Leia was the first person who responded to my request for people to tell me about their family and I’m happy she did because her voice is strong and the love her family share clearly fierce (also Leia supplied these gorgeous photos of her family!)
❤ Thank you Leia.
Hello! Thanks for participating. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your family, however you’d like to introduce yourselves.
In our family of 4 (5 if you count the cat) we are autistic, anxious, sometimes depressed, obsessive, defiant and often non-speaking. We are all neurodivergent.
What do you value and love about your family?
Our family feeeeeeeeels life without filters.
Everything is intense, tingly, fragile, loud, fast and silent and all at the one time. Our family is tight and strong and we outlast.
What does acceptance of neurodivergence look like in your home and extended family?
Our son is Master of the Universe and while he’s small, he reigns. We are adults and all know how to find silent spaces to reboot when we need to. He is 5 and we do what he needs to feel right. We indulge and devote and surrender and celebrate his need for control. When he sleeps, we find our silent spaces and burrow, affording each other the right to do what it takes to feel right.
How can others in the community support and include you and your family?
Social rules mostly strangle us. We will meet the rest of the world halfway, but not more. My son will wear clothes in your parks. My husband will find words in your shops. My daughter will paint on her calm face to make a dollar. I will talk to you on the phone if I have to. But you can do so much more to challenge your social norms and stretch your boundaries of what looks ‘normal’. You can stop making your faces to each other when my son doesn’t dress or bathe or talk the way you think he ought to. You can understand when my daughter can’t make it at the last minute to your shitty part time job because she is unwell today. You can stretch a whole lot more to make a place for us to move through the world that we both share but that you make the rules for.
How are families like ours contributing to the neurodiversity movement, disability Pride, culture, and community?
Your society is ours too and we have always been here contributing. But the hiding behind masks takes its toll and we are done with that. We will say the word AUTISTIC in your face, sometimes gently, sometimes with power, and you will begin to see it’s nothing to fear. We will say ANXIETY and DEPRESSION and BI-POLAR in the same sentences as ACCEPTANCE and JOY and DETERMINATION. You will have no choice but to see our pride and move your boundaries of normal.
* You can find all of the couples and families featured so far here – Neurodiverse Families
* Want to add your story? Here’s how – Invitation to share your story