Autism April

“So What Exactly is Autism?” ~ Maura Campbell

April 1, 2017 Spectrum Women

Around this time of year, I usually get asked to speak or write about autism.  I’m happy to do my bit. April is Autism Awareness Month and 2nd April is World Autism Awareness Day. It’s a good opportunity to engage with people outside the autism community. We get a bit side-tracked as a community over whether we should be promoting “awareness” or “acceptance”.  Or maybe some other word that conveniently starts with an “a”, like “action”. I don’t see these words as mutually exclusive. I appreciate the argument that’s usually put forward by those who are critical of the focus […]

Featured

WHAT’S IN A WORD? – MAURA CAMPBELL

February 21, 2017 Spectrum Women

Words are powerful.  They allow us to express our thoughts, feelings and opinions. Words can also hurt.  Whoever coined the old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me” must have led a charmed life. I approach this topic with some trepidation. I may need to take cover under my Thesaurus for daring to write these words. As soon as you broach the issue of appropriate language, many people will leap to the defence of the principle of free speech and accuse you of censorship.  Some people are weary of what they see as […]

Employment

AUTISM IN THE WORKPLACE – MAURA CAMPBELL

September 8, 2016 Spectrum Women

I was born with the social skills of a used teabag. Seriously, I thought maybe the other kids in school had been handed a manual on “peopling” one day when I was off sick or something.  But thankfully I’ve learned enough over the years to “pass” when I need or want to, mostly through trial and (lots of) error or by observing other people. I’m at a point now where I can function pretty well socially; it just takes a hell of a lot of effort to do it and I have to be selective in how and when I […]

Arts

‘What I (Don’t) Know About Autism’ – Interview with Jody O’Neill

October 27, 2021 Spectrum Women

  Interview by Maura Campbell, Spectrum Women Features Writer. When writer and actor Jody O’Neill reached out to Spectrum Women about ‘What I (Don’t) Know About Autism’, I couldn’t resist getting in touch with her to find out more about the woman behind this groundbreaking Irish theatre production (soon to be available on demand). Performed by a cast of autistic and non-autistic actors and inspired by Jody’s own experiences, the play takes the audience on a journey that celebrates autistic identity and offers deeper insights to those less familiar with autism, smashing some tired old myths along the way.   […]

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 […]

Books

September 14, 2019 Spectrum Women

The Autism and Neurodiversity Self Advocacy Handbook: Developing the Skills to Determine Your Own Future Authors Barb Cook & Yenn Purkis Being autistic, you might come across more challenges than others around you, such as dealing with ableism, discrimination in employment or difficulties in your relationships. Learning to successfully self-advocate will help you to build confidence, strengthen your relationships and ensure your needs are met.Written by two autistic activists, this book will give you the tools and strategies to advocate for yourself in any situation. It covers specific scenarios including work, school, and family and relationships, as well as looking […]

Autism April

Part One: Spectrum Women April Collaboration – Awareness, Acceptance, and Action!

April 1, 2019 Spectrum Women

A three part series by Spectrum Women – Lisa Morgan, Maura Campbell, Jen Elcheson, Dena Gassner, Christine Jenkins, Terri Mayne, Liane Holliday Willey, and Yenn Purkis Lisa Morgan writes: April is upon us once again, with April 2nd being the day the world will “Light it up Blue”.  People will be talking about autism awareness.  The world seems to be aware of autism, but celebrating what the color blue stands for shows the world is not aware of autistic people.  Autistic people are not in favor of “Lighting it up Blue” or anything that color stands for that day A […]

Book Releases

‘KNOW YOUR SPECTRUM!’ – BOOK REVIEW AND INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR FINN MONAGHAN

February 9, 2019 Spectrum Women

Interview by Maura Campbell, Spectrum Women Senior Editor and Features Writer Finn Monaghan is a Northern Ireland based specific learning difficulties teacher working as a freelance Autism and Dyslexia Tutor and Disability Needs Assessor at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. She received a late diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, aged 38, and the impact of growing up without a diagnosis inspired her to write a book to help autistic teenagers recognise their own individual spectrum of autism. Maura: Why did you think a book like this was needed? Finn: I found it difficult to grow up with undiagnosed autism and […]

Featured

AUTISM, LITERALLY!

October 19, 2018 Spectrum Women

A Spectrum Women collaboration, edited by Maura Campbell, with Barb Cook, Jen Elcheson, Christine Jenkins, Terri Mayne, Kate Ross and Lisa Toner Morgan. Us folks on the autistic spectrum have a tendency to take things a bit too literally sometimes. Even when we get the meaning of a phrase, though, our active imaginations mean we can have great fun when we take things verbatim… 1. “I’ll have to call you back — I’m in the middle of my dinner”   That could get messy. 2. “I’m just going to go jump in the shower” Mind you don’t slip! 3. “I can’t […]

Special Feature

Meet the Spectrum Women Book Authors: Barb Cook

August 21, 2018 Barb Cook

The Spectrum Women and authors of this book, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism, felt it would be a great opportunity to tell you a little about ourselves and the reasons why we were part of this incredible project. Each Spectrum Woman has a unique story to tell and today, on the day the book has been released to the world,  we would like to introduce you to Barb Cook…   Today our book was released to the world, being transported by postmen on bikes, carried in vans, on trucks, via boat and carried by planes across the […]

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