Later Diagnosis Life Coaching

Have you recently figured out, or are finally grappling with, what it means to be autistic? Or highly sensitive, sensory diverse, neurodiverse, etc.?

(Formal dx, self-diagnosis, and questioning are all valid.)

Do you want to find new ways to live and work
that don’t compromise who you are?

Is this familiar?

Decisions are hard.

Overwhelm. Brain fog. Executive dysfunction. Low energy. Society is confusing. So things aren't getting done.

People are hard.

To understand. To talk to. To relate to. To be with.

The world is hard.

Too loud. Too bright. Too crowded. Too fast. Too much.

Growing up...

you felt different from other kids. You put so much work into doing things right, or fitting in, but people still complained you weren't trying hard enough.

As a teen...

you didn't want the things teens were supposed to want. You tried. Pretended. And sometimes that worked. But it never felt like you.

Later, work...

didn't work either. Jobs always demanded things of you that you didn't have to give, yet everyone around you seemed to handle it just fine, so everyone (including you) blamed you.

Except...

that it's always you. You're always the exception. The outsider. The one with the "problem." The one who can't cut it. Who can't keep life together.

Deep down...

you’re terrified that you're broken.

In fact, things have been hard for a really long time.

And now you've got this name, this new understanding of what's been going on all these years.

And you're hoping...maybe...

it might be the key to finding new ways of doing things, of being with people, of living,
that feel better, work better, are better for you.

Is that really too much to ask?

Of course not.

You’re not asking for the Moon. You simply want get things done and have nice friends and feel good about yourself.

That is the minimum basic that is due every person on this earth, and that has been denied to you because our society treats everyone as if they should want the same things, get them in the same way, and feel the same about it all.

They think that if you don’t, there’s something wrong with you.

Here's what I think.

I think you have something amazing inside precisely because you operate differently, experience things differently, and yes, because you’ve been through a lot of crap. 

I think you can have access to your amazing gifts, insight, and powers only when you let go of the B.S. that has been foisted on you by society your whole life, and let your thoughts, creativity, and imagination free.

I think this isn’t a pipe dream. I know this is real. 

I’m living it.

This only hasn't that happened for you already because what they said should help, isn’t helping.

Let me guess, you’ve tried anxiety management techniques, medication, therapy, self-help books, and you’ve done a lot of personal growth work, and bits and pieces of that have been positive, but you still feel uncomfortable. Like you don’t belong. Like an outsider looking in. 

And no one gets that except other autistics/HSPs/introverts/etc online, but their rants (and yours) aren’t actually making anything better.

Those things, by the way, often don’t work because they are steeped in the same cultural assumptions about what is “right” or “normal” that got you to the point where you needed their help. 

friends-g6596098d2_1280

Doing it "right" isn't the same thing as being happy.

Doing everything "right" in life doesn't create happiness. It creates conformity.

Society hasn’t been teaching you how to make the best possible life for yourself.

In fact, I’ll bet the people around you spent a lot of time and effort trying to teach you to just fit in.

“Don’t rock the boat,” they said. “Get with the program.” “Go with the flow.” “The nail that sticks out gets hammered.” And other gems designed to teach you to conform so that you weren’t a “problem.”

When you did a school assignment in a different way than the teacher expected, did you get in trouble for it, even though you got the right answers?

When you had a hard time leaving the house and your adults hurried you out the door anyway, did you learn not to bother complaining, arguing, or speaking up for yourself?

When you were overly stressed and it came out as anger or a meltdown, were you were treated as the problem, the fragile one, or the one everyone walked on eggshells around?

Were you so scared of upsetting anyone around you that you did whatever they said, no matter the personal cost?

54

And when you did something the way they expected, did they say “good job,” or “well done,” or “I’m so proud of you”?

Or did they ignore it, but at least they left you alone?

Did you work hard for their approval and feel good when you got it? And try even harder to be “good” and do things “right”?

There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s how we’re wired as humans. And that wiring has consequences.

Let me guess. In all these small and big moments, you got the message that what you needed wasn’t relevant, wasn’t appropriate, or was a problem.

That asking wouldn’t do any good anyway.

That what you needed wasn’t worth taking the time or effort to understand, let alone accommodate.

Have others ignored your needs for so long that you’ve stopped noticing them too?

Forget what should work.
Go with what does work.

You can (re)discover what works for you.

I believe that deep down inside you know what you need and what works for you, but that you have been taught to ignore, disregard, and discredit your instincts as part of fitting into a society that does not fit you well. 

In those moments, ‘different’ felt bad. And when you faked it, pretended, put on a mask—acted like other people did—then they didn’t treat you differently, and that felt safe.

Has it gotten to the point that faking now feels even worse than being different?

Do you want to stop faking who you are?

Now here’s the hard question:

Have you been faking it for so long that it’s hard to tell what’s you and what’s the mask?

What's you and what's the mask?

I’ve been there. It took me a long time to haphazardly figure out how to figure out what I really want and need, like and dislike, how I think best and work best, and how I socialize and play most naturally.

