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
Facebook business page: https://www.facebook.com/styxandstone.willow
Personal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dea.neilehopton
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:
Abi Hunter, Abigail J Moore, Amy Adler, Amy-Beth Mellor, Anika Lacerte, Annette, Ben Davies, Caroline, Cat Preston, Catrin Green, Cindy Bailey, Clare Holmes, Corinne Cariad, Danielle Warby, Dawn Trevellion, Elizabeth Vezina, Elizabeth Williams, Galina, Gwyneth, Jackie Allen, Jeff Goldman, Jen Bartlett, Kate and Kathryn, Kate Faust, Katharine Richards, Katherine Lynch, Kenneth Knowles, Lea Li, Leo Ricketts, Lilli Simmons, Lyb, Mandy Allen, MN, Pete Burke, Rebecca Biegel, Rebecca Kemp, Sarah Cottrell, Sarah Jeffery, Sarah Ivinson, Sarah Swanton, Sioned Wynn, Stephanie Murray, Suzanna Chen, Suzanne, Tammie Fabien, Tegan Bailey, Tessa Valyou, Tree Hall, Una Walkenhorst, Vic Wiener, Vicki Temple, Victoria Chang, Victoria Routledge, Wendy Walker, Zephyrine Craster and Zoe Lee.
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