Multicolored Human Brain

Dr. Mel

Dalgleish

coach & educator


Virtual | Toronto, ON

about me

Janet from The Good Place giving two thumbs up with the text "not a girl" superimposed over her chest.

If you're looking to build a better version of your life‚ÄĒone that's ūüíĮ authentic to your queer, neurodivergent,* and/or disabled self‚ÄĒI'm your girl.


(Except for the girl part.)

I'm an autistic, non-binary and queer coach, parent, and partner with ‚ÄčADHD and C-PTSD. I'm also an educator, career development professional, ‚Äčdisability rights advocate, and positive psychology stan.


Collecting degrees is one of my special interests, and I have an honors BA ‚Äčand Bachelor of Education along with an MA and PhD. I'll be certified with ‚Äčthe International Federation of Coaches in 2024, and I have certificates ‚Äčand training in coaching, positive psychology, Indigenous cultural safety, ‚Äčproject management, Lean Six Sigma, EDI, e-learning, blah blah blah. (I ‚Äčtold you I love learning! And my cats.)

* We love and respect self-diagnosis, self-identification, and self-discovery around here.


As your coach, my job is to honour and support who you are and how your brain works‚ÄĒand that doesn't require a special piece of paper.

My favourite clients are ‚Äčneurodivergent people who are ‚Äčlooking at their lives and going ‚Äč"is this it"?


It isn't.


And together, we can write a ‚Äčradically awesome next ‚Äčchapter in your story.

A smiling mid-fat white woman wearing a colourful anorak, grey toque, and sunglasses.

We might be a good fit if you are:

Eligible for OSAP-BSWD

Looking for more sustainable and supportive ways of working, living, creating, and achieving your goals

Seeking to understand who you are and what you need after discovering your neurodivergence

A disabled and/or neurodivergent leader who wants to level up your career‚ÄĒbut not at the expense of your wellbeing

A neurodivergent and/or disabled student who is looking for support and accountability as you work toward your goals

In need of, or at the precipice of, a big change and looking for help with developing your big vision and figuring out next steps

Craving the right life for you‚ÄĒnot the life you've been told you "should" be living‚ÄĒand in need of help to get there

Burnt out (including autistic and ADHD burnout) and need more sustainable ways of living and working

Raising neurodivergent and/or disabled kids (including unschooling and supporting PDAers)

Developed by Sonny Jane Wise, the Neurodiversity Affirming Practice framework is a set of principles for ethically and effectively working with and supporting neurodivergent people. (It works great for neurotypical people too!)


Neurodiversity-affirming is currently a trendy label, but not all providers will genuinely support you in understanding and being exactly who you are, without limits. I will.


The principles of neurodiversity affirming practice are:


  • Intersectionality
  • Respecting autonomy
  • Presuming competence
  • Validating differences
  • Rejecting neuronormativity
  • Reframing expectations
  • Promoting self-advocacy
  • Prioritizing lived-experience
  • Nurturing positive self-identity
  • Adapting systems and environments
  • Honouring all forms of communication

This is a Neurodiversity Affirming Practice

Wait, what does that mean?

What does coaching cost?

College & University Students

Professionals

Organizations

$250/month

$450/month

Contact me for more information

Includes:


  • 2 x 50 minute 1:1 coaching sessions
  • optional virtual co-working/body doubling
  • email/text support between sessions
  • access to learning & resource library

Includes:


  • 2 x 50 minute 1:1 coaching sessions
  • optional virtual co-working/body doubling
  • email/text support between sessions
  • access to learning & resource library

I offer custom coaching packages for organizations seeking 1:1 support for their neurodivergent and/or disabled executives and staff

Note:


I can also provide term-by-term or academic-year quotes

Note:


Many organizations have professional development funding that can be used for coaching

I also offer professional development talks for HR, leaders, and managers

I also offer significantly discounted rates for First Nations, M√©tis, and Inuit clients and have the occasional sliding-scale spot‚ÄĒemail for information.

Want to see if we click and learn more?

Book a free chat:

Email me:

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Social Responsibility

April 2024 donation:



sent!

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I live, work, and learn in the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Wendake,

Haudenosaunee, and Mississaugas, which is also ‚ÄėDish with One Spoon' territory. The Dish with One Spoon is ‚Äča treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas, and Haudenosaunee‚ÄĒone that extends to all of us who live ‚Äčin and around Toronto‚ÄĒthat binds us all to share this territory and protect the land.


My work toward reconciliation takes place through informed, ethical, and culturally literate coaching, ‚Äčlearning, teaching, policy-making, advocacy, and community building. As an uninvited white settler aiming to ‚Äčbe worthy of being a welcomed guest on these lands, I commit to: educating myself further, acting against ‚Äčsettler colonialism, paying reparations to the peoples whose stolen land I benefit from, and land back.


10% of all profits go to Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction and I offer substantially discounted ‚Äčcoaching to First Nations, M√©tis, and Inuit people, regardless of income.

Racism, sexism, anti- trans, -queer, and -fat bias, ableism, and sanism impact our ability to succeed under ‚Äčcapitalism.


When possible, I offer sliding-scale coaching places to people who can’t otherwise afford it.


Please contact me to inquire about open sliding-scale spots or, should none currently be available, join the ‚Äčwaitlist.

What I’m Reading

What You Are Hiding Could Be Hurting You: Autistic Masking in Relation to Mental ‚ÄčHealth, Interpersonal Trauma, Authenticity, and Self-Esteem.

Joshua A. Evans, Elizabeth J. Krumrei-Mancuso, and Steven V. Rouse

Autism in Adulthood 2024 6:2, 229-240

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/epdf/10.1089/aut.2022.0115

This study asked 342 autistic adults (formally diagnosed and self-identified) about how ‚Äčautistic masking impacted their mental health, relationships, authenticity, and self-‚Äčesteem.


The study results support the theory that autistic masking is, at least in part, a trauma ‚Äčresponse prompted by bad experiences with social interactions. We mask in an attempt ‚Äčto avoid further social stigma and keep ourselves safe.


The trauma-response theory also helps explain why autistic people very frequently have



co-diagnoses or experiernces of depression and/or anxiety: because interpersonal ‚Äčtrauma‚ÄĒand masking as a symptom of it and bulwark against it‚ÄĒharms our mental ‚Äčhealth, our self-esteem, and our ability to connect with (or share) our authentic selves.


Until we live in a society where it‚Äôs safe to be whoever you are, however you are, it‚Äôs ‚Äčunlikely that we‚Äôre fully going to be able to avoid the negative impacts of masking‚ÄĒso ‚Äčlong as we‚Äôre rejected or shamed for exhibiting autistic traits, our brains and bodies will ‚Äčunconsciously continue to mask to protect us.


But, as the authors note, studies like this are further evidence that so-called ‚Äútherapies‚ÄĚ ‚Äčthat force or promote masking, or that shame people for their autistic traits, are harmful ‚Äčand should be combatted. The same goes for education and parenting practices that ‚Äčdon‚Äôt celebrate and affirm neurodivergent kids for being exactly who they are.


The study results also suggest that working with a neurodiversity-affirming therapist or ‚Äčcoach to learn about what masking looks like for you and experiment with safely ‚Äčunmasking may improve your mental health, relationships, authenticity, and self-‚Äčesteem.