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“MILDLY DIFFERENT” – Interview with Anna Czarska

August 25, 2020 Spectrum Women

Mildly Different is an exciting new film project which aims to shed light on what autism in women looks and feels like from an autistic perspective. Maura Campbell met up with Anna Czarska, Managing Director of Sticky Tape Productions, to find out more. How did the idea for the film come about and what are you hoping to achieve through this project? The film was inspired by my own experiences. I went through most of my life not knowing about my autism and believing there was something inherently wrong with me. This not only led to a great deal of […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Unmet Needs During the Pandemic By Lisa Morgan M.Ed. CAS

April 11, 2020 Spectrum Women

**Content warning: Suicide Crisis supports for the autism community are sparse.  Autistic people need support specific to their way of thinking and understanding the world.  This often differs from the type of support available for the general public.  Thankfully, there is an existing research study published in Molecular Autism that we, autistic people, can use to help ourselves now, in real time, as we need it during the pandemic. This research can help guide us in how we can take care of ourselves and our loved ones as we experience the unexpected changes in the world.  The immediate changes we […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Proverbs 31, What? by Shannon Hughes

January 23, 2020 Spectrum Women

*Content warning: suicidal ideation, depression, language Any woman who grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home knows that the Proverbs 31 woman is the ideal she should aspire to. Even if she’s not familiar with the scripture reference, she’s familiar with the archetype. The Proverbs 31 woman is the backbone of her community, the Martha Stewart who cares for her husband and children with stalwart devotion, executing feats of organization and economy that undergird civilization itself. She’s strong, savvy, and entrepreneurial. Because of her, her loved ones are protected, and most importantly, her husband is a success. When I was […]

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