ADHD this and Neurodivergent that...
this is an ADHD to ASD and everything in between and around advocacy camp! this article is for people who are shocked by the influx of people identifying as ASD/ADHD and for people who suspect that it might be them and need just a little more information.
Let us get started with some warm and fuzzy facts!
fact: Humans are diverse. our minds, brains and processes are diverse. our ethnicities and genders are diverse. our sexualities are diverse.
fact: there is no right way for a brain to work and there is no right way for a human to be outside of the very real lived experience.
bonus fact: capitalism and productivity culture creates stressful and unrealistic environments for all types of brains
"Different people think differently - not just because of differences in culture or life experience, but because their brains are "wired" to work differently." (Source)
Neurodivergent Experiences includes but are not limited to:
Autism and other Autism Spectrum Disorders(ASD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
(some even said left-handedness at one point in time lol)
i think it's so cool that social media, younger scholars, and easier access to the internet has created a place for people to learn more about themselves, their patterns and that other people share some of their same experiences.
a lot more people are noticing patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving that could fit into the signifiers for ASD and ADHD and the professional, social and familial reaction to too many of these people (myself included) has been a mix of dismissiveness, judgement
and complete lack of understanding. if you suspect that you are neurodivergent and have had these experiences, I want to apologize because it was unacceptable. Who knows you better than you? who spends more time with you than you? Oh, okay.
we really have australian, Autistic, sociologist Judy Singer to thank for the term "neurodiversity" and Kassiane Asasumasu a multiply neurodivergent Hapa (biracial Asian) longtime autistic activist to thank for the term "neurodivergent". these contributions are huge in shifting how we even think about, interact with and treat people who have "atypical" neurological functions and processes. for more and also a great resource <livedexperiencecounsellor>
more people are reporting being neurodivergent because they now have access to the information, it is not a trend.
you can: extend grace and compassion. this world is not set up for atypical minds to flourish, not without significant stress.
you can: learn about how the strengths and benefits that come with neurodiversity
you can: consider searching for a therapist. building a relationship with a therapist can be helpful for sifting through and understanding what being neurodivergent means in general and may mean for you. this relationship may also be supportive as you accept what being neurodivergent means for your life moving forward.
you can: journal, discuss and/or read about the biases that may be internalized about people who live life in the "atypical" lane. any judgment there may be connected to the fear of being treated poorly in society
mychelle, lpc, ncc
queer black therapist and founder of Therapy To A Tea, Co