The following is a post from a guest author, Dawn-Marie Hinshaw-Solais. Dawn-Marie reached out to CA via our Twitter account to inquire about CA’s 20th annual autism conference being held in March 2022. As we learned about Dawn-Marie’s wonderful new book and her passion to help neurodiverse folks, we felt having her share a bit about herself with our readers would be fitting. What follows is a brief introduction to Dawn-Marie through her blog post titled: “This Explains Everything”. We hope you’ll enjoy!
Two years ago, I began to realize that I’m autistic and ADHD. I was doing some research for coaching clients and found my identity in the process. I’ve been so thrilled with this discovery as it explains why I’m all in and all out, sometimes all at the same time. This fresh perspective gave me answers for my questions of why I could want so much to be with friends but would cancel at the last minute. Or how I could enjoy my coworkers and become overwhelmed and exhausted. It explained nearly every thought and experience I’d ever had.
This explains everything. This nugget of pure golden information also gave me a sense of purpose…
This nugget of pure golden information also gave me a sense of purpose, a fascinating special project, and the understanding that I need deep purpose with an accompanying special project to satisfy my information gathering, synthesizing, constantly active brain. Without the high intensity of a purpose driven focus, I have no idea what to do. I get depressed, and find it nearly impossible to function.
In the past two years, in true autistic style, I have researched, taken classes, read, listened to, and gathered every bit of information I possibly could. I still do this. I am always sure I don’t know enough. (Yup, that’s my neurodiversity too.) And as I began helping more adults discover how their brains work, I discovered there is a need for people, who don’t know why they are the way they are, to feel understood, seen, appreciated, and helped. The best way I knew to support the most people was to share some of my story.
So, I began to write, and the result is “My Dramatic and Inappropriate Neuroawesome™ Life.” It tells little bits of my journey while offering context and compassion along the way. My hope is that readers will feel they have found someone who can see them for real, or who can explain their family members or friends to them. I want to shed light on some of the hard stuff so that new conversations, and maybe new solutions are had and found. The physical book is even designed with sensory challenges in mind. Gray paper, lager text, and smother pages are all part of making the book easier for everyone to interact with.
Autism and ADHD are still little understood and way under researched. We have so much we need to know, but it starts with more of us understanding ourselves and each other. It’s deeply important that we learn what we need, how to ask for help, and how to feel confident, intelligent, and capable while receiving some accommodation. If you are asking the questions that led you to this blog, it’s worth finding out more. You may discover that you are part of a gorgeous, worldwide, neurodiverse community.
Dawn-Marie Hinshaw-Solais is an author and coach who figured out after the age of 50 she is Autistic, ADHD, and Dyslexic. For over 25 years she has been helping teens, college students, and adults by teaching them the skills and benefits of Emotional (EQ). She is also the author of “My Dramatic and Inappropriate Neuroawesome™ Life.”
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CA is here if you need assistance with information or resources for supporting yourself or a neurodiverse loved one. Simply call our toll-free number 800-649-8481, send us an email, or search our resources for autism related services throughout Virginia.