Late NeuroDivergent Diagnosis – Diagnosed Autistic at 29 – Reading my Autism Diagnostic Report

It was August 23rd, 2016, when I went in for the first part of my autism assessment, an in-person interview with myself and the person who would be reviewing my childhood history and medical records.

By the end of August, all of the interviews would be concluded, and by early September 2016, at the age of 29, I would be diagnosed Autistic.

At that point in my life, being almost 30 and having such a bombshell of a piece of information dropped upon me, I skimmed a 13 page (actually 14 page) diagnostic report, but was very overwhelmed, and couldn’t process the report in front of me. In fact, I threw the report into a paper shredder, and destroyed the report.

However, recently, more than five years later, I’m feeling more ready to face the information that was in front of me all of those years ago. Continue reading Late NeuroDivergent Diagnosis – Diagnosed Autistic at 29 – Reading my Autism Diagnostic Report

I See Autistic & NeuroDivergent People Who Don’t KNOW their Minds Work Differently

There are people out there in the world today who do not know that they are NeuroDivergent, and may never know in their lifetimes. Not knowing that our brains work differently from that of a lot of other people on this planet, can have impacts on us, on our mental health, and our sense of self-worth; when we constantly compare ourselves to others around us, whose brains do not work as ours do. Continue reading I See Autistic & NeuroDivergent People Who Don’t KNOW their Minds Work Differently

Queer, Trans, NeuroDivergent, Autistic: The Human Need for Authenticity

I knew, at the age of four or five, that I wasn’t a girl, but I couldn’t articulate what I knew, and the world told me I was a girl, and I had to get used to that somehow.

I also knew, around the same time, that I was not like other kids, but not knowing I was NeuroDivergent, also meant not having the language to describe that experience either, and falsely believing that I was an inferior, lazy, NeuroTypical child, and then, eventually, a inferior lazy NeuroTypical adult. I held myself to those NeuroTypical standards, even to my own detriment.

I forced myself to fit into their boxes, at the expense of my own mental and physical health.

I held myself to CIS heteronormative standards, often feeling like I was living a lie and pretending to be someone I wasn’t, for the comfort of other people.

I hit for safety, to blend in, and not make waves. I hid to avoid being the target of bullying and harassment, though bullies still managed to find me. That’s what happens when you grow up in a violent, hostile place, where you don’t feel you’re safe, and you are forced into the peripheries of society.

Being invisible was safer and preferable to standing out, so I did my best to be invisible, and it almost killed me.

Eventually, I got to a point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I came to a place where I could no longer maintain the complex social mask that had protected me for most of my life, and when it all fell apart, I found myself in a place of crisis and was diagnosed Autistic at 29. Continue reading Queer, Trans, NeuroDivergent, Autistic: The Human Need for Authenticity

The Damage of Dismissing Autistic People When We Ask For Help

Makeup is just one of many reasons non-autistic people have told me that I couldn’t possibly be Autistic and I’m going to share a few of the other reasons, things I have heard. I’d love for you to share with us things that you have heard as well. Please drop a comment. Continue reading The Damage of Dismissing Autistic People When We Ask For Help

Autism StereoTypes and the Damage they Do to Autistic People

A stereotype is a widely held, but fixed and oversimplified image or idea, of a particular type of person or thing. This week I’m going to be talking more about how stereotypes impact Autistic and NeuroDivergent People. Continue reading Autism StereoTypes and the Damage they Do to Autistic People

Choosing & Changing Careers when You are NeuroDivergent – an Autistic Perspective

“I’m experiencing severe burnout, trying to find a way to change out of a career that doesn’t make me happy in the least. Working has become almost impossible. I’m in technology and feel the pressure to stay because it pays well, and the skills I have honed for many years are focused in this field. I love the idea of working for myself, but I don’t even know how to transition into that, when I’m so tired at the end of my workday. I also can’t just quit and move back to my parents. I don’t have that kind of support. I’m wondering if you could talk about that in future videos or blog posts: navigating careers as an Autistic adult, transitioning into a healthier work environment and starting in a new field. I know there are no easy or straightforward answers to these questions, but at this point, anything helps.” Continue reading Choosing & Changing Careers when You are NeuroDivergent – an Autistic Perspective

Autism and Alcohol – My Autistic Experience with Drinking

From personal experience, I can say that I used to use alcohol because I had social anxiety, and had all of these mandatory work networking happy hours and events, where there was always free alcohol; and alcohol made the anxiety numb, and let me tolerate being in these situations that, if I was listening to my gut, and my self, and how I really felt, I would have chosen not to go to anyway. I was putting a bandaid on things.

One or two drinks, and I noticed that the sensory experience, if it is a bit overwhelming, can sometimes become a bit less intense for me, and it is easier for me to go with the flow a little bit, as my inhibitions go down, but it doesn’t take as much alcohol, as it takes other people, to get me tipsy. Continue reading Autism and Alcohol – My Autistic Experience with Drinking

NeuroDiversity in the Workplace – Asking Autistic & NeuroDivergent People to Keep a NeuroTypical Pace

One of the things that I share with organizational leaders, and members of different companies I work with, is the fact that NeuroDivergent pace, often can look different than NeuroTypical pace, and NeuroDivergent workers can have, what I like to call “variable energy reserves” and may need to adjust our schedules accordingly. Continue reading NeuroDiversity in the Workplace – Asking Autistic & NeuroDivergent People to Keep a NeuroTypical Pace

Autistic and NeuroDivergent Masking – Help! I Don’t Know How to Unmask

NeuroDivergent masking is when a NeuroDivergent Person, a person who is brain may be Autistic, ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, OCD, et cetera. Is masking or hiding that NeuroDivergence, in order to blend in and appear more NeuroTypical. Continue reading Autistic and NeuroDivergent Masking – Help! I Don’t Know How to Unmask

How NeuroDivergent Masking and Burnout Can Become a Perpetual Cycle

DHD, OCD, whatver… is pressured to hide the parts of them that would out them as having a different brain –  So some NeuroDivergent people learn to hide those struggles and those differences, in order to appear more NeuroTypical. Continue reading How NeuroDivergent Masking and Burnout Can Become a Perpetual Cycle