Black History Month- Amplifying Black Neurodivergent Voices- Charlotte's Story

Black History Month- Amplifying Black Neurodivergent Voices- Charlotte's Story

Growing up undiagnosed as autistic and ADHD, I found social settings to be stressful and awkward. I'd mask my true self, appearing confident even when I felt physically uncomfortable. I'd often be misunderstood, with others considering me argumentative, blunt and without a filter. I even collected nicknames like  "ice queen", “stush” and “Steel face” because of how others saw me. It wasn't that I was trying to be harsh; I was navigating the social cues I couldn't quite grasp. I didn’t know any better. 
Olivia Wilson

Black History Month | Olivia's Story

In school as an undiagnosed autistic child, I felt like a misfit. Like everyone
except me got a script on how to act. In spaces where I was the minority, I
thought it was just because of my race. But sometimes it felt like I didn’t fit into
my race or culture either. I felt alienated from people who shared that part of
my identity too. I now know it was because I am autistic, and what separated
me back then was that I was an undiagnosed black autistic girl. The diagnostic criteria was not made for me, a minority within minority. This contributes heavily to why I and so many other girls go undiagnosed.

person sleeping on a sofa with weighted eye mask and weighted blanket

Finding Comfort and Calm

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) affects how individuals process sensory input, leading to potential sensory overload. Neurodivergent individuals, including those with autism, ADHD, or anxiety, may face significant sensory challenges. This piece delves into the benefits of weighted items, such as blankets and clothing, for those with SPD. These items exert deep pressure on the body, inducing calmness, enhancing proprioception, promoting sensory integration, and improving focus. They are a valuable tool for managing SPD, especially when complemented by sensory-friendly environments and self-regulating activities, helping individuals thrive despite sensory challenges.