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how my autism diagnosis transformed my view of self

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

Hi, I'm Alex, newly diagnosed Autistic and Chief Experience Officer (CXO) of the Neurodiversity Foundation. Like so many Autistic women, I had no idea until much later in life. As a result, I spent so many years 'camouflaging' as a coping strategy to blend with my environment - which means I copied the traits of others as a survival mechanism just to get through social situations and overstimulating environments. I had no idea why certain things in life felt so much more difficult for me compared to my peers (cough cough - it is because I was trying to make myself be Neurotypical and live by NT expectations, which I have since shifted to my own Neurodivergent expectations!).

Learning I am autistic has been completely life changing. I was in months of what I now know is called "autistic burnout" because my body became physically unable to mask and blend at the rate I was pushing myself. This burnout was a blessing in disguise, because all the while I was shifting my expectations of myself internally to match the person I REALLY wanted to be and the life I truly wanted to live. My story has unfolded on tiktok over the past 7 months, you can check it out here (I have documented the whole process through my tiktok videos):

The Neurodiversity Foundation is built by the Neurodiverse for the Neurodiverse. All of our community projects are evaluated through a lens of empowerment, meaning we take a strengths-first approach, so individuals feel proud of their identity rather than limited by it. As the Chief Experience Officer, I work to conduct research around the lived experiences of autistic people first-hand. My ultimate goal is to provide an empowering, educational and comfortable experience for Neurodiverse Individuals through Neurodiversity Foundation community projects that are engaging, validating and positive.

This video is inspired by our Diagnosing Women Project which is aimed to improve the currently limited access to autism diagnoses for (AFAB) women by 1) guiding late-diagnosed autistics through the ‘biodata’ collection and self-assessment process through a strengths-lens to determine whether or not they should proceed with a diagnosis and 2) creating a registry of providers who have been ‘community approved’ as having proper knowledge around the subject.

Here are the links to the online Autism screening assessments referenced in the video: RDOS Aspie Quiz:

RAADS-R (The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised):

CAT-Q (Camoflauging Autistic Traits Questionnaire):

You can find me on Instagram and on Linked In here:

LI: (Alexandra Pearson)

IG: (@alexpearson10)

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Thank You for Visiting Everything Neurodiversity!

Hello, Thank you for visiting Everything Neurodiversity. This site is a labor of love and has been run solely by me. The hosting costs are minimal and I try to dedicate time to it whenever I can. I intend to keep this site as educational and ad free. 

I have learned a great deal from working on this site and the social platforms that go along with it. So much that I have started another site dedicated to fashion and clothing. Trying to make shopping for clothes easier if you will. I have curated close to a million items and build a web application to search and display them. It's still a work in progress, but If you are here I wanted to extend an invite to test and explore the beta version. Its embed below or available at

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