SWM EDITORIAL BOARD
Editor in Chief
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Formally identified on the autism spectrum in 2009 at the age of 40, Barb is founder and editor in chief of Spectrum Women Magazine and editor and co-author of Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Barb is a highly committed autism advocate, writer, speaker and keen motorcyclist, making a variety of appearances on Australian radio, television, in newspapers and magazines and the SBS television documentary, The Chameleons: Women with Autism. She is co-founder of Bikers for Autism Australia, Community Council Member of AASET (Autistic Adults and other Stakeholders Engaged Together) and an independent autistic peer reviewer of the journal Autism in Adulthood.
Barb currently rides a Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 called Ron ‘Strom’ Burgundy and implements a combination of her passion for motorcycling with her dedication in autism advocacy, creating acceptance and pushing for action to improve the lives for women and girls on the autism spectrum.
Recently Barb was awarded a Special Commendation in the 2017 Autism Queensland Creative Futures Awards by the Queensland Governor, his Excellency Paul De Jersey. Barb is also currently studying a Master of Autism at the University of Wollongong (Australia) and partners a spectrum consulting business, providing mentoring, life coaching as well as workshops and webinars for the autism community.
Barb’s full bio can be found here.
Senior Editor / Feature Writer
Killyleagh, County Down, Northern Ireland
Maura is from Northern Ireland. She lives with her husband Stephen, her son Darragh, Ash the assistance dog and Baz the cat in the rolling countryside of County Down. She is a senior manager in the Northern Ireland Civil Service and served as a board member of Specialisterne NI from 2014-2016. Maura has
Section Editor / Feature Writer
Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
Jen was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 1998, back when very few people were diagnosed, let alone females. She has devoted her life to supporting and mentoring children on the spectrum. She currently works as an Education Assistant for the public school system, and respite caregiver and autistic
mentor. Jen also runs an online support group, has written articles for AAN magazine, and is a lifelong music fan, especially metal and classic rock. Jen lives in northern British Columbia in Western Canada with her two ball pythons Athena and Lilith. facebook.com/jen.elcheson
Becca Lory Hector
Assistant Editor / Feature Writer
Denver, Colorado, USA
Becca was diagnosed on the autism spectrum as an adult and has since become an active advocate and life coach for individuals on the autism spectrum. Becca has published multiple articles along with speaking publicly about life on the autism spectrum with the goal of spreading acceptance, understanding, and encouraging self-advocacy. She
spent four years supporting the autism community in the non-profit sector in her work for grass-roots organizations that provide resources and services directly to individuals on the autism spectrum, their families, and the professionals who work alongside them. Becca left non-profit to pursue dual certifications as an Autism Specialist (CAS) and Cognitive Specialist (BCCS). She now provides supports directly to the autism community as a life coach and by teaching improvisational workshops geared toward assisting teens and adults on the spectrum with the practice of social and independent living skills. She continues her advocacy work through her blogs, public speaking engagements, and the weekly podcast that she co-hosts. Becca is honored to sit on the Advisory Board of the Nassau-Suffolk chapter of the Autism Society of America and the Board of Directors of Different Brains. No matter her role, Becca is dedicated to guiding and supporting individuals on the autism spectrum with unwavering passion and commitment. beccalory.com
Assistant Editor / Feature Writer
Eriskirch, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Renata is a 37 year old Aspie, diagnosed in 2016. Mother of three, a 11 year old Aspie girl, 4 year old classic autistic boy and a little baby boy. She learned of her neurology after her son was diagnosed and she started to look deeper into autism, recognizing herself in the process. This followed with the diagnosis of her daughter. She
Assistant Editor / Feature Writer
Lisa is author of Living Through Suicide Loss with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, written to help other autistic people find their new normal and know they are not alone. Lisa is Chair of the AAS supported committee called “Suicide in the Autism Community” whose mission is to help the autism community with all issues pertaining to suicide. Lisa spoke at the National Academies of Science,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Christine is a certified voice teacher, trained singer and former radio producer with a degree in journalism who also gives piano lessons on her century-old grand. Ms. Jenkins is a peer mentor to many women who suspect they are on the spectrum. Her current special interests are research into and widespread use of female diagnostic tools,
Canberra, ACT, Australia
Jeanette Purkis is an autistic author, public speaker and autism advocate who also has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She has worked full-time in the Australian Public Service since 2007 and has a Masters degree in Visual Arts. She is the author of three books on elements of autism and hosts an internet radio show. Jeanette has
Pensacola, Florida, USA
Anita Lesko is an internationally recognized autism advocate who was diagnosed at age 50. Anita earned her Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia from Columbia University in 1988. She’s been working full time ever since as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Anita was a guest speaker at
Jennifer O’Toole is the creator of Asperkids LLC, author of the internationally-bestselling Asperkids book series (2012-15), host of the biweekly YouTube series and podcast, “Speaking Geek,” and an internationally-acclaimed motivational speaker. She was identified as an Aspie in 2011, just after her daughter and sons. Jennifer is a graduate of Brown University, and did her
Jennifer’s upcoming book Autism in Heels coming August 2018, has been already named a Top Feminist Read of 2018 by Goodreads, and delighted to announce that Booklist (the American authority on what books should be purchased by stores and libraries) has JUST given it the coveted “Starred Review” (deeming it “an outstanding literary work” in a genre).
Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Originally from New York State, Kate studied Psychology & Social Sciences and earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University at Buffalo before relocating to England in mid-2008. She changed careers in 2013 from Social Care to Special Educational Needs & Disabilities, where she quickly
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
Originally from Essex, Terri now lives in Nottingham UK where she works as an Associate Director at a global pharmaceutical consultancy firm. Terri loves going to watch motorcycle racing and on the road, rides a Suzuki GSX-R herself. She is learning Muay Thai and has