Founded by Dana Waters, PsyD, ABPP, Professor, Antioch University, Seattle. I began my “official” quest to be an autistic advocate and influencer by starting the AWAKE Project in March, 2019. I was diagnosed on the autism spectrum (Autie) in May of 2018 (I was 53 at the time). I had been a psychologist for nearly 20 years and I had no idea. Being diagnosed was a liberation for me and also terrifying. Is it OK for a psychologist to be on the autism spectrum?After my diagnosis, I spent a year voraciously reading everything I could about women Auties. In school, I had learned all about autism in kids and men, but was blown away about how differently women manifest neurodiversity. I was not surprised, however, to see most of the research was based on men. As a feminist, I was angry and motivated to promote change. I’ve decided I can’t live hiding my neurodiversity anymore. I feel the need to call out from a mountain top to raise awareness about how to promote autistic women’s advocacy, knowledge and empowerment. I am not sure exactly how that will manifest, but this is the first step. In April, I was fortunate enough to have one of my graduate students, Gwendolyn, join me at AWAKE. She will be contributing to content on this page. Dr. Waters’ Bio:Before pursuing human psychology, Dr. Waters worked in the veterinary field as a licensed veterinary technician for 17 years. During that time, she became interested in animal behavior and human bereavement from pet loss. She began her clinical work in 1989 as a group therapy facilitator utilizing psychodrama, art, expressive movement, and body-based therapies. She has extensive training and expertise in treating survivors of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse, and in working with individuals from dysfunctional, alcoholic, and abusive family systems. She holds a Doctorate in clinical psychology from the Adler University and a diplomat in clinical psychology (ABPP) from the American Board of Professional Psychology. Currently, she is core faculty and associate chair for the clinical psychology doctoral program at Antioch University in Seattle. She also has a private practice where she specializes treating adults with post-traumatic stress/complex trauma, LGBTQIA+ issues, folks on the spectrum, and chronic illness/pain. She teaches neurophysiology and statistics to doctoral students, so it should come as no surprise she is somewhat of a science geek. She loves old Sci-Fi movies (Brainstorm being one of her all-time favorites), and she also cut her teeth on Star Trek (Original and TNG). She has been working on a theory of psychology from the perspective of multiverses and string theory, for which she will never be done. She is a member to American Psychological Association (APA) divisions 56 (Trauma), 44 (LGBT), 33 (Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities/Autism Spectrum) and section 13 of division 17 (Human-Animal Interaction).