My name is Marie Masse. I'm a late-diagnosed, multiply Neurodivergent woman and parent in Travelers Rest, SC. If we met on the street and had a lovely conversation (as I suspect we would) you'd probably never know that I'm a gifted, Autistic (PDA), ADHDer, and in recovery from CPTSD.
That is, you wouldn't know, unless you understood the subtle, often internalized Neurodivergent traits of people like myself. You see, I'm one of the ones who can "pass as normal" as they say. (Hint: it's an utter bullshit phrase).
The ADHD diagnosis came first. Then, it took reaching a state of burnout + PTSD before my Autism diagnosis came (aka when everything made sense).
My diagnosis didn't come locally as it should've.
After five providers here, I turned to a clinical psychologist in another country to be thoroughly heard.
I couldn't find a local diagnostician who seemed to "get it."
What I did find in our local area:
🥴 A clear lack of global scope in terms of Neurodiversity today (still heavily deficit-centric and reliant on the outdated DSM),
🥴 zero value of neurodivergent diversity within their practices (meaning: only seeing "Rain Main" as Autistic, with little to no knowledge of neurominorities),
🥴 and egos that put clinical experience above listening to real Neurodivergent voices right in front of them (that invalidation, btw, is called ableism and these are the people who are supposed to be supporting us!)
Between my journey and our children's, our family has encountered these experiences within our healthcare system (Prisma), our school system (Greenville County Schools), and even with private, specialized mental health professionals.
We've definitely got some provider trust issues at this point—I'll own that. Find me another Neurodivergent family who doesn't.
The thing is: this storyline is the norm for many—both on a local level, and worldwide. My diagnosis and connection to the global Neurodiversity community have meant everything. This connected was my call to DO SOMETHING for those who don't have that connection.
THIS IS SUICIDE PREVENTION.
It's that big. It's that heavy.
Everyone deserves access to professionals (diagnostic & support) who are neurodiversity affirming, not out of date, pathologizing, and further traumatizing.