Frances Massey

I’m Fran, a counsellor, psychotherapist, and trainee ADHD coach, and I’m proudly neurodivergent. I was diagnosed with dyslexia in my early 30s, and later on with dyspraxia and ADHD. I also self-identified as autistic. Unfortunately, the lack of support and understanding surrounding my differences had a big impact on my education and self-confidence.

Because of my personal experiences, I became passionate about the intersection of neurodivergence and education. I explored this topic for my MSc research dissertation, delving into my own educational history and learning a lot in the process.

I followed a heuristic methodology, which I feel naturally mirrors the neurodivergent learning process. It’s similar to the approach that unschoolers or self-directed learners take, where they have the freedom to deep dive into their areas of interest in ways that are aligned with their individual needs. I believe that there’s much we can learn from these alternative pedagogies, and I hope to share this with a wider audience.

I received vital support from my study skills tutor and mentor, via the Disabled Student Allowance in the final year of my MSc. It had an overwhelmingly positive impact on my capacity to succeed. However, the process of accessing this vital support itself is woefully misaligned for the needs of the ND community.

Now, I’m passionate about helping neurodivergent people discover their strengths, feel empowered to advocate for their unique needs, and lessen the impact of a world not designed for us.

Six Neurodivergent therapists discuss their unique journeys and insights on embracing their differences as a…