[103] S8 E11: From feeling ‘deficient’ to self acceptance, research and advocating for autistic colleagues
Topics in this episode: advocacy, autism and trauma, autism at work, burnout, employment, mental health, reasonable adjustments

Kirstie Pickles is an equine vet, academic, mum and mental health advocate from Derbyshire in the UK. Now 49, she was diagnosed autistic at 47, following her daughter’s diagnosis.

She is passionate about sharing her story and raising the awareness of neurodiversity to allow for better self-advocacy and reduce the stigma associated with autism, and is currently researching autism within her profession, and is involved in an autism awareness training programme for medical professionals as an expert by experience.

In our conversation we talk about:

➡ Her lifelong special interest and determination to become a vet, and her experience of thriving at school and university – but finding the transition from academia to the workplace difficult, and struggling to cope as a newly qualified vet

➡ How her diagnosis has helped her get accommodations at work

➡ The findings of her research into autistic vets, including ‘shocking’ statistics around their mental health and wellbeing

➡ How the research – that has relevance to all autistics who work or want to work – can be applied to better support autistic professionals and employees

➡ How she’s now advocating for herself and other autistic adults



During this conversation there’s a very brief mention of statistics around suicide.

Squarepeg is a podcast in which neurodivergent women, and trans and nonbinary people, explore navigating a neurotypical world and share their insights, challenges and successes.

I hope that these conversations will be inspiring and thought provoking, open you up to new ways of thinking about being neurodivergent, and help you feel more connected to a worldwide community of people with similar experiences.

I’m Amy Richards, and after being diagnosed autistic at the age of 37 I’m now on a mission to learn more about different perspectives and issues around being a neurodivergent adult in a world that feels like it doesn’t quite fit.



Kirstie’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirstie-pickles-01ab6b150

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