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Neurodiversity

By Dr. Patty Williams on April 21, 2018

BISN founder and president Dr. Patty Williams is a trauma therapist who specializes in EMDR, ND-Affirmative DBT, and IFS modalities. Through Bright Insight Support Network, she works to counsel, coach, and advocate for gifted, twice-exceptional, and neurodivergent persons, along with other marginalized populations.




Neurodiversity


Birds of a feather flock together… true story. This is often why we have friends and partners with similar neurological aptitudes.


Have you found your people? Do you have a safe space where you can be your fully neurodivergent self?

Your what?

In the 1990s, Autism advocate Judy Singer coined the word "neurodiversity" and suggested it helped society understand that the neurologically different, such as those with Autism, ADHD, Tourette's, Dyslexia, Giftedness, etc., had experienced atypical (neurodivergent) neurological development and a qualitatively different-than-typical existence. This divergence, per Singer and the Neurodiversity Movement, is a normal human difference that should be recognized and respected as any other human variation.


Singer also believed that neurodiversity should not be first seen as problematic or pathological, since it is simply an alternate and acceptable form of the human experience.

I agree. But so what?

Why do we care (so much) about neurodiversity?


For me, I see it as a difference that often prompts discrimination, angst, and misunderstanding, but is not readily acknowledged because it is not easily seen. It is also not readily accepted in society and is often even demonized or corrected with medications, glares of disapproval, or suggestions that one should simply try harder to conform.

Yeah- just try harder to not be who you are, please (gross).

We attempt to adjust and accept as a society when it comes to diversity concerning race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc., and we should, but we are slow to accept those who think, process, and even behave differently than the majority.


What should we do about this then, if anything?

Should we be more accepting of all diversity?

Are there limitations?

Is it OK that we simply prescribe ABA for Autistic kiddos, methylphenidate for our ADHD folks, or suggest “Well their grades are fine so they don’t need services” for our gifted and 2E students?

What do you think?


Tell me about your experiences with and thoughts about neurodiversity. I would LOVE to know!



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