Today I am joining the blog tour for Different, Not Less by Chloe Hayden. Many thanks to Chloe and Murdoch Books for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.
An empowering guide to celebrating and supporting neurodivergence from Netflix’s Heartbreak High star and disability advocate, Chloe Hayden.
Growing up, Chloe Hayden felt like she’d crash-landed on an alien planet where nothing made sense. Eye contact? Small talk? And why are you people so touch-oriented? None of it made sense.
Chloe desperately wished to be part of the fairytales she so dearly loved. A world in which the lead is considered a hero because of their differences, rather than excluded and pushed aside for them.
She moved between ten schools in eight years, struggling to become a person she believed society would accept. After years of being “weird, quirky Chloe,” she was eventually diagnosed with autism and ADHD. It was only after a life-changing group of allies showed her that different didn’t mean less that she learned to celebrate her true voice and find her happily ever after.
Different, Not Less is a moving, at times funny story of how it feels to be neurodivergent as well as a practical guide, with insights on how autism and ADHD present differently in females, advice for living with meltdowns and shutdowns, tips for finding supportive relationships, communities and workplaces, and much more.
Whether you’re neurodivergent or supporting those who are, Different, Not Less will inspire you to create a more inclusive world where everyone feels like they belong.
Some of you will know that I suffer with a couple of chronic illnesses, and as much as I wish some of the people around me would do more to understand my health issues, I realise that I also have a lot to learn about how other people experience the world. When the opportunity to improve my understanding through joining the blog tour for Different, Not Less came about, I jumped at the chance. I know I still have a way to go, and I apologise if I word things incorrectly in this review. I would welcome any further education if I do.
While I could empathise with the sensory processing issues Chloe has faced, struggling with hypersensitivity myself, other areas were a real eye opener. The complete lack of support she received from the education system and medical professionals in the very recent past was shocking! I naively thought that, at least in these area, things had improved over the years. My heart bled for the little girl who wanted so much to find her place in the world, and was blocked from doing so at every turn, and simply written off as “weird.” I also had no idea that autism came with so many common comorbidities – as if life isn’t difficult enough when you don’t fit the accepted “normal” mould, you are hit with multiple health conditions to manage on top of everything else.
The passion with which this book was written shines through in the language used making it an easy book to read, not dry or a slog like some self-help/health books can be. Chloe’s openness about her experiences as a neurodivergent woman is brutally honest at times, but it is this honesty that a) will hopefully make other people in her situation feel less alone, and b) really drives home to neurotypical readers just how confusing and overwhelming life can be.
Whether you are neurodivergent yourself, supporting someone who is, or just want to understand more about other people’s experiences, Different, Not Less is a great place to start.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chloe Hayden is an award-winning actor and disability advocate, motivational speaker and social media influencer whose story of being “different, not less” has attracted a worldwide following. She is currently appearing in Heartbreak High, the Netflix remake of the iconic Australian series.
Don’t forget to have a look at the other blogs taking part in the tour for Different, Not Less.