When I started my parenting journey, like many of us I had no idea where it would take me. But as my boys grew, I learnt that they were neuro-divergent and that the world was not always built for them. They were square pegs in the round holes built for life. Many times I have had to come in and bat for them, be their advocate. Through my times doing so, meeting other neuro-divergent children and families, I realised the issue was bigger than my two boys, that there was a section of under-served children and adults, navigating life without the support they deserved, stigmatised and pushed into round holes, stunting their ability to thrive and leaving them with mental health challenges which could so easily be avoided. Thus was born the fire in my belly to do more, to change things and that’s exactly what Square Peg, Round Whole seeks to achieve.
As an avid listener of podcasts, a huge fan of Too peas in a Podcast, Inclusion Dialogue and a number of True Crime podcasts, I saw the power in them. It’s an accessible medium to deliver messages and can bring together communities of people. I realised that parents in particular often use podcast listening as a way to relax and learn at the same time. I’ve even been on a couple before, This Glorious Mess (A Mammamia Podcast) and Too Peas in a Podcast. Kate was one of the people that really supported me in the idea of starting my own.
Once I realised I wanted to do this, I thought about a name and Square Peg Round Whole fit, because it fits the situation that neuro-divergent people find themselves in every day. The word divergent, actually means that something is different. This podcast talks about diversity and difference and the attempt to fit those who are different into a ‘typical’ environment that represents the majority. The reason I chose to spell hole with a ‘w’ was a play on words to help identify the podcast from the others with a similar name. The fact it represents that these ‘square pegs’ are whole people and we need them to stay that way, not be broken from the constant attempts at trying to make them round pegs. We need to adapt the holes, not the pegs!
My vision for the podcast in the short term, is to build a community of neuro-divergent people, their families and advocates and provide them with a place they can go to, to access information in the form of well evidenced, inclusive resources, listen to experts on the podcast and experience the mindshift needed to understand neuro-divergence and how to respectfully work with and support the neuro-divergent community. Longer term, I’d like to facilitate a large, motivated, knowledgeable group of people to act, when needed. To be a loud voice for the community, so those who deliver education and employ people, know to listen and consult with the community. The community needs an activated, credible organisation that can be taken seriously by those in power and I’d love Square Peg, Round Whole to be that. If I can do my bit to help make the world safer, more respectful and kinder to those with neuro-divergencies, then I’ll be very happy.
At the moment Square Peg, Round Whole is a side hustle for me. I’d love to be in a position that it becomes a full time paid job for me, I do pour my heart and soul into it daily. I’m motivated and inspired by others who are passionate about social justice such as Grace Tame, the late Eddie Jaku and my own two sons, Matt and Liam. Their resilience and their kind hearts make me value my privileged life. Personally, I am driven by the experiences my children have had, to make the world a better place for them, but I am supported by my husband, Ash, who has always encouraged me, keeps me focused and is happy for me with any wins and successes along the way!
If you want to support my vision and podcast, it would mean the world to me and you can become a patreon member for a small amount each month, giving you early access to episodes, special access to guests and input into episodes and topics. Just visit https://www.patreon.com/squarepegroundwhole to find out more.
To all listeners, followers and guests to the show, I am so grateful. Wherever this journey takes me, I feel privileged to offer my support and be a voice lifting up the neuro-divergent community as I learn, alongside my listeners, every day from their lived experience.