It seems I was ready after all

graduation capOne memory that surfaces often is how unprepared for college I felt. I was a B-C student throughout high school and felt confused most of the time.

It wouldn’t be until I was approximately 35 years old that I learned I’d lived with autism all those years. I was 42 when I learned I had ADHD and dyslexia as well.

I spent 3 years or so in community college, changing my major 5 times before choosing social work.

Turns out, I was more than ready for college. I chose a major that fit my learning style so well I thrived, graduating with honors in the end.

In fact, I earned my master’s degree and wrote my first book before any of these diagnoses came to light.

In a way, I wonder if I would have done as well had I been diagnosed earlier. To say I was proficient in self-sabotage would be an understatement.

We’ll never know. Though I do know the diagnoses haven’t stopped me since. Yes, many things are much more difficult, take longer and require more help.

But so what, I care about the goal and don’t have time to split hairs over a process with more shoulds than pivots.

Life doesn’t make things easy, but it does make things doable, if you’re committed to learning the skills and asking for the help to make them happen.

I’ve worked vigilantly to become more flexible in my thinking, better able to escape all-or-nothing thinking and consider the gray.

I’ve learned to calm my nervous system so I’m less emotionally reactive. I changed my station at the center of the universe and discovered we’re all in it together.

I learned how to relate to others so we both feel seen and a sense of belonging.

It’s been incredibly difficult work. But I wasn’t only doing it for myself. I was doing it for my three boys. If I couldn’t learn how, how could I teach them?

We’ve come so far, and we’re just getting started.


Brian has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is the father of three boys with Autism and ADHD. After receiving the same diagnoses himself, he went on to write 5 books and become a recognized specialist in the field. With a unique approach to helping parents and educators connect with their children who live with these unique challenges, Brian’s captivating, interactive presentations and programs continue to change lives around the world. His message of self-compassion, resilience and the importance of working together is one we all need to hear. You can see all the exciting things Brian is up to at

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