Featured

Rituals, Routines and Stims – Oh My! by Maura Campbell

July 22, 2020 Spectrum Women

Imagine you’re standing on a makeshift stage. Just you. It’s time to dance. You start to move around the stage, the dancing getting better as you feel more comfortable. Then somebody removes some of the struts holding up the rickety stage. You start to wobble. You slow down to a hesitant shuffle and eventually you have to stop… As an autistic, there are days when the world feels firm under my feet. Those are the days when what I’m doing seems familiar and ‘right’. I know what to expect and what is expected of me. I have the right balance […]

Advocacy

When so Little was Known of Autism by Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

June 29, 2020 Spectrum Women

Autistic adults who are now in their 30’s and older are a unique group of people twice over.  First, they are unique because they are autistic and second because most of them grew up undiagnosed.  In the US, autism did not become a common word until the 1960’s, even so, it was still extremely rare to have a diagnosis of autism in the 60’s and 70’s or even 80’s.  School kids were helped by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) from 1975 and beyond, but at first all kids were labeled “disabled” and the techniques used to help them were […]

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

Today by Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

March 31, 2020 Spectrum Women

My alarm goes off.  As my mind transitions from sleeping to waking up, I wonder what day it is.  Oh, yeah, it’s today.  It’s always today now.  There’s no schedule to discern one day from the next anymore.  It’s the spring of 2020 and the whole world changed just a couple of weeks ago. Then, I start to remember.  This today is going to be a great day!  Things are really going to get exciting!  I had decided the night before to shake things up a bit and have my coffee in the living room by the window instead of […]

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 […]

Featured

The Carnival by Lisa Morgan M.Ed CAS

March 7, 2020 Spectrum Women

When I was a kid I went to a carnival.  It was one of those small town carnivals celebrating summer with music, craft tables, the smell of fried food, and games to play for a stuffed animal. This carnival had a cake walk.  It’s a game like musical chairs where people walk around an area until the music stops.  If you happened to stop in front of a cake, you got to keep it.  All the cakes were homemade and delicious!  But, I digress. It wasn’t a time for cake then as you will see as my story progresses. So, […]

Featured

Autism: A Brave New World? by Maura Campbell

February 10, 2020 Spectrum Women

“You’re very brave.” I get that a lot. In fact, I’ve been hearing it constantly ever since I ‘came out’ as autistic. It’s usually said kindly (I think) and so I try to take it in the spirit intended. But every time someone says to me “You’re very brave” it gets me thinking: why is it ‘brave’ to be open about being autistic? I think there might be a few reasons for that. They might see it as ‘brave’ for me to apply a word to myself that’s generally represented as something very different in popular culture – usually a […]

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 […]

General

Event Review: Attwood & Garnett Events 1 day Conference ‘Women & Girls with Autism’ Senate House, London 17 Jan 2020 by Yvonne Moore, Mixed Media Artist.

January 24, 2020 Spectrum Women

I recently attended the final day of the three-day Attwood & Garnett Masterclass programme focusing on Autistic Women and Girls as part of a 200 seated delegated conference. This was made up of autistic individuals of all ages (diagnosed, self-diagnosed in the process of self-identification or pursuing a diagnosis), professionals, parents, at the beautiful Senate House in Bloomsbury central London. This building is famous for its links to iconic films such as The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawntreader, Batman Begins: The Dark Knight Rises and in more recent times has played host to several BBC TV series such […]

Employment

It’s Never too Early to Start: Planning Employment Futures with Autistic and Neurodivergent People by Barb Cook, M.Aut.

January 17, 2020 Spectrum Women

Opinion piece. The employment world can be a difficult one to navigate for most people, let alone for autistic and neurodivergent people. The employment journey starts way before getting a job. Society is led to believe that from a young age we need to get a good education, strive for a well-paid job, earn money to buy your first car, earn more money to move out and live on your own or with a partner, save and earn to support a family… the list goes on. This is something that many people aim for, that idyllic, perfect, fulfilling life. But […]

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