[53] S4, Ep10: Getting a teen autism diagnosis, social and sensory issues, and finding success at school and college
Topics in this episode: childhood diagnosis, community, family, friendships, reasonable adjustments, school, sensory issues, sensory needs, university, writing

Kelly Coons was diagnosed autistic as a teenager, and at 20 is her both my youngest guest to date and my only guest so far to have been diagnosed in childhood. She lives in the United States and is a prize-winning fourth year English student at Smith College, a liberal arts college in New England. 

Kelly has two autistic brothers, one of whom is her twin, who were both diagnosed before she was, and who were the inspiration for her debut young adult novel, a coming-of-age story about two autistic young men.

Since diagnosis, she has become passionate about disability advocacy and promoting Autistic pride. 

In our conversation we talk about:

➡ Being assessed and diagnosed autistic without realising.

➡ Sensory issues 

➡ Social difficulties and finding friends

➡ Some of the challenges of having an invisible disability

➡ Her experiences of university 

➡ Writing and publishing her first book

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.



Kelly’s website: https://kellycoons.weebly.com/  

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

Her LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-coons/

Amazon listing for her book, All Ways: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B093LR5H7N/ 

Goodreads listing: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57887022-all-ways


If you’d like to connect or get in touch with Squarepeg, you can find me on:

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/squarepegautism/ 

Or on my website: https://squarepeg.community/ 



A HUGE thank you to my amazing patrons, who support my work on the podcast:

Abigail J Moore, Caroline, Cat Preston, Catrin Green, Corinne Cariad, Elise, Jackie Allen, Jessica, Karawynn Long, Kate Faust, Katharine Richards, Katherine Lynch, Laurie Green, Lea Li, Lilli Simmons, Pete Burke, Tree Hall, Vera Cady and Vicki Temple.


If you’re enjoying the Squarepeg podcast and would like to help me carry on making new episodes, you can become a member of the Squarepeg community on Patreon from just £3 per month: https://www.patreon.com/squarepegpodcast 

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