In Season 2, episode 5 of The Autism Podcast, Chris and James speak with Christa Holmans, also known as Neurodivergent Rebel, about all things neurodiversity. In particular, we talk about her own journey into late autism diagnosis, how her mental health interplayed with her journey and the stigma of mental health, what neurodiversity means, why it is so important and the stigma associated with it, how to promote neurodiversity in the workplace and the importance of this, and much more.
Christa is a very well known autistic self-advocate from Texas in the United States and runs the internationally recognized neurodiversity lifestyle blog 'Neurodivergent Rebel' in 2016 as a way to introduce people unfamiliar with the concept of neurodiversity to this new way of seeing neurological difference. Today, she runs a very popular YouTube channel which explores the ideology of neurodiversity and the creative expressions of autistic people. She also actively discusses autism and neurodiversity on her Instagram and Twitter channels She also manages Neurodivergent Consulting, a consulting agency that works with businesses “to create new policies that work to attract and increase tenure of current and future neurodivergent employees”.
Holmans is also known as the pioneer of the #askingautistics hashtag, which is most often accompanied by a short question about common autistic experiences such as self-stimulation, burnout, special interests, alternative communication, and accommodations needed for accessibility.
0 - 7.30 - Christa's autism journey and her late diagnosis, coping mechanisms and working towards correcting the misinformation and misconceptions associated with autism
7.31 - 11.15 - the importance of a positive and non-stigmatising diagnostic process
11.16 - 17.47 - what led to the diagnosis, the role of yoga
17.48 - 22.43 - what helps drive Christa's advocacy of neurodiversity and other work on social media, her personal journey into advocacy post-diagnosis, keeping on top of and engaging in social media discourse
22.44 - 27.15 - where she got the name 'neurodivergent rebel', what it means to her and how it reflects her rejection of pathologising autism, the meaning of neurodiversity and the importance of empowering it
27.16 - 33.00 - the stigma of neurodiversity and autism, and the significant potential negative impact associated with this
33.01 - 33.55 - America being behind the UK and parts of Europe in terms of understanding and valuing neurodiversity
33.56 - 39.31 - how to improve the diagnostic process, US vs UK diagnostic service differences, misdiagnosis or incorrect diagnosis
39.32 - 44:55 - the relationship between Christa's mental health and her late diagnosis, what in her life negatively impacted on her mental health (anxiety in particular), the stigma of mental health and the importance of destigmatising it, 'Texas Tough' and the expectation of being tough in Texas which can stem conversations about mental health
44.56 - 1.01.35 - how to promote neurodiversity in particular in the workplace, employment stigma and discrimination, how to make workplaces more neurodiversity friendly and the importance of this on productivity and mental health
1.01.36 - final thoughts and how to get in touch with Christa
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/neurodivergentrebel/
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdaQVw-dxYuZb2GXHL7LSjA
Main website: http://neurodivergentrebel.com
Christa's neurodiversity consultancy company: https://neurodivergentconsulting.org/
And also: http://AustinAllianceGroup.com