Featured

With a bit of luck… Yenn Purkis

January 5, 2018 Spectrum Women

This post is about the idea behind ‘luck’—the impact of people’s attitudes, motivation and aspirations. It is first and foremost my own experience of these things. I will preface the piece by stating that your attitude is not a determinant of good or poor character, that it is never OK to blame someone for not managing adversity well and that different people can respond vastly differently to similar things. Autistic people often find they have a negative attitude and / or a pessimistic view. Sadly this is often due to the horrors which other human beings put us through, particularly […]

Culture

Jingle Hells by Maura Campbell

December 19, 2017 Spectrum Women

The festive season is when I feel most like an alien.  Christmas is, from my perspective, the untidiest of the holidays. It is a bizarre mishmash of unconnected traditions overlaid with cloying sentimentality. Why do otherwise sane people dress as Victorians and sing at you until you give them money? Why do offices across the land have stashes of sugary goods that could put an elephant into a coma? Why do I have to listen to Mariah Carey’s ear-splitting warbling over and over and over again, like a form of Sisyphean torture? It makes no sense! It’s incoherent and illogical. […]

Featured

Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism — Some thoughts and reflections by Yenn Purkis

November 29, 2017 Spectrum Women

As a child I was told I was a ‘tomboy’. I rarely wore skirts or dresses and was far more interested in toy trucks and cranes than dolls, which I was confused by. What was the point of plastic people and what was I supposed to do with them? I wasn’t interested in boys growing up and couldn’t understand why anyone would intentionally wear uncomfortable high heeled shoes. Makeup baffled me. It looked like clay on people’s faces and red lipstick just made them look like a clown — or, as I got older and knew about such things — […]

Featured

The Big Sigh by Becca Lory, CAS, BCCS

November 27, 2017 Spectrum Women

This is one of those days. I feel it the moment I open my eyes. I instantly loathe that I am awake. I fall into an old habit of calculating how many hours I will have to reasonably be out of my bed before I can crawl back into it without having to feign illness or apologize for not returning a text. Twelve? Maybe if I stay in bed a little longer I can make it eleven. As I close my eyes, hoping for a lessened sentence, the dogs start to rouse. I hear the shuffle of early morning stretches, […]

Featured

Why are they so mean? — Barb Cook

November 14, 2017 Barb Cook

The words, “Why are they so mean?” has constantly rolled around in my mind, haunting me on and off for a lifetime. A recent encounter, hearing that very same statement from a young soul, tugged at my very core. Why indeed are people at times so mean? Why do they hurt us without a moment’s thought for the consequence that befalls another? How can they laugh and smile while you are fighting back the tears at being shunned, called names or made to feel inferior, less than? It never really made any sense, nor could I find the answers, at […]

Featured

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 […]

Advocacy

Striking a Path into Neurotypical Space – Yenn Purkis

September 21, 2017 Spectrum Women

I am a forty-three year old Autistic woman. Like many other Autistic people I have some quite significant ‘differences’ setting me apart from my neurotypical peers. Some of these stem directly from my Autism—things like being unable to read body language or not noticing anyone’s emotions unless they tell me or give a strong hint. I don’t usually notice if someone is crying unless they are doing it loudly! I don’t ever ‘do’ eye contact. If I remember I will look at a spot on the bridge of the nose of the person I’m talking with, but more often than […]

Featured

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 […]

General

The Same Only Different – Maura Campbell

September 6, 2017 Spectrum Women

Imagine for a moment what it would be like if medical practitioners talked about red haired people the way they talk about autistics.  (Stay with me.) A description of a redhead might go something like this: Nearly 2% of people worldwide suffer from redhead disorder. Symptoms include abnormally pale skin, unusually thick hair follicles, hyper-sensitivity to changes in temperature and excessive freckling. There is no known cure. Within the redhead community, a debate might ensue about the relative merits of identity-first language (‘redhead’) versus person-first language (‘person with redheadedness’).  Some people might get in a lather over whether those with […]

Advocacy

‘Take me to your leader’ – Autism and leadership by Yenn Purkis

September 3, 2017 Spectrum Women

Last night I was in a room full of people considered leaders—people making a difference in community work, CEOs and entrepreneurs, people with even longer CV’s than me! I was a finalist in the ACT Excellence in Leadership Awards for the second year running. As I listened to the accomplishments of all the finalists and when I heard my own biography read out, I reflected on leadership—specifically what it means to me and why it is useful in the Autism community. I jotted down a note to write a post on Autism and leadership, got my certificate and then did […]

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