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Nice to meet you!
My name is
Monica Attia.

As a first-generation Egyptian-American woman with both ADHD and autism, I am no stranger to feeling (generally) out of place. All that younger me wanted was to be seen and understood. And, ironically, that’s the gift that receiving an AuDHD diagnosis from a fellow neurodivergent therapist gave me. 

I now take pride in my neurodivergence. So much so, that if given the option, I wouldn’t switch brains. Even if it would have definitely made my childhood and adolescence easier.

 

Why? Because my neurodiversity connects me to a community of resilient and amazing folks. 

It’s now my life’s mission as a therapist to support and celebrate other neurodiverse individuals. This world wasn’t designed with our needs in mind, but this world is made better because we’re in it. 

You deserve to feel seen and understood, too.

My Story

CHILDHOOD “Don’t be weird.” That was the mantra for most of my childhood. It felt like I was constantly trying to play the role of “normal kid”, instead of just being a kid. I was told I was too shy and too loud. I had an old soul and I was a “cry baby”. I just wanted to fit in, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t seem to get it right. I spent hours a day watching my peers, reading fiction books, and watching TV with the sole purpose of learning how to make friends. I couldn't shake the feeling that everyone, but me, got a rulebook for how to exist. Maybe parts of my experience sound familiar to you. Autism is often missed in young women and people of color because the diagnosis was not originally studied with us in mind. I went undiagnosed for decades, and over time, I created the perfect “normal person” mask for every occasion. DIAGNOSIS I was diagnosed with ADHD and autism as an adult by accident. I was seeing a therapist again because, even though I had worked through all the Big Stuff in my 20s, something still felt off. At this point, I had changed my career from lawyer to therapist. I was married to a person I love very much. I had just lost my dad, but I also had a beautiful community of people around me. So what was the problem? I was still forcing myself to show up as that “normal person” mask and ignoring how awful it made me feel. My therapist, who is also neurodivergent, was able to pick up on the signs right away. She knew all the right questions to ask me, because she had studied what autism and ADHD looks like in women. She had lived experience of it too, and knew what that awful feeling was. Because she felt it too. Now I get to pay it forward and help other folks like me! Because it does look different, and we shouldn’t have to force ourselves to be anything we don’t want to be. UNMASKING I wish I could say that receiving a diagnosis made it so I never had to struggle again. It did not, in fact, completely eliminate the sensory sensitivities, executive dysfunction, and negative social stigma. But it gave me the strength and tools to take care of myself the way that I need to thrive. My diagnosis also brought me closer to people I love. It turns out that a lot of my close friends are also neurodivergent! But because I didn’t have a name for why my brain felt so different, I hid parts of who I was. While masking provided me with a sense of safety when I needed it, it no longer serves me. I’m free to be as weird as I want to be! Will you join me?

Monica Attia with her dog

Stuff about Me

 

Myers Briggs: INFJ

Neurodivergent: Autism & ADHD

First generation immigrant

LGBTQIA+ Ally

Bookworm

Thalassophile (sea lover)

Standup Comedy Fan

Weightlifter

Monica Attia on the beach

Credentials

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