Personal Stories, Embracing Neurodiversity

Welcome to Me.Decoded.

What does a neurodiverse world need to know about you, and how can we make this happen?

This is the question that I have been asking myself for the past year, since being diagnosed as autistic. It is a question that was a long time coming, and one that has helped to transform the world around me.

It is quite a thing to be diagnosed as autistic in your forties, and an even bigger thing to realise that you are not limited by the struggles which seem to have been holding you back. You can read more about my story here.

My diagnosis gave me the permission to be true to myself, and the courage to disagree when I was told that I needed to become more sociable in order to succeed. After years of anxiety from failing to meet expectations ( my own and others), I finally felt self-empowered to say "No, I don't need to change who I am" ... "We need to find a new way of living/ working / interacting".

As someone who has made a career of managing (controlling) change, I want to use my skills to bring about a much-needed change in the world. A world where Neurodivergent people like myself are viewed as different not deficient, our diversity welcomed, our needs supported and our unique perspective appreciated.

Why Me.Decoded

I chose the name Me.Decoded because I believe that at the heart of Neurodiversity are individuals and the understanding of the individual.

Me
a singular person - where each path to Neurodiversity begins

Decoded:
a translation or extraction of meaning - the insight into the Neurodivergent that is needed to achieve Neurodiversity

What is Me.Decoded about

My vision is that Me.Decoded becomes a place where the neurodiverget, advocates and allies can come together to share stories, insights, tips and success stories in relation to achieving Neurodiversity.

I know that many people have faced (and still are facing) significant challenges. I don't want to shy away from these, but I also want to be able to bring to light the positives that there are from have a brain that is wired differently.

I want people to say "this is me, this is what I want, and this is what I need" so that others can better understand, and more importantly so that we can start to drive the change that is needed to better support our needs.

I don't just want this to be focused on the Autistic community. I REALLY want stories relevant to other differences including dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD, ADD, bipolar, OCD, Tourette Syndrom....

For me the most important thing is that it is a site which amplifies the voices of the Neurodivergent community, and that they want to share their stories on here. I want them to be able to share their personal experiences to highlight why Neurodiversity is so important and why it must happen. This is the MOST important voice that I want to run through this site.

That said, I don't believe that we can bring about change on our own. This is why I believe it is important to also include the voices of advocates and allies, who can help us bring about change from the inside out.

Lastly I want it to be a place to share the latest thoughts and ideas on what is needed to achieve Neurodiversity, and celebrate those who are actively embracing it. A site focused on bringing about change, where people are called to action, so that we can start to see neurodiversity more widely embraced in educational settings, organisations and society.

How can you get involved

I believe there is power in the sharing of personal stories, and that we all need to come together in order to bring about the change needed for Neurodiversity.

So that is what I am looking for from contributors - whether it is as a neurodivergent person, someone who provides education/ employment coaching or advice, someone who advises on neurodiverity, or someone who involved in neurodiversity initiatives.

Maybe you have thoughts on how to achieve neurodiversity, or want to celebrate someone/ somewhere who is actively embracing neurodiversity. If so, it would be great to have you onboard.

If you are interested, you can find more details in my contributors guide.

If you don't wish to share you story, you can still help by spreading the word of Me.Decoded. To help you with this, I have some resources which can be shared.

Stay in touch

If you have something you wish to share, please get in touch.

You can also find me on facebook, twitter and youtube

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About Helen Needham

Helen is the originator and founder of Me.Decoded. A passionate advocate for Neurodiversity, - diagnosed as autistic in her 40's after a lifetime of feeling like she was on the outside looking in.
  • England