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…

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…

THE NIGHT I SAID “I HATE AUTISM” AND WHY I WAS WRONG

Photo: Rex Features

Earlier this week, Chris Bonnello wrote an excellent blog about why he believes saying “I hate autism” is wrong. He approached a difficult subject in a fair, balanced and constructive way, and with some trepidation. He was right to be nervous. This is an emotive and neuralgic issue which can quickly drive autistic adults and autistic…