[Love Poem to the Difficult Person]


Beware the difficult person
we lurk in hallways, offices, on your social media pages
asking questions
dreaming new worlds
building new systems
holding accountable, those who have had free reign, for too long


Beware the difficult person
we won’t laugh at your not-joke
we won’t play along tidy and obedient
we won’t just let it go


Beware the difficult person
we don’t recognize authority that isn’t earned
we don’t follow rules that have no purpose or integrity
we don’t value your comfort over Truth


Continually learning, growing, striving to know and do better
you will not find us compliant with your
“We’ve always done it this way,” and your
“Because I said so,” and your
“That’s just how it/he/she/they is/are”


Beware the difficult person
becoming into the fullness of our identity
becoming into the fullness of our power
becoming into the fullness of our purpose


Beware the difficult person
refusing masks that only serve your comfort
being unmoved by your pearl-clutching performances
no longer laboring exploited for your benefit


Beware the difficult person
who won’t scroll past your racism
your misogyny
your ableism
your hate
your violence
your willful ignorance


Beware the difficult person
who disrupts your homeostasis
who brings new perspective
who is unapologetically defiant
who tells you their pronouns
who invites you to use new language
who exists in multiple, intersecting, dimensions of being
who just wants to survive life long enough for the chance to thrive


jen alumbaugh – a difficult person


On June 15, 2023, Beyond Air issued a press release announcing they have licensed the commercial rights to Selective Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase (nNOS) Inhibitors for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The screen shot pictured here is from Beyond Air’s Twitter feed reporting they “Advance research that could lead to first medication for Autism Disease Reversal; First-in-human clinical trials planned for 2025.”

Below is my response.

I am an actually Autistic (and ADHD) adult, business owner, NeuroInclusive Consultant and Executive Business Coach.  I hold a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and worked successfully holding space with other neurodivergent clients as a licensed complex trauma therapist for 15 years until my retirement.  I turned to entrepreneurship out of necessity as a result of the inaccessible and non-inclusive work environments that I consistently encountered.

Autism is not a disease or a disorder.

It is an identity.

Autistic people don’t suffer from autism, we suffer from the unrelenting, ableist demands to perform and conform to neurotypicality in schools, in homes, in workplaces, in society.

Autism is not a problem to be cured.

Autism is an identity to be curious about and understood.

The idea that drug companies seek to erase the very things that make our unique and remarkable brains what they are is ableist and a form of eugenics.

Proceed with great skepticism when engaging with research about autism that is done by anyone who is not themselves autistic; it is inherently flawed and biased because none of it even considers the inner lived-experience of actually autistic people.

We are done being spoken for. We are done being decided about. We are here, thinking, working, passionate human beings who know our own minds and who thrive in environments that are accessible and neuroinclusive.

The reports reflecting the cost of “managing” autistic children is grotesque at best.

What would truly help autistic people of all ages is significant investment in neuroinclusion training and implementation–in homes, in schools, in workplaces, in law enforcement, in healthcare facilities, in academic institutions, in public policy, in legislation, everywhere.

THAT would be the REAL breakthrough worth celebrating.

Our society and humanity as a whole depends on neurodiversity for survival and evolution.  If our vastly different minds and ways of thinking are culled to the point of homogeneity, it will be the end of innovation, the end of creativity, the end of discoveries and inventions, including the very process that resulted in the finding I am responding to.

While I do not in any way support the concept of Autism as a disease that needs curing, I absolutely value freedom and diversity of thought, expression, experience, perspective, and being even when it leads to innovation that results in something controversial.  With the caveat that that controversial thing is thoroughly examined from ALL sides–especially from the side of Actually Autistic people.

I am the NeuroInclusive specialist that delivers trainings, workshops, consultation, and coaching for Expansive Expressions.  NeuroInclusion must be included in the work of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in order for their to be comprehensive  conversations, learning, practice, and embodiment.

