Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism is now in its final stages of publication, preparing to be printed for the wide world to see by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, we, the Spectrum Women and authors of this book, 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 we would like to introduce you to Becca Lory…
I spent my entire life pretending to know what friendship is. People would describe it to me. I would see it on television and in the movies. I have seen plenty of people having friendships that they seem to enjoy, though I have only seen glimpses of that kind of kinship. Mind you, I have always had “friends”. That is to say, I was never without a group of people socializing around me. And then, I met the ladies of Spectrum Women Magazine.
We are a tight knit group now, but not too long ago, the authors of Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism were all separated by continents, each walking the journey through a late in life autism diagnosis alone. Slowly we found each other, the loudest writers finding the passionate voice of another oddly familiar. We were drawn to each other through our shared experience and desire to articulate our needs and have the females of the spectrum heard. Despite the distance and time zones that separated us, we decided that together we could help Barb Cook create the platform our voices needed, a single place where the collective voice of the women of the spectrum could be found, Spectrum Women Magazine.
And then the book happened. We were ripe for a bigger collaborative challenge. Our collective voice had a lot to say and we were bursting at the seams with discussions we should be writing down. In the middle of this creative storm, happening via a closed Facebook group, our editor AND chief, Barb Cook, had a moment of greatness. “A book,” she declared, immediately asking for volunteers and topics.
The Universe has a way of making it REALLY obvious when an opportunity is meant for you. In this instance, the organic way we had become a team did not go unnoticed by our group. Our shared gratitude for our sheer survival made us instantly kin. I could see my face in their photos. They could hear their lives in my words. We were meant to create something bigger than our individual selves and we could feel that in our energy, in our basic desire to work well together. I felt supported and, in turn, I felt compelled to support others. When the opportunity arrived to write with these women in a bigger way, saying no was never an option, not for any of us. What we shared with each other, many of us for the first time, we would share with the world, together. It wasn’t a question for any of us.
The book we ended up writing separately in our homes was, without speaking a word, a giant thank you letter to each other. We each wrote with the same respect, passion, and honesty that we use with each other in that, still very active, closed Facebook group. It is full of our insights, our follies, our shared and individual experiences. It is authentic. It is organic. It is Spectrum Women.
Barb Cook and 14 other autistic women describe life from a female autistic perspective, and present empowering, helpful and supportive insights from their personal experience for fellow autistic women. Michelle Garnett’s comments validate and expand the experiences described from a clinician’s perspective, and provide extensive recommendations.
Autistic advocates including Liane Holliday Willey, Anita Lesko, Jeanette Purkis, Artemisia and Samantha Craft offer their personal guidance on significant issues that particularly affect women, as well as those that are more general to autism. Contributors cover issues including growing up, identity, diversity, parenting, independence and self-care amongst many others. With great contributions from exceptional women, this is a truly well-rounded collection of knowledge and sage advice for any woman with autism.
The Authors: Edited by: Barb Cook, Michelle Garnett
Contributions by: Jen Elcheson, Artemisia, Catriona Stewart, Anita Lesko, Liane Holliday Willey, Samantha Craft, Jeanette Purkis, Kate Ross, Becca Lory, Renata Jurkevythz, Terri Mayne, Maura Campbell, Dena Gassner, Christine Jenkins
Foreword by: Lisa Morgan
Release date 21st August, 2018.
Paperback / softback / Kindle
2018, 9.02in x 5.98in / 229mm x 152mm, 288pp