Employment

It’s not all about IT… Breaking the stigma in employment choices for autistic & neurodivergent people by Barb Cook

November 15, 2019 Spectrum Women

Information and technology (IT) has boomed over the past 30 years and become an integral part of the modern developed world. Employment opportunities in IT exploded alongside this growth and created pathways for autistic people in finding job security in an industry that has been stigmatized as the place where the ‘geeks’ gravitate. Software giants headhunt talented autistic people for positions in program development and defending against cybercrimes. Autistic people have been pigeonholed into this perception that we are gifted and talented in computers, math and science. Certainly, some of us fit this role like a glove, but what about […]

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A Silver Lining… By Lisa Morgan

September 9, 2019 Spectrum Women

Trigger Warning ***This is an article on suicide prevention.*** In honor of September being National Suicide Prevention month, I thought I’d dedicate this column to issues of suicide in the autism community.  While I do understand suicide is not a welcome topic, I believe that is one of the reasons it is such a problem.  No one wants to talk about it.  Although, I believe if we did talk about it more, people wouldn’t feel like they have to keep their feelings a secret and there’s a better chance they will reach out for help. Another unwelcome topic, at least […]

Autism April

VIDEO: NIMH Special Event – A Woman’s Voice: Understanding Autistic Needs

May 7, 2019 Spectrum Women

browser does not support iframe Run Time Approx 1 hour 40 minutes Event source page https://iacc.hhs.gov/meetings/autism-events/2019/april23/spectrum-women.shtml The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) is pleased to invite you to attend our annual special event to recognize National Autism Awareness Month, A Woman’s Voice: Understanding Autistic Needs. We will be hosting a Panel Presentation featuring three authors of the book Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism, Barb Cook, Liane Holliday-Willey, Ed.D., and Dena Gassner, M.S.W. The panel will also include Jennifer O’Toole, author of Autism in Heels: The Untold Story of a Female Life on […]

Advocacy

What is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’ and when should we just listen by Yenn Purkis

March 25, 2019 Spectrum Women

I used to be friends with a narcissist (as I imagine most people have at some point). This person had to be right and they loved to argue. I deliberately stopped being offended when she repeatedly said something rude. This resulted in her stopping talking about that thing and moving on to another topic which bothered me! I remember having an argument when she was clearly in the wrong. There were witnesses who told me this as well but this woman couldn’t let it go. She HAD to be right. Thankfully, most of us don’t have that almost pathological need […]

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Spectrum Women Interview Series with Jen Elcheson: Meet Shadia Hancock

January 30, 2019 Spectrum Women

Shadia Hancock is an 18 year old Australian entrepreneur, coach, speaker, writer, animal empath, university student, and visual artist professionally identified as autistic at the early age of three. They recently started their own business where they are proud to offer life coaching and academic tutoring from an autistic perspective for other young people on the spectrum. In addition, Shadia is involved in other projects aimed to assist autistic people in finding their purpose in this often tough to navigate world. Since we at Spectrum Women are all about working to help empower fellow autistic and neurodivergent people, I knew […]

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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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