Autistic Empowerment

Delivering neurodivergent-affirming and trauma-informed virtual services in Florida, Indiana, and Vermont…

1883898961You’ve always felt different from others.

Everyone else always seemed to have an easier time making friends, handling crowds, and moving through transitions at school and work.

They didn’t feel overwhelmed by the vibrations of certain sounds or feel incapable of eating anything that interested them. They didn’t struggle with tolerating smells that, for you, would overpower an entire room.

They didn’t seem to have so many issues with being misunderstood or interpreting something that was said differently than intended. They weren’t always accused of being too blunt or literal, naive, or lacking a sense of humor.

You have a million ways of seeing things, lots of amazing ideas, and what sometimes feels like too much empathy.

Unfortunately, others don’t always see those creative and compassionate parts of you….

290172806“Peopling” isn’t easy.

You sense everyone around you… and all they bring with them:

Their expectations…

Their need for small talk…

Their seemingly fake platitudes…

You can do it for a while but need a break as the anxiety ramps up. So, you go outside or do something else to refuel to keep going.

And that’s just “communication”… what about everything else?? Dating feels like a nightmare or flat-out unattainable. Office politics leave you feeling like an outsider (just like school did).

What do you do when social anxiety and sensory overload are constant?

1669198060“Why are other kids so mean?”

Other children can be mean when they don’t understand you, and not enough has been done to help them really get it, so they take things wrong and make assumptions.

They don’t always give you a chance, even though you know they’d love your ideas if they listened long enough.

You may think they’re cool, but they just don’t get you.

1054012055“Stop telling me what to do and say!”

High school is hard when it feels like everyone wants you to be someone else. You’re trying hard to figure out who you are and who you want to be, but there’s all this noise from teachers, parents, therapists, and classmates.

You know what you like, but you keep getting told that’s not what the other kids like (and you don’t care).

Your voice doesn’t seem to matter, making all the anxiety even worse. Everyone’s trying to help, but it usually just makes things harder.

You want to use your voice.

1933049582That desire to protect never stops.

Perhaps you’re a parent… worried about your child who has difficulty making friends or thriving at school.

They might always seem to prefer being alone or contrastingly feel perpetually excluded.

It may be hard for them to sit still long enough to tolerate a classic school environment, putting you on a never-ending hunt for the best learning atmosphere: public, Montessori, home school, or private.

Instructors may misunderstand your child’s messages, reading concrete or direct communication as disrespectful or challenging. The corrections and misassumptions may cause your child to feel sad, anxious, or frustrated, and that impact takes a toll on you. You just want to support and keep them safe from intolerance.

Teachers and principals might say they don’t belong in their schools because they need too much support or fight you on appropriate accommodations dismissing your child’s expressed needs as “behavior problems.” It feels like a battle to get the support, basic respect, and inclusivity to which you know they’re entitled.

And if you’re like too many parents of an autistic child, you’re probably familiar with the stares of others, even therapists, who see nothing BUT that diagnosis. They speak to you about them as though they were invisible when they’re right in the room, trying so hard to connect and be acknowledged.

You want someone to SEE your child. You know your child can communicate for themselves if only someone LISTENED to them instead of stealing and reframing their words.

683558815You’re here because you want to do the right thing.

Maybe you’re new to your child’s diagnosis and want to be sure you are honoring them as they are. Where do you ask for acceptance, and where do you ask for change? What accommodations do they need?

Your child may seem to live in a perpetual state of overwhelm, triggered by the noise, sounds, or smells of public places. Public hand dryers, car alarms, and vacuums may feel impossible. The smells and textures of foods, both familiar and new, might make your little one gag. Waiting for anything might mean weathering what seems like an uncontrollable meltdown.

You may run an ongoing apology cycle between friends, neighbors, and peers… or stay home to protect them from outside assumptions.

You try to see things from their perspective and cherish every part of them, but you worry about a world with exacting and judgmental neurotypical standards. You don’t want your child to feel judged or corrected by those who don’t get them.

Will the world ever accept them for the amazing person they are?

Will they be able to get a job or drive a car?

Will they be able to live on their own when they’re old enough?

You may not know enough about autism to answer those questions. You’ve done plenty of research, but there are many paths to take – and everyone has a different opinion about the best way forward. Or you may be a neurodivergent parent, trying to balance your needs and your child’s needs within a one-size-fits-all society.

You don’t want to hurt your child or cost them the time they don’t have. What do you do??

144463384You’re navigating a world made for Neurotypicals.

Whether you’re autistic or an ADHD’r, whether you identify as AuDHD (autism + ADHD) or are self-diagnosed, navigating a neurotypical world is stressful, anxiety-provoking, and feels like too much all the time.

Unfortunately, our world gives minimal support to what it perceives as neurodivergent needs – supports that would assist all individuals with higher support needs: those identifying as anxious, depressed, highly sensitive, autistic, ADHD, twice exceptional, or those who’ve experienced trauma.

You know it’s important to find your authentic voice and accept and love yourself as you are, but embracing and celebrating yourself can be hard through the fog of doubt, anxiety, and overwhelm.

660477964You’ve come to the right place.

As neurodivergent therapists who are also parents to a couple of incredible autistic tweens, we understand parents’ varied concerns: school, friendships, therapies, misunderstood behaviors, and the future.

We believe empowering, embracing, and advocating for neurodivergent individuals is the only path available. We know that neurodivergent individuals deserve all that neurotypical individuals receive in a way that works for them specifically.

We don’t believe in reward and punishment systems that attempt to “normalize” your child because they are already everything they were meant to be. We’ve seen the results of those programs, and the harm they do always outweighs the short-term “benefits.”

Besides… who the heck defines “normal” or made “common” the desired means of being?

1491795191At Nurtured Hope, our goal is simply this…

We want to help you be exactly who you want to be! Here, we empower authenticity as much as we honor various support needs.

We believe that everyone wants to do well. Sometimes, you want more skills to excel or the support to understand yourself more deeply. We know that if you’re given a safe space to explore those needs, you’ll accomplish what you seek!

Let us help you navigate your struggles, find your voice, and trust yourself as you’ve never done before.

We are here to celebrate all of you! Call us today for a free consultation: (786) 401-5603.