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- author Jackie French

Monday 1 April 2024

Guest Post: Chelsea Luker on A Journey Into The Autistic / ADHDer Experience

In a world that often feels like it's not built for everyone, Square Me, Round World: Stories of growing up in a world not built for you offers a refreshing and insightful perspective on the lives of Autistic/ADHDer individuals. 

As an author, psychologist, and advocate, I’d like to share a personal journey that has led to the creation of this book aimed at bridging the understanding gap and fostering inclusivity.

I am deeply passionate about advocating for the rights and well-being of Autistic and ADHDer individuals. 

With a professional background as a psychologist and lived experience as an Autistic/ADHDer parent of two neurodivergent children, I dedicate a significant portion of my life to supporting my community.

The creation of Square Me, Round World can be traced back to the Yellow Ladybugs Conference in Melbourne in 2023. This conference, designed to educate attendees about supporting Autistic girls and gender-diverse youth, became a turning point for me. It was at this event that I connected with fellow Autistic/ADHDer psychologists, finding a sense of comfort and acceptance that had been elusive throughout my life. The experience of being welcomed to be one's authentic self, complete with weighted blankets, fidgets, squishmallows, and a camaraderie that extended to navigating public transport, inspired me to share the beauty of Autistic friendships.

The spark of inspiration ignited at midnight when I decided to write a story that illustrated the richness and uniqueness of Autistic relationships. Fueled by personal experiences, chapter two of Square Me, Round World (Finding Your Flock) was written on the notes app of my mobile phone. Over the next few months, I continued to craft stories about feeling different, masking, rejection-sensitive dysphoria, burnout, sensory overwhelm, and sleep struggles. These stories, initially shared with friends, resonated so deeply that the idea of turning them into a book took root.

Admitting to a certain impulsivity, I ventured into the unfamiliar world of publishing with the support of an incredible team. Eliza Fricker, renowned author/illustrator of Thumbsucker and Can't Not Won't, brought the stories to life with captivating illustrations. Belinda Bolliger patiently edited the words, ensuring the clarity and authenticity of my voice, while Jo Hunt provided a stunning cover and book design. Together, we were the dream team that brought Square Me, Round World into existence.

However, Square Me, Round World is not just a collection of stories; it is my earnest attempt to provide insights into the lives of Autistic/ADHDer individuals. By sharing these stories, I hope that those who struggle to fit into the often *round* world will find representation and validation in the narratives they read. Beyond that, the book serves as an opportunity for readers to build a deeper understanding of the diverse experiences of neurodivergent individuals and work together towards creating a world that embraces differences—perhaps more of a squircle? Through these stories and the collaborative efforts of the dream team behind the book, Square Me, Round World invites readers to explore, empathise, and champion inclusivity in a world not *yet* quite shaped for everyone.


Chelsea is an Autistic/ADHDer psychologist, and is the proud owner of Connect Us Psychology. With a deep-rooted commitment to the Autistic/ADHD community, Chelsea dedicates her professional life to supporting Autistic/ADHD individuals across the lifespan. Chelsea is also a parent to two young neurodivergent children. Drawing from her lived and clinical experience, Chelsea wrote “Square Me, Round World” to provide a deep dive into the lives and minds of Autistic and ADHDer individuals, with the hope that this would contribute to the journey toward an inclusive world where every glittering part of every individual is celebrated and embraced.

Connect with Chelsea through her website or follow her on Facebook or Instagram