Lived experience refers to the first hand and direct experiences of a person or a community and the knowledge that is gained from living within a situation or environment.
While we can gain information from textbooks, from those caring for someone, from those supporting someone, we are not gaining the true and authentic experience and knowledge of someone with lived experience.
As a charity we’re regularly asked what we can offer in terms of services and support. The simple answer is ‘Lived Experience’
There are a variety of services available, in the area and across the country which may offer great things. There’s space for a wide array of different approaches because as humans we all have different preferences. As autistic, ADHD and neurodivergent people ourselves we wanted to offer what worked for us. We’re often told what to try by people that haven’t experienced autistic burnout, that haven't lived with sensory overload, fought with executive dysfunction, tried to process with auditory dysfunction. Some things can’t be taught in a text book or through training. We share our real, raw and honest experiences we live through every day. We share our vulnerabilities to remove the shame that neurodivergence can sometimes bring spending time around people that experience things differently.
Lived experience comes with knowledge and perspective that can’t be taught or fully understood without having lived through it. Community is known, across all walks of life, to improve mental health and well being. We wanted our charity to reflect that and develop from the concept of building a community where we can share our relatable experiences and help neurodivergent people to be themselves in a space that doesn’t tell you how to act. How to feel. How to change. We embrace YOU.