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Founder's Story

Mission

At Different & Able, we aim to show how everyone has unique capabilities and strengths to be celebrated. We are a community of friends, families, and individuals who are living with differences. We offer practical information from our panel of professionals from our members and share inspiring true stories that showcase the incredible unique challenges and talent of our community. Over the years, people have written, been interviewed, and been asked some of the hardest questions faced by members and caregivers of the disability community. 

We know how difficult it is to find support and a community. That is why Different & Able was created. We welcome you to join our community. Be informed. Be inspired. 

Before Alexandra founded Different & Able, she had to overcome some of her own differences. 

As a child, Alexandra had difficulty with fine and gross motor skills; her speech was delayed and she had learning difficulties. Throughout school, she had to go to physical, occupational, and speech therapy. In grade school, her differences became harder to manage, so she worked with a neuropsychologist, focusing on skills to succeed in the classroom. Alexandra had to work hard and devote extra hours to keep up with her schoolwork but she persevered. She was very fortunate to have parents and a support team who supported and encouraged her. 

Despite her hard work, the differences never disappeared and there were moments of frustration, disappointment, and despair. That did not stop her. She persisted in trying to compensate or avert obstacles so they did not impede her attaining her goals. When she saw that her goals were not realistic in terms of her differences, she modified her goals so that they were attainable. 

This experience has led Alexandra to found D&A. D&A provides encouragement, information, and support to others with differences to help them reduce obstacles to their goal attainment. She plays an active part in D&A (see the "Ask Ali" column) and has gathered a lot of information and a panel of experts to advise her and you in addressing obstacles that arise in your path. 

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Alexandra Nicklas

To overcome her physical weaknesses, Alexandra participated in occupational and physical therapy. Alexandra persevered with the help of her parents and support team.

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