Which started with noticing that I didn’t know enough about these things. I knew some, and I have no doubt you do too. That’s a good place to start.

Here’s some clues that you’re masking, faking, camouflaging, or pretending more than you may realize. Are you:

  • tired all the time (without a medical explanation)
  • feel unable to cope or function at the level you want, or others expect
  • procrastinating excessively
  • miserable, feeling like crap
  • burning out
  • stressed all the time
  • have high anxiety
  • dreading your job/school/relationship
  • constantly complaining in your head or to others yet it doesn’t make a positive difference in the circumstances

When you work in ways that match how your brain/body functions best, it takes soooo much less energy, lowers anxiety and stress, so there is less to complain about, and you feel better about yourself, so you’re easier to be around and everything starts working better. It’s a win-win-win-times-a-million.

Is this what you want? It is possible.

It starts with figuring out what’s you and what’s the mask. I can help.

Would you like to stop trying to fit the world,
and instead build a life that fits you?

I can help you figure out how to make your life better. That includes:

  • How to find the things you’ve been doing because you’ve been told it’s the right way to do them, that frustrate you, drain your energy, and eat up time. And how to find other options.
  • How to uncover the sensory needs, and pleasures, you’ve been taught to ignore. 
  • How to know if you’re socializing a certain way because that’s how you like to interact with people, or that’s what’s been ingrained.
  • How to gently, and compassionately question the fear-based stories you’ve innocently clung to all your life.

Along the way, you will make small, incremental changes In your daily life that that let you function better and add up to noticeable and sustainable improvements throughout all areas of your life.

clay-banks-cDYsgWwvAfk-unsplash-3-2

Where do you want to start?

  • What do you avoid that you want to do?
  • What do you keep procrastinating?
  • What do you dread?
  • What consistently gets you frustrated?
  • What do you complain about? To others or in your head?
  • What’s something that you could rant about how it doesn’t work or how every option is stupid or wrong or ableist or unjust?

These are great places to start making your life better.

And yet, sometimes it doesn’t feel like there are any better options because you’re so used to the way things are that it’s hard to imagine it being different. And everything everyone suggests seems impossible or unreasonable or doomed to failure.

But what if you had a non-judgmental and creative space to explore why those things don’t work?

With someone who won’t tease you about the things that bother you, or complain about the way you think, or laugh at how you solve problems? What would change then?

Could you come up with new ideas yourself? Could you brainstorm new options better?

I believe that you have the answers deep inside, I help by asking powerful questions

I know how to figure this out. I’ll guide you along the way, so you don’t have to feel lost and alone in the deep dark woods, confused and struggling to find the right path. 

And I’ll help you clear away the doubts, fears, and worries that are holding you back.

So you can blaze your own trail to a better life.

ahmed-zayan-n_YWKiIBnp4-unsplash-2

This better life is the product of a lot of small steps that build up over time. 

Wherever you are in your own personal journey, is perfect. You don’t need to be further along than you are right now, no matter how old you are or what other people might think. Your journey is yours, not anyone else’s.

Where will you go next?

How do you want your life to be better?

Why am I so confident I can help you make your life better?​

  1. First off, I’m a pro at the not-at-all-glamorous art of being really f*king lost in the deep dark woods of confusion.
  2. More importantly, I’ve come out the other side.
  3. And I’ve helped many others create their own Journeys. 
  4. This matters so friggin’ much to me because I’m autistic, too. And multiply-neurodiverse. And highly sensitive. And physically disabled. So I get it.
  5. I have coached for hundreds of hours, helping autistic, neurodiverse, and highly sensitive people improve their own lives in their own individual ways.
    • I’m a certified Martha Beck Life Coach.
    • An Associate Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation, the largest association of professional coaches in the world.
    • And I’m a licensed teacher – in my “old life” I taught high school for three years and community college for five years (and was really good at it, apart from the sensory and social overwhelm).
  6. And I’m making sure I can be the best resource for you that I can be.* I’ve been trained in Shanker Self-Reg, neuro-somatic mindfulness, interoception, embodiment, and trauma awareness. I’m also a certified provider of the Safe and Sound Protocol.

*I’ve been super picky about what training, courses, and education I subject myself to, since so much is built on models that are part of old systems I want to move away from.

WLCT badge_400x400
CredentialBadges_ACC_White
badge-certification-ssp

Here's what I offer:

I offer personalized life coaching based on Martha Beck’s Wayfinder model (how to find your best life), informed by my own autistic experiences and what works best for my clients.

I’ll adapt to what you need, want, and find helpful.

I guide, offer, invite, but never demand or “make” you do anything.

family-gb26476faf_640
  • I bring calm, compassion, and a non-judgmental space to allow you to explore new experiences safely. 
  • I listen and honor your knowledge and experience.
  • I uplift, seeing the potential in you even when you don’t.
  • I’ll challenge you, kindly, to leave the B.S. behind so you actually get the results you want.
  • I keep things simple, because simple is so much easier. In fact, you’ll find that your life gets a lot easier as we work together.

