I used to think there was something wrong with me.
Why was I labeled highly gifted, yet struggled to do simple tasks that seemed so easy for everyone else?
Why could I accomplish so much at times, but other times have difficulty getting through the day?
Why was I so desperate for friendship, but couldn’t make and keep friends?
After almost twenty years, I found the answer. Like many other women my age, I had received a misdiagnosis early on that never quite fit.
Until a few years ago, when a series of fortunate circumstances lead me to read about what autism truly is beyond the stereotypes and I recognized myself. That was it. That was the missing key. I was autistic. At last, a lifetime of not being able to maintain gainful employment or embark on a career path, failure of business after business and an inability to turn my creative passions into ways to make a living made perfect sense. And at last, I found the community where I belonged, where I was seen and heard for who I truly was. Where my experiences were finally validated.
I finally found friendships where I was free to be my real self. It took a long time for me to accept it, but those businesses and creative pursuits that didn’t pan out weren’t failures at all.
Because they gave me the experience, skills, and knowledge to create something that finally gives the neurodivergent community the accessibility and support that will empower them to succeed.
We’re going to work on this collaboratively, bridging our strengths together through the power of our community. And in doing so, we’ll learn that what we thought were weaknesses are actually our strengths.
All of us will finally believe the truth: It’s not us that’s broken. It’s the world. And together, we’re going to change it.