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Seeing the Unseen Premiere Thursday June 6, 2019

June 6, 2019 Spectrum Women

By Christine Jenkins, Spectrum Women Magazine international correspondent. I talked recently with Kristín Vilhjálmsdóttir about this new documentary. She is a translator based in Reykjavik, Iceland, and one of the 17 voices in the 90-minute film, Seeing the Unseen.  When you consider the whole population of her country is 340,000, about one third of my urban municipality of Ottawa, Seeing the Unseen is a major achievement. It looks at the lives of 17 teen girls and women on the autistic spectrum and is presented by the Icelandic Autistic Society.   The narration is based on a large portion of the poem […]

Featured

Life Through the Lens of Autism: Condition? What Condition? by Lisa Morgan

May 28, 2019 Spectrum Women

I don’t have a condition, do you?   I’m an autistic adult and I keep reading about my “condition”, wondering if “they” know something about myself that I’ve missed.  I think I’m the expert at knowing me.  Now, I read that I have a condition.  Honestly, it’s insulting, demeaning, and offensive to me, but to be fair, I’m going to take an objective look at my life to see if I can find this condition “they” are talking about. Ok, so as far as I know, I’m in working condition for the most part.  I mean, I am well beyond the […]

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Processing…. Please Wait by Terri Mayne

May 21, 2019 Spectrum Women

Them: “Hey, can you get me that thing from on top of that shelf?” Me: “What?” Them: Can you ge–” Me: Oh yeah sure Them: ??? You hear the question, it doesn’t compute right away, you say “What?” as a kind of placeholder whilst you make sense of it, then just as the other person starts to repeat themselves thinking you’ve not heard them properly, you finally process the question and the penny drops and you answer fully, leaving the other person somewhat bewildered as to how you apparently didn’t hear but worked it out anyway. When your brain processes […]

Life Through the Lens of Autism

Life Through the Lens of Autism: The Growing Pains of a Comfort Zone

May 11, 2019 Spectrum Women

by Lisa Morgan I recently spent a few days at a conference where I had the opportunity to share my story with an audience of about 60 people.  I was not only telling about my lived experience with suicide loss as an autistic adult, I was also advocating for crisis supports for the autism community.  I wanted to do this, knowing ahead of time that nothing good is ever easy. Attending the conference required me to travel about 2/3 across the continental US, present a Thought Leader speech for an hour, be exposed to many types of social situations, and […]

Autism April

Part 3: Spectrum Women April Collaboration – Awareness, Acceptance, and Action!

April 8, 2019 Spectrum Women

In the third and final part of our three-part series, we have more unique thoughts from Spectrum Women on awareness, acceptance and action.  Jen Elcheson – from the point of view of true awareness, self-acceptance, and ways we can all be active. There was a time, much like there is for most people new to autism, when I was not aware of autism, even though I had been given the professional identification! Of course there was not much information at that time and I was heavily in denial. I finally learned to accept my neurodivergence in my mid 20’s as […]

Book Releases

Spectrum Women Interview Series with Jen Elcheson: Camouflage by Dr. Sarah Bargiela, Illustrated by Sophie Standing

April 7, 2019 Spectrum Women

Interview by Jen Elcheson, Spectrum Women Sections Editor, Feature Writer, Interviewer  Camouflage is a Jessica Kingsley Publishers (JKP) new release this year in the ever growing literature on autism in girls, women, and gender-non-conforming people. Are you or someone you love newly diagnosed and don’t know where to begin, what book to start with, and looking for an informative, user friendly basic primer on how autism can present in girls and women? Are you a clinician who is brushing up on your research? Look no further! This accessible easy to read book is a great starting point of reference on […]

Autism April

Part 2: Awareness, Acceptance, and Action!- Awareness at the Key to Self by Dena Gassner

April 4, 2019 Spectrum Women

The second part of our series for Autism Awareness month features Dena Gassner with a clever twist on awareness and acceptance from a personal point of view. Awareness at the Key to Self When we think about Autism Awareness Month, we often think about Awareness as an outside force for assistance. But for me, the most impactful “awareness” has come with introspectively coming to “awareness” and “acceptance” of my own autistic identity. For most of us, we develop suspicious inklings about our identity in an isolated circumstance-we don’t know other autistics, we may not have heard about it or our […]

Autism April

Part One: Spectrum Women April Collaboration – Awareness, Acceptance, and Action!

April 1, 2019 Spectrum Women

A three part series by Spectrum Women – Lisa Morgan, Maura Campbell, Jen Elcheson, Dena Gassner, Christine Jenkins, Terri Mayne, Liane Holliday Willey, and Yenn Purkis Lisa Morgan writes: April is upon us once again, with April 2nd being the day the world will “Light it up Blue”.  People will be talking about autism awareness.  The world seems to be aware of autism, but celebrating what the color blue stands for shows the world is not aware of autistic people.  Autistic people are not in favor of “Lighting it up Blue” or anything that color stands for that day A […]

Book Releases

‘KNOW YOUR SPECTRUM!’ – BOOK REVIEW AND INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR FINN MONAGHAN

February 9, 2019 Spectrum Women

Interview by Maura Campbell, Spectrum Women Senior Editor and Features Writer Finn Monaghan is a Northern Ireland based specific learning difficulties teacher working as a freelance Autism and Dyslexia Tutor and Disability Needs Assessor at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. She received a late diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, aged 38, and the impact of growing up without a diagnosis inspired her to write a book to help autistic teenagers recognise their own individual spectrum of autism. Maura: Why did you think a book like this was needed? Finn: I found it difficult to grow up with undiagnosed autism and […]

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 […]

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