The Power of Change: learning to live as a “weirdo” [talk notes]

Here you can find all the sources and resources I used to prepare my talk, along with mental health help, and the list of people who helped me.

If you enjoyed the talk, please endorse me on LinkedIn, and recommend me for future events. If you prefer to give feedback anonymously, you can do it via email and I will post it on my site without your name.

If you want to have a chat about what I can do for you, please drop me an email.

Facts and figures

15-20% of people are neurodivergent – cited in this HOK article.

Two-thirds of people with ADHD have co-occurring conditions – CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). Infographic on co-occurring conditions.

95% of children with autism also have at least one co-morbid (co-existing) condition, and over half have at least 4. Very serious academic article quoted in Spectrum News.

Autistics are 9 times more likely to die by suicide and autistic kids are 28 times more likely to think about or attempt suicide. Autistica

Total suicide figures (for comparison) can be found from the Samaritans.

Autistics are 5 or 7 times more likely to die by suicide in the US and Sweden, respectively. IAN community.

75% of autistics are bullied at school (this rises to 82% of high-functioning autistics) Anti-bullying alliance [pdf]. Rates of bullying for all kids can be found in this UK government report on bullying [pdf].

Black autistic kids are more likely to be diagnosed with an intellectual disability. Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children

Half of autistics suffer from depression (and it’s more common in clever autistics, whereas in the general population it’s more common amongst those with a lower IQ). Prevalence of Depressive Disorders in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a Meta-Analysis

Unemployment [amongst neurodivergents] runs as high as 80% (this figure includes people with more severe disorders, who are not candidates for neurodiversity programmes). Harvard Business Review

Preliminary results suggest that Australia’s Department of Human Services’ neurodiverse testing teams are 30% more productive than the others. Harvard Business Review

A project found that autistics were 50% more productive than neurotypical peers.
JP Morgan Chase

Mental health help

If you need help with your mental health, your GP is a good place to start. They can refer you to both private and NHS services, plus with the NHS there is a good level of quality control. There are also these services:

Self Help Services (Manchester)

Talk Liverpool and The Live Well Directory (Liverpool)

If you want to go private, and are looking at CBT therapy (there’s a lot of evidence that it works), make sure your therapist is on The CBT Register.

If you want to try mindfulness (I have found it very helpful), make sure your teacher is registered with this organisation.

Special thanks to:

My amazing client Iris, who inspired the “labels” theme of this talk (name used with permission).

Thanks to:

Joe Coleman of

Infosec Hoppers

Samantha Crowe of Make it Be PR

Rosemary Kay

Ellie Kortland of The Mindful Smile Company, who provided the links to the above registries.

Duncan Nisbet

Anna Dodson, Carol Gilabert, Louise Paling, Helen Joy, Andrew Seward, Jamie Tanna, and the rest of the Women in Tech Nottingham crew.

Sally Penni of Women in the Law

3 thoughts on “The Power of Change: learning to live as a “weirdo” [talk notes]

  1. Rachel, thank you for your excellent presentation. I found it fascinating, insightful and fun. As someone who recognises that they are somewhere on the spectrum, I found the graphic illustrating the various traits really helpful. The part where you mentioned the Christmas card particularly resonated, because it put into context times in the past over similar – seemingly minor – situations and (despite realising that I shouldn’t dwell on them) couldn’t understand why I they had made me so upset. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Rachel for delivering an amazing talk at the MOT event in Manchester on 11th February. Thoroughly engaging and a superb presentation style mixed with well-timed and well-chosen humor. If you get the chance to hear Rachel speak take the opportunity!

    Liked by 1 person

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