My forever homegirl, Patie, liked this one story on Linked In.
I dug a bit deeper, and what a gem the story underneath is.
This is what a NeuroDiverse couple looks like
Never Been Good Enough
You will never be good enough for the wrong person… the wrong job… the wrong opportunity.
You will always be devalued, underappreciated, and ridiculed by those you are not meant to grow with.
For most of my life, I have been made to feel small or limited in my capabilities.
Many have tried to shove me in a box.
So what did I do…
I learned to OUTGROW THE BOX!
I realized it is fruitless to spend my life trying to change the opinions of others.
Instead, I worked on myself, growing exponentially both personally and professionally.
So much so, that it seems ridiculous that they ever tried to minimize me in the first place.
I was referred to as the ‘weird autistic one’ who wouldn’t be able to hold a job, form healthy relationships, learn like others, be a parent, be ‘normal’… I was told that poor black kids are doomed to fail, unless we get ‘lucky’ and enter the entertainment industry. I learned to thrive off of being underestimated!
Don’t get discouraged when those around you do not see your full potential.
Take it as an opportunity to self-reflect on who you are and who you want to be.
Make a PLAN, then EXECUTE! Get so big that hearing no makes you feel bad for them for missing an opportunity to grow with you.
What do you get when a person with #autism and a person with #ADHD get together? 🥴🙃
A very ATYPICAL life! 🤣
Growing up with autism, I was often nonverbal and my social skills were pretty poor.
Making friends was very hard for me.
So, no one expected me to be able to have a happy, healthy relationship. Let alone be married and raise children.
But, I proved everyone wrong!
Today, is 🎉 OUR ANNIVERSARY 🎉, a day my wife and I celebrate extra hard because of all the adversities we have to face being neurodiverse on top of all the regular challenges associated with marriage. We put in a lot of effort to not only manage our own cognitive limitations, but constantly accommodate and advocate for each other. That’s definitely not always easy to do!
I’m sharing this to let other neurodiverse individuals know that anything is possible. If it’s worth having, it’s worth fighting for! You can live the life you want despite the additional hurdles you must overcome. This goes for not only your professional life, but your personal life too!
Don’t let anyone box you in and tell you what you can or cannot achieve based on a diagnosis.
There is so much more in store for you than you may realize!
Happy Anniversary to my best friend Lisset Mooney.
This is was a NEURODIVERSE couple looks…
My wife, Lisset, has ADHD and I have Autism 🥴🙃
For me, autism looks like:
🤪 Going nonverbal when overstimulated (which often happens at the worst times)
🤪 Having meltdowns when things don’t go as planned or… again… overstimulated
🤪 Having to practice excessively to properly mask for all social interactions
🤪 Wearing noise-canceling headphones when out in public to reduce stimulants
🤪 Getting very agitated when touched (handshakes, soft touches, and being brushed up against are the WORST)
🤪 Getting very anxious from eye contact
🤪 Getting very exhausted from small talk that last more than 1-2 minutes (sometimes that’s too long too)
🤪 Repeating phrases aloud compulsively
🤪 Hearing white noise or “seashell” like sounds after engaging in conversations too long, making it impossible to understand what is being said to me
🤪 Being perceived as weird or rude for not complying with social norms
🤪 Fidgeting and making abnormal body movements during social interactions or overstimulation
🤪 Speaking in a choppy, fast, irregular pace that can be hard for others to understand at times
🤪 Being misunderstood as being sarcastic, telling a joke, or being angry because I have difficulty with tone and facial expressions
🤪 Cringing when asked “How are you?”
For #AutismAwareness month, I wanted to share a different “face” of autism than what is typically depicted on TV and movies.
It’s is so important to increase representation and learn to take neurodiversity seriously.
Especially in work environments…
When people see a professional who is autistic, they may think that the person would never go nonverbal during a meeting or have a meltdown while clients are onsite or be unable to mask at a conference because the person doesn’t “look autistic”.
But the second that same autistic person goes nonverbal during a meeting or has a meltdown while clients are onsite or is unable to mask at a conference… people question the person’s qualifications and abilities, deeming them ‘unprofessional’.
We need your empathy, understanding, advocacy, and accommodations whether we look autistic to you or not.
Let’s expand our perceptions and beliefs around what autism ‘looks’ like.
A TIP FOR MY FELLOW INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM:
I wear bright red bracelets that say *AUTISTIC*. I bought them on Amazon a while back for like $5 each. It notifies or reminds people of my limitations which can be very helpful when I’m nonverbal. It’s a way to self advocate with a lot less pressure on you to constantly tell people. I wear them 24/7, even in professional environments. But, if you ever feel uncomfortable disclosing it, you can just take the bands off.