[90] S7, Ep10: Burnouts, breakdowns and anxiety: a journey towards more supportive and sustainable work
Topics in this episode: autism at work, autistic children, autistic parents, burnout, employment, family, intergenerational autism, intersectionality, parenting, school, selective mutism, self diagnosed

Déa Neile-Hopton is a basket maker and artist. She is of mixed Jamaican and English heritage and grew up in the 1970s and 80s in York, England. Now 47, she lives in Whitland in Wales, with her partner and three neurodivergent children. She is self diagnosed autistic and was diagnosed ADHD in 2021.

She has a passion for arts and crafts, and for teaching circus skills, but has struggled to find a place in the world of work, finding job seeking and workplaces traumatic and experiencing repeated breakdowns, depression and lack of confidence around work, leading to her surviving on disability benefits.

She is now trying to figure out how to approach work in a way that supports her better, focusing on creating and making, and developing her basket making business. Earlier this year she was selected to take part in a BBC TV show about crafters starting businesses.

In our conversation we talk about:

➡ Growing up Black and autistic in a dysfunctional neurodivergent family

➡ Her experience as a teen at boarding school 

➡ Finding it hard to recognise autistic traits in herself

➡ Burnouts, breakdowns, anxiety and her struggles around employment 

➡ Raising autistic kids and being their advocate

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.



Déa’s website: http://styxandstone.co.uk

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dea.styx_and_stone.willow/

Facebook business page: https://www.facebook.com/styxandstone.willow 

Personal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dea.neilehopton


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