Shannon Collins is a social worker and educator from Denver, Colorado in the United States. Now 46, she decided to pursue an autism diagnosis in 2019, after her child was diagnosed.
Shannon describes herself as ‘an autistic, queer survivor of sexual and physical violence’ and has spent over 20 years working to end domestic violence and sexual assault through advocacy, prevention and education. She now specialises in the formation of trauma-informed victim advocacy programs in higher education institutions, and the development and maintenance of campus-based Coordinated Community Response Teams.
In our conversation we talk about:
➡ Her two decade journey to diagnosis and healing
➡ Seeking accommodations at work
➡ The challenges of processing and verbalising her experiences
➡ The intersection of autism and trauma
This is a difficult topic, but an important one, and I hope you’ll get as much out of this conversation as I did.
Please be aware that although we don’t go into detail about Shannon’s experiences, there is discussion of sexual and physical trauma in this episode, so if you don’t want to hear about this topic you might not want to listen to this one.
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.
Article about the study on sexual abuse in autistic girls and women: https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/girls-autism-high-risk-sexual-abuse-large-study-says/
Support and services for people in the UK: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/abuse/
Support and services for people in the USA: https://www.rainn.org/
If you’d like to connect or get in touch with Squarepeg, you can find me on:
Or on my website: https://squarepeg.community/
THANK YOU TO MY PATRONS!
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