Although accessibility has improved in recent years, the world is still hard to navigate as a person with a disability – including those with invisible disabilities, such as ADHD. However, the Sydney Disability Expo is a good place to start.
Held between August 4-5 at Sydney Showground, the Sydney Disability Expo is a free community event with hundreds of stallholders aiming to showcase pathways for funding, resources, and support for all types of disabilities.
Raelene Sebastian, who was diagnosed with ADHD in her mid-twenties will be presenting at the event and she joined Hope Drive to discuss her own journey.
Journey to diagnosis
“Women [with ADHD] are underdiagnosed, misdiagnosed and misinformed,” Raelene said.
“My quality of life was really impaired – going through school and university – I really needed routine but couldn’t quite manage it.
“I felt on the out for a lot of my life, but I thought it was normal.”
With education about ADHD and neurodivergence in general becoming more readily available on social media, many more people are seeking diagnoses later in life.
With education about ADHD and neurodivergence in general becoming more readily available on social media, many more people are seeking diagnoses later in life – Raelene included. When Raelene’s family saw this content and mentioned to her that she may have ADHD, she sought her own diagnosis, which brought both sadness and relief.
“I finally had an answer to what I didn’t have an answer to for all my life but, on the other hand, I felt regret for what I could’ve done earlier,” Raelene said.
Advocating for others
Raelene shares her experiences in a new podcast called Not Your Neurotypical Podcast – where she speaks to other neurodivergent people – aiming to provide support, advice, and community to those on their own journeys.
“The biggest thing I’ve learnt from the podcast so far is that there is so much to learn,” Raelene said.
“I am still understanding that ADHD can be so disabling.”
But, throughout each conversation, there has been one common message – that women with ADHD are underrepresented, they were not treated early, and they’ve constantly felt out of place.
“So, to advocate for myself and them has been such an important thing,” she said.
Raelene is also going to be presenting at the upcoming Sydney Disability Expo about the epidemic of underdiagnosis of women with ADHD and sharing ways to support yourself or neurodivergent people in your life.
Listen to Raelene’s full interview on Hope Drive in the player above.
The Sydney Disability Expo will be held by Impact Institute, August 4-5, at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park. Register for the free event. Raelene will be speaking at 10:30am on Saturday 5 August.