(Thanks Kara!!!) 🙂
Hi everybody. My name is Christa Holmans. I’m an autistic adult, and when I was diagnosed autistic at the age of 29, less than 3 years ago, I started a passion project called “Neurodivergent Rebel.” The blog was a response to all of the negativity, gloom, doom, and misinformation about autism on the internet.
I’m also an openly autistic business professional. I’m the VP of Marketing for the Austin Alliance Group, and the founder of NeurodivergentCounsulting.org.
I don’t think that being autistic makes me defective or broken. I believe that I have a different type of mind that allows me to view the world with a unique and fresh perspective.
There is a Brené Brown quote I like and I’m going to read it off, so I don’t butcher it.
“The opposite of belonging, from the research, is fitting in. Fitting in is assessing and acclimating. Here’s what I should say or be. Here’s what I shouldn’t say and avoid talking about. That’s fitting in. Belonging is belonging to yourself first. Speaking your truth, telling your story, and never betraying yourself for other people. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are. It requires you to be who you are.”
It’s so good. It really applies very well to autism and neurodiversity.
So, if you know the story of the Ugly Duckling, three years ago before I was diagnosed autistic, I was an ugly duckling.
The ugly duckling grew up believing – falsely – that he was an ugly or defective duck. Eventually the “duckling” learned he wasn’t a duck at all. In the end, the duckling was a perfectly “normal” “average” swan and this knowledge set him free.
I was born autistic. I’ve been autistic my entire life. And, I will die autistic. But I didn’t know I was autistic until I was diagnosed at the age of 29.
You know, that information really hit me hard. At first it set me on a roller coaster of emotions. I was skeptical. I tried to seek out information that would disprove what I had been told in the psych’s office.
But, because the doctor had recommended books by autistic authors, their words really shook me. It was as if someone had written down my own thoughts and experiences – the private ones that I thought nobody could relate to – parts of myself that I had learned to keep hidden were revealing themselves to me through the thoughts of others.
It was hard to deny after reading only a few of these autistic voices that I was autistic, and autism wasn’t what I thought it was. And autism isn’t what most people think it is.
So, if you want to find out more, please subscribe to my channel because I will share about autism from my own personal perspective. Thank you, guys, so much. I will talk to you next week. Bye!