112 [S9 E7] Why the system is thwarting autistic people: reimagining neurodivergent health – with Dr Mel Houser
Topics in this episode: ADHD, autistic parents, community, health, stimming

Dr Mel Houser is a family physician in Montpelier, Vermont in the United States, with a clinical focus on providing medical care for neurodivergent patients across the lifespan. Now 40, she was diagnosed autistic two years ago, following a burnout – and at the same time was diagnosed as ADHD, dyspraxic, dyslexic, and dyscalculic. She is also the parent of an autistic 6 year old.

Dr Houser is the Founder and Executive Director of All Brains Belong, a nonprofit organisation in Montpelier that provides neurodiversity-affirming medical care, social connection opportunities for all ages, and educational training. Their ‘community village’ model is reimagining health for neurodivergent people by unlearning many of the ‘defaults’ of the healthcare system.

In our conversation we talk about:

➡ How the healthcare system is thwarting autistic people, and what can be done about it

➡ Reconnecting with our intuition around our health, and removing the distinction between healthcare and the rest of life

➡ How we can identify and learn to manage our ‘unnamed constellation of intertwined medical problems’ as autistic people

➡ The overlap of autism and ADHD and outwitting the shame narrative around our abilities and needs

Dr Houser also talks about the statistic that stopped her in her tracks and prompted her to start her nonprofit.

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.


Dr Houser’s website: https://allbrainsbelong.org
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allbrainsbelongvt
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-houser-652505212/

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