[82] S7, Ep2: God as a special interest: deconstructing religious identity as a newly identified autistic
Topics in this episode: autistic children, autistic parents, family, intergenerational autism, parenting, religion, self diagnosed, special interests, writing

D.L. Mayfield is a freelance writer from Portland, USA. She has written for Christian publications in the US for over 10 years, and is the author of several books, the latest of which, Unruly Saint, explores the life and work of the late American journalist, social activist and anarchist Catholic Dorothy Day.

D.L. herself grew up highly religious in an evangelical family in the US. Now in her late 30s, she is currently in the process of being assessed for autism, after she reached out to an autistic therapist in order to better parent her autistic child. In her words, what followed has been a ‘wild year’ of self discovery.

She is in the process of transitioning away from being, as she describes it, a hyper-religious person, deconstructing authoritarian religion and exploring the exploitation of neurodivergent people by some religious groups. Her Substack newsletter, God is My Special Interest, has attracted a wide community of people who are exploring neurodivergence and who also come from a faith background.

In our conversation we talk about:

➡ The impact of growing up undiagnosed in the evangelical church in America

➡ Parenting an autistic PDA child, postpartum depression, and being an autistic mother in autism mom spaces

➡ Autistic experiences of lockdowns

➡ The appeal of religion to autistic people, and the numbers of undiagnosed autistic women that can be found in Christian groups

➡ The deconstruction of her own religious identity alongside her emerging self identification as autistic

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.



D.L.’s website: http://www.dlmayfield.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/d_l_mayfield/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/d_l_mayfield

God Is My Special Interest Substack: https://dlmayfield.substack.com/

The Prophetic Imagination Station podcast: https://www.propheticimaginationstation.com/


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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/squarepeg.community/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/squarepegautism

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:

Abi Hunter, Abigail J Moore, Amy Adler, Amy-Beth Mellor, Annette, Ben Davies, Benita Borchard-Thierbach, Caroline, Cat Preston, Catrin Green, Cindy Bailey, Corinne Cariad, Danielle Warby, Dawn Trevellion, Emily, Elizabeth Vezina, Elizabeth Williams, Felicia Libo, Galina, Gwyneth, Jackie Allen, Jeff Goldman, Jen Bartlett, Kate Faust, Katharine Richards, Katherine Lynch, Kenneth Knowles, Laura Battley, Lea Li, Leo Ricketts, Lilli Simmons, Lyb, Mandy Allen, Pete Burke, Rebecca Kemp, Sarah Cottrell, Sarah Jeffery, Sarah Ivinson, Sarah Swanton, Sioned Wynn, Stephanie Murray, Suzanna Chen, Suzanne, Tessa Valyou, Tree Hall, Una Walkenhorst, Vicki Temple, Victoria Routledge and Zephyrine Craster.

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 £3 per month: https://www.patreon.com/squarepegpodcast

Become part of the Squarepeg community!

Sign up below to get Squarepeg news and updates - and occasional emails from me about autistic life.

Welcome to the community!