This is the second in a series of blogs looking at the experiences of pregnancy for autists, the first of which focused on the process of becoming pregnant and how autists may experience struggles that are different and/or more intense than allistic folks due to the differences in their neurotype. This blog is going to focus specifically on the differences for pregnant autists as compared to allistic pregnant people.
Whitney Storey Blog
Surprise, surprise - another autism blog for you this month! I'm nothing if not honest when I say that this has been my special interest. And my honesty also shows up (sometimes brutally) when I talk about becoming and being pregnant. Much like my last few blogs, I had always considered these two topics (pregnancy and autism) separately, but lately I have started to see some interesting relationships between the two that I thought it might be worth exploring in a couple of different blogs.
I'm here to propose what I believe to be the Neurodivergent Song of the Summer for 2023, and I'd love to get you on board. If you aren't familiar with the artist AURORA, she is a Norwegian singer and songwriter whose voice you might recognize most from Disney's Frozen II, as the mysterious spirit singing to Elsa. She has had three albums, each of them coming across my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist, much to my joy. In addition to her ethereal sound and creative look that speaks to the theatre kid within me, her songs frequently tackle topics that speak to the counselor in me, like identity, mental health, and social issues.
If you have had a conversation with me in the last year or so, odds are I have brought up neurodivergence. (Cue the eye rolling and the groans from my friends and family.) I have been really diving into the neurodivergence world since I started to identify my own neurodivergence, and since then you could say that neurodivergence broadly and autism in adult women specifically have become my latest special interests.
Working with parents has been my niche for a long time now, and I have been a parent myself for nearly ten years (which blows my mind). Over these years I have really found myself relating to and working particularly well with certain groups of what I consider to be "forgotten parents." These are parents we (as a society) tend to either not notice or purposefully ignore. The first of these forgotten parents is a group I happen to be a member of: neurodivergent parents.
I have been having so many conversations lately with friends, family, and clients about neurodivergence. Neurodivergence has become my latest special interest (more on that in a later blog), and one of the questions I keep hearing from others is: how do I learn to unmask?! I have to admit that I have not been the most helpful counselor in those moments as I, too, have been wondering that very thing. Up until very recently, the answer has been a very distressed, "I don't know!" I have some good news, though - I think I finally have some real advice.
Once a week I prepare to go to a place that most people probably never imagine themselves choosing to go - my local jail. I have been going to the jail once a week for over a decade, and it is so much a part of my normal routine that I often forget how unusual it is - that is, until I see looks of surprise, confusion, and concern from people after hearing me say, "I'm on my way to the jail," or ,"I just got out of the jail."