Alison Hayes: Contributor
Topics: interplay between physical and mental health, anxiety, depression, FND, pre-planning, and self-advocacy
Alison Hayes has a long history with disability and disabling conditions. She managed a mild learning disability in childhood, confusing her classmates by being in both advanced classes and the ‘resource room’. She was diagnosed with depression at the age of 9, and had her first unexplainable symptoms within a year or two of that. While in college, she started having strange movement symptoms, leading to an eventual diagnosis of conversion disorder in 2003. Since then, she
-got on to SSDI,
-got trained and certified in geographic information systems(GIS),
-discovered new muscles by pulling, straining or spraining them,
-taught college courses in GIS,
-Taught a lot of doctors about FND
-got a master’s degree in organizational change management,
-regained the ability to safely use stairs, and
-Started her own business. Twice.
She currently runs Thriving While Disabled(www.thrivingwhiledisabled.com), a blog to encourage others with disabilities to take back control of their lives, and is working on a community-building tool to enable the disabled community.
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