Let’s think about what NEURODIVERSITY means.
That viewpoint is that brain differences are normal, rather than deficits.
Neurodivergent people experience, interact with, and interpret the world in unique ways.
Do you think that’s a positive way to think about people around us who have brains that are wired differently?
It can help reduce stigma around learning and thinking differences.
Did you know that 1 in 6 children between the ages of 3 and 17 are considered neurodiverse? That equals about 17% of children in that age group
If we all started to view neurodevelopmental differences like DHD, ADHD, autism, and learning disabilities differently, what effect could that have on children and adults and families with that lived experience? If everyone noticed the strengths that can come from these differences first, instead of the challenges, we are shifting awareness and consciousness to a different viewpoint.
That’s the basic idea of neurodiversity, it provides a real opportunity to think about how we change our thinking and feelings and how we support people to xx their difference and thrive.
If we consider that differences don’t have to be weaknesses and they’re not problems that need to be “fixed” perhaps we can accept that they are simply variations of the human brain.
Understanding the neurodiversity view from a personal perspective can change how people think about themselves. Being neurodivergent can help shape identity and how people see themselves and their value in the world. Neurodivergent people experience, interact with, and interpret the world in unique ways. That can sometimes create challenges. But it can also lead to creative problem-solving and new ideas — things that benefit everyone.
Judy Singer, a sociologist on the autism spectrum, began using the term in the 1990s. so the term isn’t new, it is just becoming more mainstream. Judy rejected the idea that people with autism are disabled. Her view was that their brains just work differently from others.
Some activists in the autistic community and beyond embrace the term. They and others have used it to reduce stigma and promote inclusion in schools and in the workplace .
Research has shown differences in how the brain functions and in how it’s structured. That explains why neurodivergent people may experience challenges. But these differences don’t impact intelligence.
Neurodiversity and disability
The neurodiversity view is that differences aren’t deficits and are part of the mainstream. But it doesn’t mean that “diagnosis” or “disability” are bad words or concepts.
Being diagnosed with a disability gives people protections under the law. It allows children to have special education or supports at school. It allows adults to be supported in education and work too.
Acknowledging that neurodiversity and disability coexist has other benefits:
It makes it less likely that kids will be overlooked or fall through the cracks in school.
It makes it clear that everyone has challenges that deserve support.
It encourages research funding.
It’s important to recognise both neurodiversity and disability. These terms aren’t interchangeable. But each term is valuable. Plus, both terms can sometimes be part of self-identity.
You can find out a lot more about neurodiversity by following the links. Please note the views expressed are those of the authors, SLCo provides links for interest and information only
A personal story:
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