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The Legendary Leaders Podcast

Sep 10, 2020


How many times have you stigmatized autistic people, consciously or unconsciously? Maybe you are autistic yourself and you have to deal with the stigma associated with autism? The world would be a much better place if we could all view everyone as unique with or without conditions like autism since they do not define them.


Becca Lory Hector is an autism activist, a consultant, an author and a speaker. She was diagnosed with autism at the age of 36 and has since understood and owned why she is different. She is a real ambassador for autism and now encourages other autistic people to share their stories. She went through half her life without a proper diagnosis and was treated for other mental conditions she didn’t have.


Listen in to learn the importance of being curious about autistic people while eliminating any pre-existing stereotype. You will also learn some important lessons for you to practice as an autistic child-parent.



Key Takeaways:

  • Learning how not to be angry when you find out you’re different later in life;
  • The lessons you learn through the journey of figuring out mental illness or disorder;
  • How to control relationships and trust with people after they’ve been completely broken;
  • How to educate people and create more information around autism;
  • Creating awareness and allowing your child to grow with the knowledge of their autism condition.


If you enjoyed this episode, check out the video show notes and SUBSCRIBE TO THIS PODCAST on Apple Podcasts.


Episode Timeline:

  • [0:42] Intro
  • [6:00] She describes the first half of her life with different health and social struggles and how she self-diagnosed with autism.
  • [13:18] The absurdity of getting diagnosed with autism as an adult- finding the missing part of life.
  • [15:35] Why the medical system needs to be more informed on autism.
  • [19:21] How lack of information damaged Becca to lose hope and trust in the entire human race
  • [27:35] How to ‘normalize’ autism by educating the community and moving away from the stigma.
  • [32:30] Becca explains the growth she’s looking for in eliminating autism stigma.
  • [35:24] Why people need to stop being ignorant and be open to breaking the unhealthy stigma cycle.
  • [40:06] How to normalize autism in your house as a parent with family and friends.
  • [43:57] Why you need to expose yourself to autist adults as a parent to help in your child’s growth.
  • [50:21] Becca shares what she’s doing to create autism awareness


Standout Quotes:

  • “We’ve got to be more curious about one another, differences are key.”- Cathleen Merkel [26:45]


  • “There are decisions that you get to make when you have all the information. Why deprive your child of that information for an amount of time.” Becca Lory Hector [43:22]


  • “Nobody comes out of the womb picture-perfect, that’s a fallacy that we even think it.”- Becca Lory Hector [49:07]


  • “When your life doesn’t fit you and is not in alignment with who you are, you wake up every day and you just want to go on vacation.”- Becca Lory Hector [52:16]



Find | Cathleen Merkel


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Find | Becca Lory Hector


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Published Writing Samples:

Success: Creating a Life You Don't Need a Vacation From

Autism Saved My Life 

Happy Spectrumversary

The Big Sigh


Published Journal Articles:

“For the Love of Science?”, Lory Hector, B., Autism in Adulthood, Vol. 1, No. 1, Nicolaidis, Mary Ann Leibert Pub, March 2018


“Emotional Support Animals in the United States: Emergent Guidelines for Mental Health Clinicians”, Hoy-Gerlach, J., Vincent, A. & Lory Hector, B., Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Mental Health, Volume 6, Issue 2, Springer, December 2019






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About Cathleen: 


As a Thought Leader in the Mindset & (Self-) Leadership space, Cathleen supports high achieving, but worn-out women create a more content & balanced life without sacrificing their hard-earned success. Following a simple 6 step framework, she helps you not only reconnect with your inner feminine side; Cathleen also supports you to rediscover your REAL YOU!

Cathleen focuses on women who lost their sense of purpose, who feel they are running in a hamster wheel, trying to please everyone but themselves. She helps you to turn your careers, your social connections and personal life around so that you will start feeling fulfilled and excited again about the days to come.  

At the end of the process, Cathleen's clients will feel healthier, happier, energised and clear about their future.  

With over 15 years of leadership experience in Retail, Media & Broadcasting, Engineering and Property Investment, Cathleen has not only experienced the challenges and opportunities of a female leader herself, she has also been leading and supporting various leadership development initiatives within large, complex, multinational matrix organisations.


Only by deeply experiencing her very personal life challenges – ‘hitting a wall experiences’ –Cathleen was able to redefine her own purpose, deciding to bring ease and content to as many women as possible on the planet!


Tune in here: 



About Becca Lory Hector


BECCA LORY HECTOR, CAS, BCCS was diagnosed on the autism spectrum as an adult and has since become an active autism advocate, consultant, speaker, and author. With a focus on autistic quality of life, her work includes autism/neurodiversity consulting; public speaking engagements; a monthly newsletter, “Monthly Musings”; and a weekly YouTube news show, “Neurodiversity Newsstand. An animal lover with a special affinity for cats, Becca spends most of her free time with her many animals, her husband Antonio Hector, and their Emotional Support Animal (ESA), Sir Walter Underfoot.