Life Through the Lens of Autism

What Masking is Not…

February 6, 2019 Spectrum Women

by Lisa Morgan There’s been a lot of discussion these days about masks, why autistic people use them, and how bad they are for us.  Let’s take a look at what masking is not, and how good it is for us to take them off. Masking is not being someone we aren’t because we don’t like who we are, it’s being someone we aren’t because other people don’t like who we are.  While trying to fit into a culture that feels foreign and uncomfortable – many autistic people, me included, were willing to hide our true selves to belong. It’s […]

Life Through the Lens of Autism

Lost – With a Map

January 6, 2019 Spectrum Women

Introducing… Life Through the Lens of Autism, a new monthly column for Spectrum Women’s magazine for all women on the spectrum.  Written from the unique point of view of a spectrum woman who started life after college as a computer science engineer back in the 80’s, a single parent, mother of four (2 biological, 2 adopted from China), teacher of students with special needs, enjoys cats of all ages, survivor of suicide loss, author, advocate, speaker, loves purple, and one who doesn’t take life too seriously because… why?  The column will be an excerpt of autistic life, a bit sarcastic, […]

Featured

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 […]

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 […]

Education

Just How Hard Can Easy Be? By Lisa Morgan

June 2, 2018 Spectrum Women

I’d like to take a look at how hard ‘easy’ can be for an autistic person. For this purpose, I’m going to use actors in a play. The setting is a classroom.  The lead role is an autistic student (played by me). The supporting roles are comprised of the teacher, other students, and any aides in the room. The antagonist is the environment. Let’s take a moment and look at a school environment through the eyes of an autistic student. First, let’s consider the setting of a typical classroom in an elementary school. The room is bright and colorful with […]

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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 […]

Refelection

The Best Version of Me by Lisa Morgan

March 11, 2018 Spectrum Women

I am an autistic adult who lived undiagnosed through the sixties and seventies in a school environment where differences were not accepted and teachers thought quiet, bright, students could be left alone in favor of the more vocal, struggling ones.  I fell through the cracks and landed in a no-man’s land of bullying, rejection, sensory assaults, and pervasive loneliness. As I think about those early years, my mind wanders back to a typical day and I visualize one of the most important conversations of my life. In my mind’s eye I see her sitting alone in a room full of […]

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Playing by the rules by Lisa Morgan

October 11, 2017 Spectrum Women

Remember playing tag?  Trying to avoid the person who was “it” as they chased you around?  Laughing and playing as kids dodged around running as fast as they could to not get tagged?  There was always the time when running just a bit ahead of the tagger, who was gaining on you, that home base came into view.  Heading towards home base and getting there first without being tagged… and you’re safe!!  That wonderful feeling of being safe and catching your breath until you feel it’s okay to venture out again is priceless.  Those are happy memories of family get […]

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Thinking the Autism Way by Lisa Morgan

September 8, 2017 Spectrum Women

Friendships are one of the best things in life, as well as, one of the hardest of all things to understand.  I want friendships, but they are a mystery to me.  Friendships are complicated, simple, painful, loving, scary, safe, and I could go on with my diametrically opposed words but I think I’ve made my point. So, when I have a friendship, I try to safeguard it from any possible mix-ups that can happen.  I know what these are because they’ve all happened before at some time in a previous friendship.  I safeguard it by explaining about autism and what […]

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Living Through Suicide Loss – A Conversation with Author Lisa Morgan

March 2, 2017 Spectrum Women

Losing a loved one is never easy, let alone losing someone through suicide. The impact is enormous and devastating. The pain, grief and often confusion that are faced for those experiencing the loss through suicide can be intense, especially for those on the autism spectrum. Lisa Morgan gives a heartfelt personal account of loss through suicide of a close family member. From this extremely distressing and challenging part of her life, Lisa felt the need to convey her experience with fellow autistics, giving insightful support during such a difficult experience. Barb: Thank you for taking the time today in talking […]

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