Featured

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 […]

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

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 […]

Employment

Reducing Workplace Stress: Working Together on Self-Care by Barb Cook, M.Aut., Dip.HSc.

January 27, 2020 Spectrum Women

How often do we hear ourselves saying “I just need to finish this job and then I can take a break”, or “If I can get this project finished, I can then take a couple of days off”? When we tell ourselves this over and over again, without taking action to ‘look after ourselves’, the cracks inevitably will begin to appear. The internal motivation of “I’ll get this job done, then I can…”, becomes the ultimate words of dread, with the “then I can…” seeming to never come, and the list of ‘things to do’ becomes increasingly bigger. The more […]

Featured

Processing…. Please Wait by Terri Mayne

May 21, 2019 Spectrum Women

Them: “Hey, can you get me that thing from on top of that shelf?” Me: “What?” Them: Can you ge–” Me: Oh yeah sure Them: ??? You hear the question, it doesn’t compute right away, you say “What?” as a kind of placeholder whilst you make sense of it, then just as the other person starts to repeat themselves thinking you’ve not heard them properly, you finally process the question and the penny drops and you answer fully, leaving the other person somewhat bewildered as to how you apparently didn’t hear but worked it out anyway. When your brain processes […]

Life Through the Lens of Autism

Anxiety and Alexithymia

March 10, 2019 Spectrum Women

Remember the famous line – “The call is coming from in the house?”- from a classic urban legend horror scene?  When it’s discovered that the prank calls are coming from inside the house, the scare factor goes up exponentially.  Some people consider that scene to be one of the scariest openings in horror movie history. It kind of happened to me the other day.  I was walking around a store and I kept jumping because my heart would explode into thumping wildly just like someone jumped out at me to scare me.  I would calm down, and then it would […]

Featured

How Meditation Has Helped Me by Anlor Davin

January 18, 2019 Spectrum Women

First of all, I want to state that I am privileged and my basic survival needs are covered. Nowadays, and for the past ten years or so, I can make ends meet.  I am, by the standards of most “civilized countries” (not in all domains…), rather poor.  I am disabled, often invisibly, due to my autism. I live with my partner in a one bedroom rented apartment; we do not have a car, and I qualify for many low-income programs, but I am relatively healthy and I have quality health coverage and my health. This in turn means I have […]

Arts

Anxiety and Autism Art by Dr Holly Priddis

December 21, 2018 Spectrum Women

I have always loved to create since I was quite young. I dreamt of being a writer and loved immersing myself in fantasy plot-lines, tapping furiously on my old school typewriter, or drawing abstract images on my art pad as a teen. In my early twenties once I became a mother I did not have much time to be creative while raising our 4 children, and slowly all my creative outlets slipped neglected to the wayside. However, over the past year, rediscovering art has been a saviour to me. On and off over my life I have experienced anxiety, however […]

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