About me

I am a features writer for Spectrum Women Magazine and have also written on autism and learning disability for a number of other publications. I live in the Northern Ireland countryside with my husband Stephen, son Darragh, Ash the assistance dog and Baz the cat (who is no help whatsoever). I was diagnosed with Asperger…

“WHAT CAN I SAY INSTEAD?”

Alternatives to ableist slurs More and more people are recognising why you should avoid using terms like ‘retard’, ‘idiot’, ‘imbecile’ or ‘moron’ as an insult, though they may struggle to think of terms to use instead. These types of slurs have become so normalised, and are used so commonly, it can seem like a hard…

AUTISM: A BRAVE NEW WORLD?

A silhouette style illustration of a woman superhero with sun setting in the valley background This article was first published on 9 February 2020 in Spectrum Women Magazine. "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…

Who’s to blame for Whorlton Hall?

A recent BBC Panorama programme uncovered horrendous abuse taking place in an institution in the UK meant to provide care for autistic people and people with learning disabilities.  I must confess, I didn’t watch it: I have a hard enough time as it is getting a good night’s sleep. It would be convenient to be…

“I OVERTHINK, THEREFORE I AM”

I have a brain like a runaway train Oh, what will the next station be? Death or disaster? I need to work faster I think the cat might need de-fleaed… I have a brain like a runaway train It’s powered by guilt, fear and caffeine Memories cramped in the vaults that store tales of my…

If Neurodiversity Doesn’t Challenge You, You’re Not Doing It Right

by Maura Campbell Posted on  June 23, 2018 on Spectrum Women “Would you like to pet the lambs?”  This story comes back to me whenever I have to check in with myself on whether I’m ‘doing neurodiversity right’. Let me explain. It was shortly after my son’s autism diagnosis, and many months before I’d cottoned on that I…