Barb Cook

Formally identified on the autism spectrum along with ADHD and phonological dyslexia in 2009 at the age of 40, Barb is founder and editor-in-chief of Spectrum Women Magazine, an online publication for autistic women and identifying individuals that currently provides a wealth of information to nearly one million unique readers each year. Barb is also editor and co-author of the internationally acclaimed book, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism, which is cited as a historically important book for autistic women, researchers, academics and professionals.

Barb Cook with Jay Hobbs at Autism West Symposium 2017

Barb is a highly committed neurodivergent advocate, writer and speaker, making a variety of appearances on Australian radio, television, in newspapers and magazines and the SBS television documentary, The Chameleons: Women with Autism. She is co-founder of Bikers for Autism Australia, Community Council Member of AASET (Autistic Adults and other Stakeholders Engaged Together) and an independent autistic peer reviewer of the professional and academic journal Autism in Adulthood.

Barb is currently completing a Master of Autism at the University of Wollongong in the areas of education and employment and was jointly awarded the 2018 Community Engagement Grant for Facilitating the voice and self-determination of young adults on the autism spectrum, where she is project lead alongside Dr Amanda Webster. She is also a part-time researcher for the University of Wollongong.

Barb was awarded a Special Commendation in the 2017 Autism Queensland Creative Futures Awards by the Queensland Governor, his Excellency Paul De Jersey for her work on Spectrum Women, and recently spoke at the World Autism Organisation Congress 2018 in Houston, Texas, USA.

Barb is a passionate motorcyclist and currently rides a 1000cc Suzuki V-Strom called Ron ‘Strom’ Burgundy who she identifies as the love of her life and keeps her anxiety in check.