrum Women Magazine Interview by Jen Elcheson Cynthia Zuber is a health and wellness writer from the U.S. who lives in the state of Minnesota with her husband, their adorable dog Jonah, and their 18 year old black cat, Juniper.  Cynthia, now 43, professionally identified as having Asperger’s (which in North America, according to the DSM-5 is ASD Level 1, or autism) at age 40, recently joined the autistic blogosphere with her Facebook based blog, The Neurodiverse Woman, which she hopes to eventually turn into a website. Her musings are deep and insightful, brimming with self-awareness, and empowering sentiments that […]

Featured

THE INVISIBLE PRICE OF ACCOMMODATION — Renata Jurkevythz

October 22, 2018 Spectrum Women

Every accommodation provided for a person with a disability, be it physical or mental, visible or invisible, is usually perceived as something they are getting “for free”. Something is being facilitated for them in a way it wouldn’t for a person without said disability. Supposedly, it is understood that it is not an advantage, but a way to make things less difficult, or simply possible, for someone already struggling with things that are taken for granted by others. Supposedly, of course. Therein lies the first problem disabled people face and that also originates the second one, the title of this […]

Health

AASET: Standing up for the Change in Health Care Futures for Autistic Women

October 20, 2018 Spectrum Women

Autistic Adults and other Stakeholders Engage Together (AASET) is a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute engagement project that aims to create a group of community stakeholders and researchers. Our group has anticipated in developing a common agenda to address the most pressing issues facing autistic adults. In that process, the project asked stakeholders how, when, and why they would want to be engaged in research. In this project, we have learned that one very important priority is to address the needs of hundreds of thousands of women on the autism spectrum, often who have gone undiagnosed until adulthood. These women responded […]

Identity

I have a mental illness, I’m autistic and proud by Jeanette Purkis

June 13, 2018 Spectrum Women

This is a piece about mental illness and autism. It was quite difficult to write as it looks at issues of discrimination and exclusion from some parts of the autistic community. While it may be uncomfortable, issues like this need to be raised so we can address them. The name of my personal blog is Jeanette Purkis: Thoughts on All Things Autism and Mental Health. Occasionally I get a comment saying ‘Autism is not a mental illness.’ Cue someone very carefully and painstakingly setting me straight on something I apparently don’t know — that autism and mental illness are not […]

Featured

Anxiety and Depression — A Spectrum Women Collaboration for Mental Health Awareness Week

May 18, 2018 Spectrum Women

Anxiety and depression is a common factor for many of us on the autism spectrum and something we battle, struggle, tussle, manage, and cope with most days. Many of us have our own strategies to manage the difficult times that consume us, and some of the Spectrum Women wanted to share with you their personal insights into how they tackle anxiety and depression. We also want to highlight for Mental Health Awareness Week just how important good mental wellbeing and self-care is, especially for all of us on the autism spectrum… Lisa Morgan… I often get depressed over how much […]

Featured

Mental Health Care and Gaming — The CheckPoint Organisation

April 30, 2018 Spectrum Women

Interview by Spectrum Women feature writer Renata Jurkevythz Video Games are a common special interest among autistics. They provide experiences and teach tools in a safe environment ruled by logic, where you can fail and retry as many times as you need without getting hurt, or can simply enjoy a beautiful world that is not governed by confusing social rules. Especially for autistic minds, that must bear a never-ending flow of thoughts and emotions, they can provide a moment of focus and immersion that silences the brain while entertaining. Video games have been one of my major interests since I […]

Featured

Stess: Anxiety, Perfectionism, Black and White Thinking and Catastrophising by Jeanette Purkis

April 16, 2018 Spectrum Women

This article focuses on the stresses which are more likely to be the domain of autistic people: what they are and some strategies that can help address them. Social anxiety While this is not exclusive to autistic people, it is a very common occurrence for us. We might think that other people don’t like us or are judging or discriminating against us. This often comes from being bullied or invalidated in other ways in the past. We end up second guessing ourselves or being either way too trusting or, alternatively way too cynical, assuming that behind any kind gesture there […]

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 […]

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