113 [S9 E8] Making the invisible visible: getting comfortable with a late autism diagnosis
Topics in this episode: autism and trauma, being social, bullying, cultural attitudes, disability, intersectionality, special interests

Marisa Hamamoto is a leading voice in disability inclusion, professional dancer and founder of Infinite Flow, an award-winning dance company and nonprofit that employs disabled and nondisabled dancers with a mission to create a more inclusive world, one dance at a time.

Marisa is a stroke survivor, and a proud fourth-generation Japanese American. She was diagnosed autistic in 2022, which she describes as bringing a mixture of ‘Relief and confusion’ – being a seasoned leader and ally in the physical disability space, then discovering she was autistic and working out what that means for her and for her company.

In our conversation we talk about:

➡ Why she set up an inclusive dance company

➡ Examining own ableism/internalised ableism

➡ Being a visible Asian-American autistic, intersectional representation and stigma

➡ Her positivity around being autistic

➡ Her experience of lifelong social challenges, and how she’s found belonging and social connection through dance

➡ Physical and invisible disabilities, autism and whether we identify as disabled

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.

 

EPISODE LINKS:

Marisa’s website: https://www.marisahamamoto.com/

Her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marisahamamoto/

Infinite Flow website: https://www.infiniteflowdance.org/

Infinite Flow Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/infiniteflowdance/

 

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