First blog posts are always the hardest to write. You don’t know me. I don’t know you…

So let’s start with some basics…

My name is Emma and I’m 36 years old. I was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) when I was 30 years old. I have a lot of other conditions which are common amongst people on the spectrum, such as Dyslexia, Anxiety & Depression. I had begun suffering with mental illness from the age of 14 and became very poorly by the time I was 18 years old. Having dropped out of University and cutting myself off from any kind of social contact, my GP diagnosed me with a condition called Social Anxiety Disorder. It is my belief I developed this condition because my social communiction skills were very under-developed.

I was housebound and isolated for a very long, long, long time! But eventually I managed to teach myself new ways of coping and a very teeny tiny social life began to develop. I used this new spark of confidence to complete a business start-up course with The Prince’s Trust; becoming a fairly successsful freelance graphic designer.

Being self-employed offered me an amazing opportunity to become independent, learn new skills and just continue to grow as a person. Then one day last year I joined a business accelerator programme to look at the possibility of creating a new company. Something much bigger and grander than anything I had ever visualised. Within a 9 month period I’ve gone from having just an idea, to now working with some amazing industry leaders as I prepare to pitch for a six figure investment.

It is quite frankly one of the most exciting and most terrifying times of my life. It would be for anyone I imagine! But having ASD and associated disorders can also throw interesting things into the mix (and not always negative!). I find now, many people, whether they have ASD or not, are really interested in hearing and learning from my experiences. There are not many resources out there for females especially, or those who may be considering self-employment. I think ASD also offers a really unique perspective on a variety of topics, including entrepreneurship and you may find something useful to use within your own battles. There are also times when my mind sits on something fo too long and I just need to let it out. So I’ve created this blog and I hope you enjoy reading it.

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