Wednesday 11 January 2023

#Blogtour Different, Not Less by Chloé Hayden

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Different, Not Less: A neurodivergent's guide to embracing your true self and finding your happily ever after by Chloé Hayden.

About the Author

Chloé 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. Follow @chloeshayden on Twitter

About the book

Growing up, Chloé 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 touchoriented? None of it made sense. 

Chloé 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 10 schools in 8 years, struggling to become a person she believed society would accept. After years of being ‘weird, quirky, Chloé’ she was eventually diagnosed with autism and ADHD. It was only after a life-changing group of allies showed her that different did not 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


Books like these are important - we need more of them. The views, experiences, suggestions and even wisdom of neurodivergent people should be used to educate, to widen horizons, to clear up misconceptions, and most importantly used to enhance the ever evolving scientific and medical research into the world of neurodiversity.

It's one thing to look at data, statistics, behaviour patterns, the way they experience the world and stimuli around them, it's quite another to do so without extensive feedback from the very people who live the day-today experience. It isn't about getting answers that will lead to healing or correcting them to suit societal norms and expectations - I think that is often the crux and drive behind the way educational institutes, medical experts, and even the loved ones and friends they are surrounded by act towards them.

Unable to fit into the norm? Sorry, unable to meet your needs. The expectation is that they take the route of ABC, when their path is perhaps more of a BADC. Also the realisation that neurodivergent children and adults experience life on a vast variety of levels and how nuanced and layered it can be. Just as the neurotypical person is allowed to be an individual, so should the neurodivergent person be allowed to do the same. As the author says - they should feel free and safe to unmask and live openly with the stims, and all aspects of their diversity. Instead of having to control their true selves in certain environments just because it might make someone else uncomfortable.

I love the fact the book has such a positive feel to it. Embracing the neurodiversity and finding power in acknowledging that it is part of who you are, so let's make sure we have the right tools and knowledge to be more at peace with self and happy. It's a book of empowerment of taking ownership of self, and taking care of oneself in the process.

I really enjoyed the read, perhaps more so because it also gave me a much better perspective on what some of my loved ones experience, need, and how I can make it easier for them to live a less stressful and happier live by being there when they need me and in the way that they need me. What and how they need and not how I think they need me. 

I was looking forward to reading this and have been mentioning this book to plenty of people around me - it certainly is a book I will continue to recommend to others. 

Buy Different, Not Less at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎Murdoch Books; pub date 5 Jan. 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

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