Sunday 15 April 2018

Autism Acceptance Month 2018 Day 15: N is for Neurodiversity

BSL: brain (neuro) (bottom signs) + diversity

N is for Neurodiversity

The definition of neurodiversity reads thus:

"the variation and differences in neurological structure and function that exist among human beings, especially when viewed as being normal and natural rather than pathological:
recognizing autism as an example of neurodiversity."

Autism is part of the neurodiversity paradigm, which recognises that there are different kinds of brain setups. Accepting neurodiversity means accepting people for who they are, how their brains work and not trying to change them to be more "normal" (ie. fit in with the majority of society). Certain interventions, such as ABA, seek to homogenise us, to hide the autism, but they're only ever a surface thing - however NT a person may present, they are still autistic.

It's a normal part of the human species; it's just an alternative operating system. While the majority of the world runs on Windows, neurodiverse people run on Linux (baffling at first to those familiar with the prevailing system, but easy once you know how to work with it).

Neurodiversity means not suppressing autistic/other neurodiverse behaviours. Neurodiversity means not enforcing abritrary rules and demands on us.

Neurodiversity means recognising that we are not broken and do not need to be fixed.

Neurodiversity means being openly autistic/Tourette's/etc in public without having to worry about being mocked, derided, abused or, in the US, being shot by the police.

Neurodiversity means having accommodations in place to enable people to access spaces, events, services, etc. and people happy to accommodate. This includes supports.

Neurodiversity means no discrimination or barriers to employment or education.

Neurodiversity means equal civil rights for neurotypical and neurodiverse people.

Neurodiversity means acceptance as we are, authentically us.


Image from 

On the subject of brains, mine is currently not working very well due to fibro- and ME-related brain fog, so this post is short. I will leave you with several good articles about neurodiversity.

Nick Walker: Neurodiversity

Autism Acceptance Month

The Art of Autism

Harvard Business Review: Neurodiversity as a competitive advantage

Ann's Autism Blog: Autism is a neurodiversity, not a mental health condition

The Autistic Advocate: Why neurodiversity needs self-advocacy

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