If your organization, company, agency, corporation, healthcare, or academic institution is ready to take the next step in understanding NeuroInclusion, connect with us today to book a 90minute live, interactive, virtual workshop.

To learn more about our consulting and coaching retainer packages, please visit our information page here.

If you are a parent of an Autistic kiddo interested in learning more about new ways to engage with and be curious about your child’s experience, contact us for referrals to excellent neurodivergent-affirming resources.  

#ActuallyAutistic #Autism #Neurodiversity #Neuroinclusion #Neurodivergent #Advocacy #Training #DEIB 

Resource Roundup – Spring 2023

I have been collecting a number of Neurodivergent resources and thought that it’s about time I shared them with you before I lose track of them 🙂

There is a new telehealth Primary Care medical practice that is Neurodivergent-Centered & Affirming called Hopper Health available in I think 5 states currently with plans to expand to the entire US. A friend of mine just had their first appointment with them and felt so seen, heard, taken seriously, and had such a positive experience over all!

Along those lines, NeuroSpark Health is a new virtual telemental health practice serving neurodivergent adults with Autism and ADHD assessments, coaching, and therapy. I have connected with both the founders and love their energy and vision. They are neurodivergent, queer-affirming and virtually available in I think around 35 states with plans to expand to all 50 US states.

If you are a writer looking to turn that someday into today, check out the 12month writing incubator Caitlin Fisher offers through their Working Title Cohort program that includes online community, live coaching, 90day writing challenges, accountability, frameworks, and more! They are an amazing writer and coach in addition to being neurodivergent!! Win-win-win 🙂 They are accepting applications right now for the next cohort–don’t snooze on this chance to get your first or next book written!

Are you an LGBTQIA2S business looking for a Social Media Manager and Virtual Assistant? I recommend Nix Song, the Cozy Queer Assistant! They are amazing at supporting not only the ongoing upkeep of social media content, but generating new leads, supporting your launches, and keeping the action happening in your online spaces so you can stay doing your magic in your zone of genius.

Could your BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S, neurodivergent business use a refresh on your content marketing and brand-building? Look no further than Pancake Copy Cats founded by Kitty Garcia. Head over to their page and pick your stack: 🥞 Podcast editing; YouTube video editing; Copywriting & editing ; Email marketing; Content management; Social media management ; Community management.

Two other resources that have come across my feed lately are FLOWN – an app that offers on-demand deep focus co-working sessions; and Goblin Tools an AI tool that can do things like organize your brain dumps, create step breakdowns of tasks, other cool executive functioning supports. I haven’t used either, but have heard rave reviews by others who have used them.

Did you catch my latest blog on what I call the Neurodivergent Time + Energy Paradox? If not, you can read it here! And if you are interested in a more extended discussion with practicle tools you can practice, check out the replay of my Replenish Masterclass from April 28th.

If you havne’t ordered it already, I encourage you to pick up your own set of Tricia Hersey’s Rest Deck (she’s the founder of The Nap Ministry) and her work on deconstructing the hustle & grind culture of white supremacy and capitalism is absolutely in alignment with cultivating a neurodefiant life 🙂


What tools, resources, and services have you been using that have been game changers for you in protecting your time and energy?

What challenges have been coming up for you in strategizing your schedule to protect your time and energy?  I can help you with this!

Click the button below to schedule a free Curiosity Call!

#Money #Funding #BusinessDevelopment #StartUp #Neurodivergent #Entrepreneurs #Founders #MoneyMindset #Business #Community #FundRaising #investing

The Neurodivergent Time-Energy Paradox

For AuDHDers and many other neurodivergent people, there is a unique relationship between time and energy. So when someone asks us, “How long do you think you’ll need to finish up X?” Sometimes we stall out in answering because we must factor in the amount of energy it will take to complete a task and that will determine the time it takes.

And we cannot always predict where our energy readings will be on a given day.* 

At a time when a person has full energy reserves, they may be able to breeze through the task quickly. At other times when the energy reserve is on or close to empty, that same task can take an excruciating amount of time. When I speak of energy here, it isn’t just physical energy, but social-emotional-mental energy as well factors into the equation. 

