Cue the confetti, and welcome to the launch of my blog!
Who I am: I'm Alondra, and I'm the owner of Divergent Autism Services. I am a master and doctor of Social Work. Just after I started my training to be a therapist, my 2 1/2 year old daughter was diagnosed as Autistic. Within a year, I realized that both my husband and I are also Autistic. Our daughter is non-speaking, but she communicates using a method we invented together. She is also learning to point to spell using the Spell 2 Communicate method involving pointing to letters on a letter board.
I focused my doctoral dissertation research on self-care for mothers of disabled children. I'm finishing a book on the same topic (but much more interesting).
I live outside of Portland, Oregon with my family. I enjoy reading, writing, and exploring in my free time.
What I do: Divergent is a consulting company where I provide problem solving, support, training and education as well as publication materials to families, Autistic Adults, schools, businesses, institutions, and organizations in the support of Autistic people. I listen to client's concerns and needs and respond with a plan to address the issues that are individual, strengths-based, neurodiversity affirming, trauma-informed, inclusive, and actionable. I am particularly called to support non-speaking Autistics.
My consultations include researching topics and providing a written report to my clients to address their issues that can be referred to in the future. I will be offering specific trainings, courses, classes, and publications in the future. I am also available for speaking engagements virtually or in the Pacific Northwest.
Why are Autism Consultants needed?: Autism is a complex experience that is almost always entwined with other diagnoses. A quality Autism consultant can find patterns in the problems and propose realistic evidence-based solutions that protect Autistic people and improve quality of life. Autism consultants support and guide families and organizations that serve Autistic people.
What's different about Divergent and me? There are many Autism consultants available for you to chose from. Divergent Autism Services is different in several key ways:
1. Divergent is run by an Autistic Adult who has lived experience. That's me. I'm a late-identified Autistic--part of a new class of parents who discovered their life long differences have a name when their child was diagnosed. I discovered my Autism eight years ago, but I have a whole life of lived experience as an Autistic girl and woman.
2. Divergent Autism Services uses a social work orientation to helping families and those who serve Autistics. Clinical social work is a mental health field where practitioners work to see a person as a whole, a family as a unit and both as a part of the systems they are involved with everyday: the community, schools, churches, government agencies, and more. A social work approach to consulting means looking broadly for resources and solutions and being innovative in solving problems.
3. I also have the lived experience of a parent of an Autistic child who is non-speaking and has high support needs. I know the challenges, and I know the potential.
I'm happy to be here, and I'm happy to have you here. Cheers until next time.