There is always the promise and capacity for reconnection, joy, peace. The simple privilege of enjoying each other within our families.
But we must learn what we are, first. We must heal from our internalised ableism and meet ourselves with compassion. Then, we move forward, to live out our unconventional, extraordinary lives.
Why? Because that is who we are. You are an extraordinary, neurodivergent person. And your community awaits.
- Kristy Forbes
"Inspired by you, I sat down with our daughter and told her how sorry I was for the years of misguided parenting approaches and various therapies we had put her through. How I was no longer going to try to make her be someone she was not, and most importantly, I told her that I love her and do not want to change anything about her. That moment has changed everything for us. Not only has it meant a shift in the dynamic in our home, it has changed the way we communicate with the school and with our friends and family. Basically, every aspect of our life is changing. It is of course a process and none of us are perfect, but what a difference it has made.
The other thing that has made an impact on me was your encouragement to approach autism from a completely different perspective. Rather than treating autism as something that needs to be corrected and treated it should be accepted. The only way for an autistic person to thrive is when they are allowed to be their authentic self.
I urgently want you to know how important you and your work are and to thank you for everything you do."
Kristy Forbes is an Australian based autism & neurodiversity support specialist
with experience working with clients both nationally and internationally.
This includes neurodivergent people and their families; and professionals who wish to support them, such as educators, psychologists, paediatricians, allied health professionals, support workers and integration aides.
Her work is informed by her extensive professional experience as an educator (Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary teaching), as an integration aide to children with social, emotional and behavioural differences, and as a childhood behavioural and family support specialist.
Kristy has degrees in Political Science, Education, Literature, Film and Art.
Her most valuable insights, however, come from lived experience.
Kristy is formally identified autistic, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) as well as being a parent to four neurodivergent children, all with varying neurodivergent experience and expression including being non speaking, apraxia, dyspraxia, tourettes and PDA.
She has the unique experience and insight of many perspectives: the teacher, the support specialist, the parent, the partner and the neurodivergent person (including the child she once was!).
Kristy understands the very real challenges neurodivergent people and their families face, and the often misunderstood and undermined position they are in.
Her own personal journey as an autistic person, and the story of her family is often documented throughout her work in her writing, her speaking, her many programs and webinars and in private consultation with others throughout the deeply personal process of empathy and compassion.
Kristy is passionate about radical acceptance, and the profound need for a paradigm shift that moves us as a society from a perspective of autism as a medical disorder to an identity and a culture that is interwoven with pride, inherent and organic autistic expression and intersectionality with our sibling communities such as the LGBTQIA+ community and many others.
After beginning her own journey as a parent to autistic children, seeking to cure and change autism, she has emerged from the doom and gloom narrative of neurodivergence and into the light of positive autistic identity and family life.
Her passion is to support families raising autistic children to thrive. No matter where they’ve been, no matter the trauma or crisis they find themselves in.