“Stop trying

so hard to fit in”

by Adina Levy

Here’s a big idea, shared with me on theΒ podcast episode ‘Being a Part-time AAC user, Internalised Ableism & Mental Health’ from my friend and fellow AuDHDer Speech Therapist, Hat (a.k.a. Harriet Richardson, a.k.a. Hat Talks).

I asked her about what she’d say to her younger self, knowing what she now knows about herself…

I think I would just go back there and just say, “stop trying so hard to fit in”, because I was always trying to fit in with the girls that I didn’t have any interest in common with, and they clearly didn’t want me there, and I could have just gone and played with the boys…
It was just so much easier with, like, playing sports together rather than having to rely on all this verbal communication. And so I would just say, “just go and play with the boys”. Who cares what everyone else thinks?

This really stuck with me… How much time and energy we all (neurodivergent or not) spend trying to fit in with the expectations that others have of us.

Imagine if we all were braver to learn about our own TRUE needs and wants, and imagine sharing that with the kids in our world. Imagine that this is POSSIBLE and that truly, we’re all probably already somewhere on this pathway already!

For the neurodivergent kids in your life, the amount of ‘fitting in’ (changing to fit what they THINK the world wants of them) is likely higher and has a greater toll on them energetically, confidence-wise and emotionally, than their neurotypical peers. They likely need to hear and see more examples of grown-ups just… being themselves.

​Watch my chat with Hat on YouTubeΒ orΒ listen to the podcast here!

    A thought for you to ponder… How do you currently guide & encourage the neurodivergent kids in your life to be more confidently THEMselves?

    And how can you practice more of this yourself?


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