As a smart, successful, Harvard and Berkeley-educated writer and devoted mother, Jenara Nerenberg didn’t discover her autism and ADHD until well into her adulthood, after it had already taken a huge toll on her personal and professional life. Being a journalist, Jenara dove into the research and discovered neurodiversity—a movement which seeks to stop pathologizing ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ brains and start embracing the variety of mental makeups we all have.
When it comes to women, sensory processing disorders including autism, ADHD, and synesthesia are often overlooked, masked, or mistaken for something else entirely. Between a flawed system that focuses on diagnosing younger, male populations, and the fact that women are conditioned from a young age to blend in and conform to gender expectations, women often don’t learn about their condition until they are adults, if at all. As a result, millions live with undiagnosed or misdiagnosed neurodivergence, and the misidentification leads to depression, anxiety, shame, and low self-esteem. Meanwhile, we all miss out on the gifts their neurodivergent minds have to offer.
In Jenara’s latest book, Divergent Mind, she shares real stories of neurodivergent women and offers a path forward. She takes readers through practical ways that innovative minds in healthcare, technology, and therapy are changing the way we communicate, how we design our homes and offices, and how we better support the people we care about—which has wide-ranging benefits for everyone, divergent or not.
Join Jenara in a conversation about why these traits are overlooked in women and how our society can benefit from allowing their unique strengths to flourish.
Copies of Jenara’s book Divergent Mind: Thriving in a World That Wasn't Designed for You, will be available for sale at this event.