[BQ Hero Series] Creating a Good Fit Environment for Neurodiverse Brains, with Jacquelyn Fede

In this episode of the Bright & Quirky Hero Series, Jacquelyn Fede, PhD, Assistant Research Professor at the University of Rhode Island, shares how her autism diagnosis was pivotal to creating a healthy work environment for herself. 

While Jacquelyn was highly capable at doing the work itself, the office environment was highly damaging to her mental health. 

Take a listen to hear how her diagnosis helped her understand herself and create a work environment she truly enjoys. 

FYI, some teachers and schools may be open to making a better-fit learning environment for your child.

What's bubbling up for you after hearing this vlog? Let us know in the comments section below.


  1. Tara on November 5, 2021 at 8:00 am

    I’d love to be able to share this video with my HR network on LinkedIn. It’s important for employers to know there things they can do to better support a neuro diverse team.

    • Laura Zug on November 5, 2021 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment, Tara. I agree that this information is so important for employers. You are more than welcome to share the Bright & Quirky blog with your network. There’s a Facebook sharing button at the top of this page or you may simply share the link: https://bit.ly/goodfitenvironment.

  2. Sue on November 5, 2021 at 8:32 am

    So it seems necessary to have several profiles and then adjust approaches to work and choose environments that fit. How does one you develop the profiles and what guidance is there to adjusting and choosing well?

  3. Claire on November 5, 2021 at 8:49 am

    I want to hear more! 🙂

  4. Maria Isabel De Rubiera on November 5, 2021 at 9:56 am

    How many people have been living this nightmare without finding a solution. Neurodiversity is more common than years ago. It’s time to be more supportive and knowledgeable about others issues. It should be a balance in life and break the paradigm about how everything should be set. Its time to open the way of seeing a new horizon for the generations that are asking to be included and accepted with all those talents they have. Thank you!

  5. Deborah Bosner on November 5, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Oh, Tara. We so need people like you in our HR organizations and in our schools.

  6. Adrien on November 5, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    I would also like to hear more! What menu of accommodations is deemed reasonable? How are needs explained professionally? Please do a part two with Jacquelyn!
    Also, how to get employers for supportiveness of needs and neurodiversity in the interview process.
    And approach to diagnosis for adults. Many of us are familiar with the pathway for children, but based on some experiences my family has had, the part for adults to get accurate diagnosis seems less clear.

  7. Michelle on November 5, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    Tears. Every time I hear things like this I’m thinking, “the two screeners and the school must have missed it”. Please, how do people get diagnosed correctly and get the help they need?

  8. Janice Gillis on November 6, 2021 at 5:24 am

    Hi, thanks for this episode – this resonates with me as my daughter was diagnosed as high-functioning autism this past summer. We are sill learning ways to support her particularly as she feels like a failure and worthless. Is it possible to view then entire interview?

    • Laura Pyle on November 10, 2021 at 8:43 am

      Thanks for your comment. We are so glad that the conversation resonated with you. The full conversation with Jacquelyn Fede, PhD and Amy Laurent, PhD can be found in our IdeaLab, which is our online learning community.

      Enrollment for the IdeaLab will open in the next few months. Please click here for more information and to join the waitlist.

  9. Nicole on November 6, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    I loved reading this. I’m only two years into my 9 year olds autism diagnosis and understanding her. It’s wonderful to hear you explain it so beautifully. She has major school refusal no sensory overload so I’m slowly understanding how things need to be adjusted to help her cope.

  10. John on November 8, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Besides Jacquelyn’s ability to better explain her differences to others, I am just curious about the nature of the supports that afforded success.

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