What’s involved?

We’ll talk together over Zoom, with camera on or off, and sessions usually last an hour. 

Most people get the best, most lasting results when we meet regularly: weekly, twice a month, or sometimes monthly. Some people prefer an occasional session here or there. It’s up to you, based on your needs and situation.

It generally works best to bring a particular issue that you’re struggling with. Something you want to be better.

From there I will ask powerful questions to help you find the things that you’ve been taught to believe about yourself, that have been hurting you and holding you back. 

We will gently and compassionately question them to find out what parts are true and what parts are social conditioning that you don’t need anymore. 

As you unlearn each ableist belief, each bit of conditioning from your family, teachers, society, etc., new options for addressing that specific issue will emerge. 

And often there are ripples that will spread throughout your life to help in other areas as well. 

This is the process of making your whole life better, one little bit at a time. 

ali-kazal-UU69D-_nwPI-unsplash

Coaching Package

You get:

  • 6 sessions  scheduled for 60 mins, but we’ll finish when you feel done, which may be a few minutes more or less.
  • Personal intentions and reflections questionnaire before we begin.
  • Email and Voxer support between sessions.

All sessions are via Zoom, so we can connect from anywhere in the world.

Pricing

  • Option #1: Pay in full, $460

    Save 10% off individual sessions.

  • Option #2: Pay What You Can*

    We can agree on this together.

*About PWYC: This is an expression of my desire for justice and accessibility. I’ve relied on others being flexible with their pricing when I was un-/underemployed, and am thrilled that I can now pay it forward.

Individual
Sessions

You get:

  • 1 session, to work through a specific issue or an aspect of an issue  scheduled for 60 mins, but we’ll finish when you feel done, which may be a few minutes more or less.

All sessions are via Zoom, so it doesn’t matter where in the world you are.

Pricing

**About PWYC: This is an expression of my desire for justice and accessibility. I’ve relied on others being flexible with their pricing when I was un-/underemployed, and am thrilled that I can now pay it forward.

Think this might be for you?

Want to meet first? You can see if you feel comfortable with me 
and ask any questions you have about working together.

Schedule your free Clarity Session.

Or, if you’d prefer to start with an email…

Safe and Sound Upgrade

An optional upgrade.

Get even more out of your work with me by regulating your nervous system at a biological level.

The SSP is specialized music that has been proven to:

  • reduce anxiety and depression
  • improve sensory integration
  • improve social engagement
  • improve sleep, focus, digestion, and more.

This can be great,
but it's not for everyone

This may be for you if...

This may not be a great fit if...

FAQs

That’s highly individual, and yet I know it can be helpful to have a rough idea.

If you’re wanting to work through a particular issue, like “how do I get myself to…”, that can often take just 3 to 5 sessions. 

If you’re looking for larger scale changes in your life, that will of course take more work.

Therapy or counseling is best suited to working through issues from your past, including traumas and the psychological results of years of autistic gaslighting, etc.

Life coaching, at least the way I do it, takes those into account and treats them with compassion and care, but doesn’t get deep into them. It focuses rather on making a better future for yourself.

If you’re seriously debating doing this, that tells me you are seriously interested, but it still might be scary. Here’s the thing. There are two kinds of scary: panic-scary and exciting-scary. 

If you think about doing this and your gut clenches or your chest tightens and your shoulders, jaw, hands, or toes clench up and it gets hard to breathe, that’s panic-scary, and that’s your body telling you that this is not the right choice for you, or not the right time.

But if you think about doing this and your gut gets fluttery and your heart starts racing and you’re starting to think about things that you could do if this were to work, you’re probably experiencing exciting-scary. That’s the kind where taking the leap will probably work out well.

If you have tried everything (else), that tells me that you really, really want your life to be better. It also tells me that those other things didn’t really get to the root of what’s been holding you back, which is the focus of my work.

Trying to work toward goals without removing the barriers that get in their way is like trying to push a car up a hill with the brakes on. It’s so much easier to take off the brakes, turn on the car, and drive up.

Absolutely. Quite a few of my clients identify as:

  • Highly Sensitive People,
  • neurodiverse,
  • introverts or ambiverts,
  • people with sensory processing differences,
  • wanting to make their life better, and appreciate my approach.

Email me or schedule your free clarity session and let’s see if we’re a good fit.

You’re not the only one. I offer professional consultations for therapists, counselors, educators, and other professionals who want to get better at creating positive working relationships with their autistic clients.

Click here for more info.

If you’re thinking…

“Sounds great,
I want this, too!”

Schedule a free Clarity Session to meet and make sure we’re a great fit.

“Intriguing, but it would mean talking to a stranger.”

I get it. It’s OK to take a while getting comfortable with me. Or not. In the meantime, take a look around.

“Ehhh, no thanks.”

No worries. I’m not a good fit for everyone, and that’s OK. 

And if now’s not the right time, that’s OK too.

You’re still welcome to lurk, and to all my freebies.