Autism is a wide spectrum that presents itself differently in females than males. The Art of Autism is grateful for the many autistic women who contribute to a better understanding of autism in females through their writing, their art, and their advocacy. These women are unafraid to tell their stories and share their insights. Without an autistic woman we would not have the term “neurodiversity.”
Judy Singer is an Australian social scientist on the autism spectrum who coined the term “neurodiversity” in her 1998 Honors thesis. Her thesis is a pioneering sociological work that mapped out the emergence of a new category of disability that, until then, had no name. Judy’s mother and daughter have Asperger’s syndrome. Her thesis is reproduced in the book NeuroDiversity: The Birth of an Idea.
Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with autism at age two. She also had an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking. Through much persistence Carly learned to type with one finger at age 10 on a computer and tablet. Carly has shared her insights about autism through her typing , her book Carly’s Voice and through videos. In 2016 Carly hosted a talk show titled Speechless which has millions of views.
Amy Gravino was diagnosed under the criteria of the DSM-IV with Asperger’s Syndrome when she was 11 years old. Amy who has her Master’s in Applied Behavioral Analysis is a Certified Autism specialist and employment coach for people on the autism spectrum. She is a writer and public speaker about autism.
Dora Raymaker, PhD is an Assistant Research Professor at the Portland State University’s Regional Research Institute and co-directs the Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE, http://aaspire.org), a community-campus partnership conducting research to improve the lives of adults on the autism spectrum.
Dani Bowman is an animator, artist, entrepreneur, speaker, and autism advocate. She has been active in The Art of Autism project for many years. At age eleven she founded the animation company Powerlight Studios, which is now DaniMation Entertainment. Dani has been teaching animation at Inclusion Films summer camps since age 15. She has won many awards for her advocacy. Dani is a student at Woodbury University
Ikea “Syance” Wilson is a synaesthete, an artist, musician, and song writer. She graduated from California State University Bakersfield in 2016 and is now a student at Inclusion Films in Bakersfield. Syance is an advocate for autism and those who have dual-diagnoses. Syance is an active participant in The Art of Autism’s autistic panel discussions and has shared her insights and art in blogs.
Carissa Paccerelli at the young age of 17 has already started a nonprofit, the CPM Foundation, with her grandmother to serve people with autism. Carissa is a profound artist whose art is part of her self-expression and advocacy. Carissa was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age 6, two years after her younger brother George was diagnosed. Carissa had her first one-person art exhibit in 2015. She is the author and illustrator of The “A” Word , a collection of satirical comments about autism.
Rebecca Burgess is a talented freelance comic artist and illustrator living in the UK. She has The Art of Autism’s most popular blog – Understanding the Spectrum – A Cartoon Explanation which has been translated into Spanish and French.
There are so many others that we can add to this list. The Art of Autism invites others to write blogs about autistic women who are making a difference.