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What is Neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity: the notion that there are various types of brain in the world, all of which are equally valid and worthy in their own right
Neurotypical: a term to describe those with typical neurological development or functioning
Neurodivergent: a term to describe those whose psychological or neurological functioning differs from that which is considered 'typical'
Neurotype: your brain style. This could be Autistic, ADHD, Dyslexic, OCD, Neurotypical, and more.
Allistic: refers to people who are not Autistic
Neurodiversity Affirming: the idea that differences in brain style are the result of natural variations of human evolution, and are not deficits that need to be corrected
The Neurodivergent Life
Trying to adjust to a neurotypical world can greatly impact you. Fighting against every instinct, need, want and habit you have. All day, every day. Just to navigate and fit into a world that doesn’t fit you? All whilst tolerating so much agitation, stress and panic, because your fight/flight system is being triggered by everything, everywhere, to fire all over the place. Even after peeling that tight, heavy mask off your face and body, taking hours to decompress and restore your calm. Only to do it all again tomorrow.
There’s not much else in the world more draining and more challenging than having to force your own nervous system to fit a world it doesn’t naturally fit, every single day. It’s really unfair that it even needs to be done and doing it can be very traumatic with lots of side effects.
This is how life really is, if not for you personally, for many other people and most likely, at least one person you really love. A lot of people are living life like this, and don’t even know they are neurodivergent.
For us being Neurodiversity affirming means...
we respect and listen to the needs of neurodivergent people
we are strengths based not deficit focused
we use the neurotype/identity/culture model and are explicit when we need to use the medical/pathological model (mostly for diagnostic purposes....)
we appreciate, listen and support neurodivergent people at the sensory / somatic level
we adapt our environment as much as we can, and encourage support networks to do the same to meet ND needs
our therapies/support strategies are for support not to change / modify the ND person or "make them fit"
that if we are not neurodivergent ourselves, that our work is informed by neurodivergent individuals including researchers, writers, speakers and presenters
that any neurotypical input is as an ally
Read More on Neurodivergence
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