From adversity to diversity, awesomeness and beyond!
Meet Kaydi! She’s 15, autistic and a powerhouse in leading the way on inclusivity for neurodiversity in the community.
When you know the whole story you understand the true grit and determination Kaydi has. As a neurodiverse person herself, Kaydi’s mother knew her daughter was autistic when she was 2.
Yet it took over 10 years to receive Kaydi’s diagnosis. During this decade Kaydi found things difficult, she hated high school and blamed her autism for her struggles. When the system failed her, she was home-schooled and the job of building back began. Gradually her confidence returned, she found happiness and now uses her neurodiversity for good!
Having learned to embrace being autistic, she unleashed its awesome powers on the world.
To change the lives of other young neurodiverse people.
She founded Diversified, a not for profit social enterprise that is run for and by the neurodiverse community. A place where people belong rather than adapt.
- Want to meet other neurodiverse people? Join their online games nights!
- Want a sensory item? A fidget spinner, popper or light up? The site has you covered.
Once she gets an idea Kaydi is off. Since launching Diversified she gained so many skills: from how to create a website, to understanding profit and loss, customer service to marketing.
Kaydi donated all her profits to the groups that supported her when she was at her worst, thereby helping others. It has been a fantastic circle of giving back: Since it began, in April 2021, Diversified has raised over £1300 for these charities and supplied £3,000 worth of sensory kits to children with additional needs.
In Kaydi’s own words, “Being autistic means that I’m a little weird, but the AWESOME kind of weird. Autism means it can be difficult in the world around me because it isn’t set up for autistic people, but I’m trying to change that and show that being autistic brings so many positives and the world should be more accessible for all of us.
“Being autistic doesn’t mean that I’m useless or less than anyone else, it means I’m capable of things that others may not even think about. Some of the most amazing people in society are/were autistic and the world wouldn’t be the same without them.”
In October, Kaydi heard that she’d been awarded a grant to support her wider social goals with Diversified. She had been planning the “Together Project” for months! Now combining her profits with the grant, the “Together Project” became a reality.
First up will be an inclusive Christmas party for 20 neurodiverse young people and 20 parents. The project will run until September 2022, and will provide social opportunities and support such as: online gaming, arts and crafts and going out to do fun stuff for 25 neurodiverse 10-16 year olds and their parents.
This project will benefit both the kids and the adults as it will build strong relationships and community.
Kaydi has achieved all this whilst maintaining her school grades and fighting for her right to an appropriate education, with the right support in place. She now attends a new school and has settled in. She is an inspiration to everyone who has struggled, or is struggling to find their place in the world.
Even more, once she found hers, she shone her light onto others to help them find their way too.