Book Releases

Interview with Author of Uncomfortable Labels, Laura Kate Dale by Yenn Purkis

July 10, 2019 Spectrum Women

In this interview, author Laura Kate Dale discusses her new book Uncomfortable Labels with Spectrum Women Pride Page editor and autistic and non-binary advocate Yenn Purkis. The book is an autobiographical account of Laura’s life as a gay autistic trans woman. Why do you think you weren’t diagnosed as autistic sooner? I think for me personally, the issue was two-fold. Firstly, I was the kind of child on the autism spectrum who presented at a young age as very rule following, very detail oriented, and very able to follow set instructions. I wasn’t physically aggressive during meltdowns and was generally […]

Pride Page

Spectrum Women’s new Pride Page – An introduction from topic editor Yenn Purkis

July 4, 2019 Spectrum Women

‘I thought this site was about autism, not gender’ said one irate visitor to my page after I posted a meme about gender diversity and autism earlier this year. In fact, the way I see it, if you are talking about autism you need to be talking about gender diversity too. Recent research shows that autistic people are 7.5 times more likely to be trans and gender diverse than the general population[1]. That is a lot of trans autistic people! Anecdotally that statistic is borne out in my own experience. I know a lot of other autistics who are non-binary, […]

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 […]

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Special Feature

EVENT: Empowerment on the Autism Spectrum Workshop with Barb Cook & Yenn Purkis – 16 August 2019, Penrith NSW

March 15, 2019 Spectrum Women

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKET Venue: Penrith RSL Club, 8 Tindale Street, Penrith NSW 16th August 2019 – 9.30am – 2.30pm Ticket Price:  Autistic Person $55  General $99 About the workshop… This workshop focuses on strategies and supports to empower women and non-male individuals on the autism spectrum in gaining self-advocacy and self-determination skills to set them on a pathway to a more fulfilling life. Throughout this workshop, Barb and Yenn will explore issues faced by autistic individuals in a variety of life settings, resonating from their personal lived experience, current research and community knowledge. Practical group activities and […]

Advocacy

What is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’ and when should we just listen by Yenn Purkis

March 25, 2019 Spectrum Women

I used to be friends with a narcissist (as I imagine most people have at some point). This person had to be right and they loved to argue. I deliberately stopped being offended when she repeatedly said something rude. This resulted in her stopping talking about that thing and moving on to another topic which bothered me! I remember having an argument when she was clearly in the wrong. There were witnesses who told me this as well but this woman couldn’t let it go. She HAD to be right. Thankfully, most of us don’t have that almost pathological need […]

Featured

Self-Protection by Yenn Purkis

December 26, 2018 Spectrum Women

I was in a documentary alongside three other autistic people which aired in 2010. In one scene, the four of us are having a conversation. One person, Akasha, said ‘The amount of money I have been ripped off is getting close to $500,000’. The other three of us all nodded in a very knowing way. I’m not sure about $500K but I have definitely been ripped off a lot of money over the years. I have been victim of scams and cons, plus toxic and dangerous people have manipulated me and taken advantage of me in many different areas of […]

Advocacy

Stranger in a Strange Land: The Autistic Expatriate – Yenn 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

15 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY TO AN AUTISTIC WOMAN

August 13, 2018 Spectrum Women

A Spectrum Women Compilation, edited by Jen Elcheson and Maura Campbell Barb Cook, Dena Gassner, Renata Jurkevythz, Anita Lesko, Becca Lory, Terri Mayne, Yenn Purkis, Kate Ross, Lisa Morgan Content Warning: ableism, paternalizing, bullying, sexism (pretty much a smorgasbord of awful). We present to you another collaborative piece where we discuss a bunch of things people should not say to autistic women (or, indeed, to any autistic person, female-presenting or otherwise) and why saying them can be negative from an autistic perspective. 1. “Are you sure you’re autistic?” Trying to talk someone out of their diagnosis, questioning their identity, saying […]

Parenting

An open letter to ‘martyr’ parents – Yenn Purkis

July 15, 2018 Spectrum Women

I will preface this by clearly stating that I have no issue with parents of autistic kids. It would be rude — and foolish — if I did, considering that a lot of my advocacy work is with parents. I recognise the vital role parents have in supporting their kids to grow to be strong and fulfilled autistic adults. Parenting can be very difficult and parents usually do an amazing job. This letter relates to a small subset of parents within the world of autism… I was in conversation online in response to a post about a TV program featuring […]

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