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Celebrating International Women’s Day: Women’s Autism/Autistic Project

To help honor International Women’s Day, it’s important to highlight programs that uplift and support women from diverse backgrounds. One such initiative at Autism Nova Scotia is the Women’s Autism/Autistic Project. Founded by two autistic advocates, Patricia George-Zwicker and Danielle Griffin, the program is now available for both teens and adults to connect and find support.

The Women’s Autism/Autistic Project stands out for its inclusivity, welcoming autistic women regardless of whether they’ve been formally diagnosed, self-diagnosed, or are unsure about their neurodiversity. Recognizing the unique challenges faced by this group, the program goes the extra mile to embrace individuals across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, ensuring that everyone feels accepted and understood.

Kelly Brennan, the current and passionate facilitator of this program, emphasizes the importance of creating a nurturing environment where participants feel supported and valued. “My goal is to provide support and establish a safe space,” says Kelly. “In a world where autistic women often grapple with heightened anxiety due to fear of rejection, having a commitment to fostering a sense of belonging is incredibly valuable.”

Kelly acknowledges that anxiety is a common issue among autistic women, due to societal misconceptions and the pressure to conform to neurotypical standards. By offering a space where individuals can embrace their true selves without fear of judgment, the Women’s Autism/Autistic Project aims to ease some of the anxiety associated with people who are neurodivergent.

Central to the Women’s Autism/Autistic Project are the engaging discussions covering a wide array of topics, from shared interests to the complexities of navigating life as an autistic woman. These sessions provide a platform for participants to connect, share their experiences, and gain insights that empower them on their journey of self-discovery.

Spring Cohort Opportunities 

As the Women’s Autism/Autistic Project celebrates International Women’s Day, there are exciting opportunities for individuals to get involved. While the teen spring cohort is currently full, there are still openings for the adult spring cohort, both online and in-person. Sessions are held monthly and in-person spots are limited. 

Celebrating Equity 

This International Women’s Day let’s celebrate initiatives like the Women’s Autism/Autistic Project that promote inclusivity, empowerment, and understanding. By nurturing a community where autistic women can thrive, we can help pave the way for a more compassionate, accepting, and fair future for women and the autistic community.