Jo Redman, World Championship Kickboxer, wasn’t diagnosed with Asperger’s until she was an adult. Because Jo grew up unaware of the diagnosis and didn’t know why she felt so different, it was difficult for her. It was not easy for her to forge friendships, and she felt isolated from her peers and the rest of the world. She was even bullied and called mean names, and being on the spectrum meant it was harder for her to brush off the criticisms.
Her father originally introduced her to kickboxing, thinking it might boost her confidence level. But he couldn’t have known how far she would take it. Once she set a goal to become a world champion, there was no stopping her.
When Jo was officially diagnosed, it opened up a new world for her. Her mindset changed. She suddenly learned that her differences were not necessarily bad things, and that she wasn’t the only one dealing with the types of things she was going through.
“It was like a flash of light to say, ‘Nothing’s actually wrong with you. You just are a little different,'” Jo says.
Watch this video to hear more of Jo’s inspirational story!
C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.