Neurodiversity is a popular term in recent years. It's the idea that different brain types and ways of thinking are normal and valuable. Instead of viewing neurodivergent individuals (e.g., Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and more) as having a deficit, neurodiversity affirms that these individuals have unique strengths and perspectives that should be respected and celebrated!
Differences NOT Deficits
One of the important principles of neurodiversity is that ALL brain types are valid. There is no “right” way of thinking or processing information, neurodivergent individuals are capable or intelligent. It’s important to recognize that it comes down to different learning styles and ways of processing information, and that accommodations may be necessary to ensure that they can fully participate in a society that is tailored to neurotypicals.
What can be helpful in identifying how we can support the individual in the way that they need? Some of the things we can think about are:
What is their learning style?
What is their communication style?
What environmental aspects are helpful and not helpful?
What are their strengths? How can they be useful tools in reaching goals important to the individual?
We want to emphasize the importance of a balance on both sides, neurodivergent individuals work hard everyday to navigate a neurotypical world, it is important that society as a whole also takes on the work to educate themselves about neurodiversity. By understanding and embracing differences in the brain, we can create a more inclusive and equitable society for all!
What are your thoughts? Share with us in the comments! ⬇️⬇️⬇️
I acknowledge that I, myself, am not neurodivergent and that this post may contain biases to my own personal and neurotypical experiences. I continue to listen and learn from autistic and other neurodivergent individuals in order to do better in my work of disseminating accessible S.T.E.M. learning.
I also aim to avoid ableist language. Many autistic individuals have expressed preference for identity first language vs. person-first language. I respectfully use identity first language in my writing. We also recognize that there are individuals whom prefer person-first language.