A Bit About Me
I currently run my own business as a Hypnotherapist and Life Coach. Through my work in this field, I help individuals with neurodiverse differences and neuro-typical people (if there is such a thing), to learn new techniques to manage their difficulties. I also do presentations, seminars, workshops and anything else that will, in my view, help to change perceptions about our neurodiverse differences and the low expectations people place on our abilities.
This includes writing blogs about neurodiverse issues. Through these blogs my aim is to help raise awareness about these differences and to enable more people to achieve their potential in life. I honestly believe that the neurodiverse brain is the most untapped resource on Earth and this is my attempt at showing the world why this is the case!
In order explain why it is that I am so passionate about helping people with neurodiverse differences, I think it helps if you first understand where my passion comes from.
In order to give you some insight I'd like to take you back 30 odd years, to the 15 year old version of me.
Journey Back To 1984
When I walked into the room I was a bit wired and probably spoke too quickly as a result. I sat down and explained that I had thought about studying physics but if I couldn't do that then I'd like to find out how to get to work for the Police, in forensics because I thought I had a great eye for detail.
I expected to be told what O' Levels I would have to get, what processes I would have to go through, etc. I did not expect to be laughed at and told to stop wasting her time.
It was a long time ago but I still remember it like it was yesterday! The exchange went something like this:
Careers Advisor: 'You'll never be able to have a 'career' like those Monique. Don't waste my time with nonsense about wanting to work in areas that you clearly don't have the ability for! You would need to have the right qualifications to even be considered for those jobs. With your limited ability you wouldn't even be considered for a career like that.'
This response really took me by surprise. I felt insulted and defensive. I'd never met this woman before yet she was talking as if she was an expert on me! I snapped back at her with a defensive remark.
Me: 'If I'm not smart enough to aim to have 'any' kind of career that I'm interested in then why have I been told I have to come for careers advice?'
Careers Advisor: 'Don't get smart with me because I will end the session!'
This actually made me angry so again I probably sounded quite angry when I continued.
Me: 'Go ahead because all you've done is told me I'm too stupid to work in ANY job. Looks to me like you are the one wasting my time!'
Careers Advisor: 'Watch your tone young lady. I didn't say you couldn't do anything it's just with your lack of academic ability I doubt not you'll ever get any O' Levels so you just won't be able to get any thing like that.'
Her reply did not help, I didn't want to be reminded of how I lacked potential and how the past 10 years of schooling had achieved next to nothing for me. I just wanted to know what to over the next 10 years so I could achieve my potential in employment. I felt picked on and put down so I may have sounded quite angry as I continued.
Me: 'So Careers advice is only for the kids who were allowed to take O' Levels? Why the hell should I have to sit here and get told I'm a hopeless case. I mean do you plan to advise me on how to get any jobs? Or is your job just to put me down?'
Careers Advisor: 'Look Monique I have better things to do than put up with your attitude. You have been sent here for careers advice...'
I could take it no more, I interrupted her right there.
Me: 'So what in your opinion are my career options?'
Careers Advisor: 'Well there is waitressing, that would suit someone of your skills or if your really lucky you might be able to get a hairdressing apprenticeship.'
I believe this was the point where I grabbed my bag, threw it on my shoulder (knocking stuff off the table as I did it). I then mumbled to myself as I left the room, something along the lines of:
Me: 'What a bloody waste of time'
Needless to say, I got pulled up by the school for having a bad attitude, I had behaved unacceptably and would not be given careers advice again.
What Impact Did That Have?
After I left compulsory schooling I so wanted to prove them wrong! I thought I was more intelligent than they gave me credit for, despite the fact that I even refered to myself as being ‘stupid’ on a daily basis. I believed I was capable of getting an O’ Level, so I went to College and studied English Literature (as that is what my teachers advised), Drama, Communication Studies and Art. Admittedly I only achieved a 'D' in Art, but I managed to get Cs for the others. As I still didn’t have 5 O’ Level equivalents though I just couldn’t find any work that challenged me intellectually and the simple truth is that I was dreadful at office or shop work! Despite these difficulties, I went on to do one dead-end job after another until in the end I developed anxiety, depression and other related mental health conditions. I had still NOT been diagnosed with any Learning Differences and by the age of 25 my life was falling apart. I got signed off, on the sick, with little to no help or support.
I eventually managed to turn my life around in the last few years but it all pretty much started changing after I was first diagnosed with Dyslexia.
Cut To The Present
Over the years after the diagnosis I managed to achieve the following:
- I achieved a high upper second class BA (Hons) degree, in Communication Studies. I have gained an additional four diplomas and am now looking for funding to undertake a PhD.
- I have worked at a University as an English Specialist, helping mainstream students with their essay writing and study skills.
- I have been elected as a Borough Councillor and have sat on management boards, Council committees, working groups, I have been a trustee board member for a number of charities and have been appointed to a number of school governing bodies as both an LEA Governor and as a Parent Governor. I have sat with CEO's, Council Officers, Voluntary sector representatives, Police Chiefs, and I have been a key decision maker in multi million pound projects. Not bad for someone with my 'limited' ability!
- I run my own successful business, where I do presentations and talks for professionals who deal with neurodiverse clients.
- I have read intensively and conducted a lot of independent research on neurodiverse differences including how they overlap and co-occur. Once I acquire funding I will continue to study this area further.
For now I am using my skills and training in hypnotherapy, life coaching, neuro-linguistic programming and dyslexia support combined with my first-hand knowledge of neurodiverse differences, difficulties and barriers to write blogs to help others with similar differences to me learn to manage their difficulties and achieve more in life.
What Difference Can A Blog Make?
I want to change the way people think not just for me but am also for my neurodiverse children who amaze me on a daily basis and the thousands of children out there who deserve a more understanding future.
I am neurodiverse, although not diagnosed at school I have been diagnosed since with a number of neurodiverse differences and related conditions. There are many, many challenges I still face daily and as a result I am officially classed as disabled. But being disabled does not mean I have limited ability in all areas. Just as there are areas I still struggle with which many Neuro-Typical people find easy, there are things I can do in the blink of an eye which most Neuro-Typical people wouldn't even know where to start with!
Like many neurodiverse thinkers I am different NOT less. I am both 'dis'abled and extremely able. I am trying to make the world a more accepting place so that we can all unleash our potential and aim for the stars!
Make Up Your Own Mind
Take a look at the following titles and feel free to read and pass on or share any that are of use to you or your loved ones.
To Disclose Or Not To Disclose - That Is The Question...
Click HERE to view the 'To Disclose Or Not...' blog.
Cleaning Your Home - Made Easy
Click HERE to view the 'Cleaning Your Home...' blog.
The Benefits Of A Neurodiverse Workforce
Click HERE to view 'The Benefits Of A...' blog.
Are Your Coping Strategies Effective?
It is common for people with neurodiverse differences like dyspraxia, to need lots of strategies to help manage everyday tasks. Some strategies may have been taught to them but most will have just developed their own coping strategies naturally.
Click HERE to view the 'Are Your Coping Strategies...' blog.
Don't 'Dis' My Ability
Click HERE to view the 'Don't 'Dis' My Ability...' blog.
How To Write An Essay
Click HERE to view the 'How to write an Essay' blog.
Problems With Falls And Stumbles
Click HERE to view the 'Problems with Falls and...' blog.
Poor Working Memory?
Click HERE to view the 'Poor Working Memory?' blog.
Click Here to view the 'Problems Sleeping?' blog.
Keep An Eye Out For
More Blogs Like This
Please do leave comments on this blog about any subjects
you would like me to tackle in future blogs.