Michelle Vines was born in Liverpool, Australia and grew up in a hilly forest region of Melbourne known as the Dandenong Ranges. After showing talent in the areas of mathematics and science, Michelle was accepted into the University of Melbourne where she received bachelor’s degrees with honors in chemical engineering and environmental science. Michelle began her career as a process engineer in the oil and gas industry and subsequently became a technical leader in manufacturing. However, after five years of feeling deeply unhappy in her work environment, Michelle paused her engineering career in 2008.
In 2010, Michelle moved to the United States with her one-year-old son, where she had another son the following year. She gradually grew to love the town of Houston, Texas, and has chosen to remain ever since.
At thirty years old, on the advice of friends, Michelle approached a psychologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center for assessment and was officially diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Michelle found the diagnosis to be a huge relief, and she has since dedicated a lot of her time to advocating for people on the Autism spectrum with the goal of helping the general public better understand the Autistic person’s perspective. In 2013, she gave a public presentation on “Life as an Adult with Asperger’s Syndrome,” which has been viewed by tens of thousands of people on YouTube and has been instrumental in giving many others hope and the courage to seek out their own Asperger’s diagnosis.