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Starting from Scratch

You'd think I'd be used to starting again, it's not my first time. I'm hoping it's the last. I've worked in numerous industries, seen the same patterns repeat in business after business.

And then I discovered that my "divergent thinker" subtitle on LinkedIn had actually become a thing. Neurodivergency had emerged as a neurotype in psychology circles, as it dripped into reality, awareness grew.

I found myself being diagnosed with Combined type ADHD, by the time the diagnosis was made I'd been sat in a waiting list for over 26 months. It was no surprise, my brother had been "diagnosed" with it in the eighties. At least as diagnosed as someone could be with a family who didn't "label" their kids, and rushed him off to boarding school instead.

ADHD medication made it obvious this wasn't the only neurotype to inhabit my brain. It wasn't the whole story, I started doing some research to find out what was going on.

My daughter had been diagnosed with Autism when she was 8, so I should have been aware of it. I'd been raising awareness for years.

She's 25 now so surely I knew autism. I'd done courses, engaged with charities, fought for her statement, and then her EHCP.

Except there's a gap in understanding.

This is where it gets frightening. The autism we're taught about by professionals, and what it actually is, are two completely different things. I was diagnosed on 31st March 2022. I was just over a month short of my 46th birthday. I was/am in burnout.

I would NEVER have sought out an autism diagnosis if it hadn't been for actually autistic adults sharing their experiences. I'm highly emphatic. I feel other's pain when I watch television. I am creative. I am not a robot.

Yet, I am autistic, along with my ADHD. I'm AuDHD!

A digital polaroid of me. I'm a white person wearing a pastel-coloured baseball cap and rainbow-coloured flowers on my dungarees. I'm smiling up at the camera with my pinky-red hair.
Kekezza Reece


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