Mental Health Training

My Difference was my Strength all Along, By Jane McNeice

Posted by on 11 Feb, 2024 in Mental Health |

My Difference was my Strength all Along, By Jane McNeice

Mum-of-three, and grandmother of four, social entrepreneur, Jane McNeice shares her life changing diagnosis that took her from feeling broken, to the knowledge that she was different to the recognition that her difference was her strength all along!

At age 45 Jane McNeice learned she is Autistic. Her memoir and debut book The Umbrella Picker documents her journey to finding her neurological truth (which was self-identified), through to accessing a formal diagnosis a year later and the journey that followed.

Jane’s second book (launched on 13th Feb 2024) Strength not Deficit moves beyond the journey to the knowing she has today. Jane has worked out the secret to her own success – a very specific Autistic trait – and how this has created the successes that were keeping her Autism hidden for a long time.

Though the trait is specific to neurodivergents such as those with Autism, its qualities can be emulated by neurotypicals to achieve success.Strength not Deficit, book, Jane McNeice, Autism, anxiety, mental illness, business success, success, obsession, Autistic.

Jane does not shy away from the fact that success and challenge/suffering are not mutually exclusive, but rather highlights that, very often, they are bedfellows.

Strength not Deficit makes predictions about the future for Autistic and neurodivergent people, who will be found, and how finding other unidentified Autistics helps neurodiversity, and could change a system which currently finds Autistic people by pathologising all and everything they are. Jane challenges Ableism.

“I did not get an Autism diagnosis because I can memorise 7500 words verbatim in a matter of days, or because I achieved first class grades at university, or because I run marathons. I got an Autism diagnosis because the assessment process, as it is currently, says that what I am is a deficit. Why is it that we identify neurodivergence solely through deficit, rather than through strengths?”


“We are always in need of more stories that will inspire people and help spur them on as they ready themselves to take the plunge into the high-stakes world of entrepreneurialism. Getting a business up and running from scratch can be an incredibly daunting task – no matter your aptitude or level of experience – and it’s not always easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With Strength Not Deficit, author and accomplished entrepreneur Jane McNeice offers a refreshingly positive outlook that is sure to motivate any aspiring businessperson and fill them with the confidence they need to succeed.”

“Challenging ableist views and societal stigmas, her story illustrates that Autism needn’t be an obstacle to overcome in business and that, on the contrary, it can be a real advantage. Yet while her experiences are undoubtedly specific, the lessons gleaned from them can be applied to anyone who has a goal that they are trying to achieve.”

Daniel Fell, CEO at Doncaster Chamber.

More about Jane:

Jane McNeice is owner of Mind Matters a mental health training company based in Yorkshire delivering training across the UK and beyond.

Jane’s ‘lived experience’ of late diagnosis Autism has been featured in a number of media outlets…


Strength not Deficit Publication date: 13th February 2024

Amazon link:

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