Advocacy

Stranger in a Strange Land: The Autistic Expatriate – Jeanette Purkis

September 3, 2018 Spectrum Women

I was at a conference this week and it generated some interesting thoughts in my mind. The light bulb moment was when a speaker talked about their child being ‘resistant to using the telephone’. I would have said that the child didn’t like using the telephone and I think the speaker would have too if the child were not autistic. Autistic people are frequently pathologised and our experiences seen in terms of being somehow deficient and in need of fixing. I do not want to detract from the conference, which was great, but that comment really set me thinking. I […]

Featured

Oh! The Meaning of the Meaning of Words… by Lisa Morgan

May 8, 2018 Spectrum Women

Words have meanings!  Unfortunately, they have lots of different meanings for people, making it a challenge to communicate. There are phrases such as, “Let’s go for coffee soon,” which somehow usually means “Hi, it’s good to see you; I wish we could spend time together, but it’s impossible right now”. Also, “We need to talk about goals soon” can mean “I’m really busy and this is going to have to wait”. One of my favorites over the years has been, “Text (or call) you later” meaning “goodbye”.  Where is this all written down?  How do other people know this language […]

Relationships

Behaviour is Language ~ Renata Jurkevythz

July 5, 2017 Spectrum Women

In this insightful and thought provoking piece, Renata talks about how for her, learning languages (English being second to her native Portuguese) significantly compares to learning the innate social cues that non autistic individuals inherently know… People are so quick to doubt my diagnosis of Asperger’s just because I “behave like a regular person” and “don’t look autistic”. This really bothers me! This doesn’t just happen with me, but with the vast majority of diagnosed people that don’t match the male/classic stereotypes. And here lies a substantial problem. Too many of us have to go out proving ourselves all the […]

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 […]