An example from my lived-experience, determining how long it will take to complete a task can be challenging because at times, that particular task took very little time and effort to complete because I was “in the zone” and yet at other times if I am required to do a particular task and I am not “in the zone,” the same task can take exponentially longer to accomplish.

So there are variables to consider when estimating how long a project will take to complete. And when we are discussing neurobiological differences like AuDHD, it’s vital that people understand that being in the “zone” or not has to do with the neurological structure & functioning of the AuDHD brain and is not a matter of will that someone can override with “mind over matter” thinking.

 Because energy and time are linked together, it is not simply a matter of AuDHDers implementing time management tools. Certainly, things like visual timers and clocks, alarms and schedule reminders, and transitional prompts can be helpful and also, this is where having access to accommodations and compassionate understanding from loved-ones, employers, and friends is vital for an AuDHDer to thrive.

 A significant component of accommodations and accessibility that is not widely discussed or understood is the reality that AuDHD people are neurobiologically unable to perform at the same level, throughout the day, every single day.

This does not make us unreliable; it means that we need greater flexibility and accommodation around our unique ebbs and flows of work time and energy.

*When a person experiences varying ability due to illness, injury, or disability, that is referred to as a “dynamic disability.”  Often mistaken for “faking” it must be recognized and respected that a person’s limits and capacity vary and are contingent upon a vast array of circumstances.  In short, when a person shares their capacity or limits, trust them to know their own body and mind.

How do you experience the Time-Energy Paradox?

Could you use some help in strategizing your schedule, tasks, and down-time in order to honor your own Time-Energy Paradox?

Click the button below to schedule a free Curiosity Call!

#TimeManagement #Accommodations #Energy #Accessiblity #NeuroInclusion #flexibility #Inclusive #DEI #ProjectManagement #DynamicDisability #ActuallyAutistic #AuDHD #ADHD #TimeBlindness

The Return on Investment of Accountability

Did you know…

Sharing with another person what your specific goal is and meeting with them regularly (weekly) to update and check in about that goal increases your likelihood of accomplishing that goal 95%!!!!

According to the Association for Talent Development, the following is a breakdown on the likelihood of accomplishing a goal with varying levels of accountability and support:

    • Having an idea or goal: 10%
    • Consciously deciding that you will do it: 25%
    • Deciding when you will do it: 40%
    • Planning how to do it: 50%
    • Committing to someone that you will do it: 65%
    • Having a specific, recurring accountability appointment with someone you’ve committed to: 95%

Here are some ways that accountability can look:

✅Having a regularly scheduled 50/50 call with your biz bestie where half the call you share your wins, challenges, and goals you’re working on and the other half they do

✅Setting up weekly co-working sessions with colleagues, friends, where you check in at the beginning to share the goals for that work time, and follow up at the end to celebrate wins

✅Working with a therapist weekly

✅Participating in a group coaching experience where you show up to live sessions and office hours to get feedback or workshop challenges

✅Working 1:1 with a coach where you meet regularly live, process wins and trouble shoot challenges, set a new goal for the next week, and check in asynchronously in between

✅Write a post about your goal on social media, or an online community space that you trust

Sharing our goals out loud is vulnerable. You might feel churny in your belly about it. That’s ok. If this is something new for you, of course your body is going to have resistance to the unfamiliar.

And also, when finding a person to connect with you in accountability, there HAS to be a foundation of mutual and reciprocal trust, respect, and honoring of boundaries.

The key is to set up accountability with people who hold you without judgement or shame. It is normal that you won’t always meet your goal. And so having someone in your corner to support you and point out what progress you did make even if not the whole way, is essential.

Can you think of someone in your personal or professional life that you can buddy up with to share accountability?

If you’re looking for accountability with a trauma-informed, shame-free, here-to-help-you-thrive coach, I’d love to have a conversation with you about how I can support you in reaching your goals! Click the button below to start a conversation!

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