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What is Neurodiversity? Part 1


#neurodiversityatwork#creatinginclusion#diversityequityandinclusion


I'm very passionate about a topic, as I am neurodiverse. I've become educated on my neurodiversity and I advocate for inclusion in work environments, at all levels.



Psychology Today defines neurodiversity as referring to any kind of difference in brain development. It’s contrasted against the medical model that provides a fixed mindset approach to brain development. That mindset often leads us in the direction of Prevention, or treatments, or cures, and that's not the focus of neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is about inclusion. Everybody wants to have ally-ship from others, we want a sense of belonging, and we want our value to be seen. If you look back on the history of the term neurodiversity, it started in the 90s, Judy Singer (an Australian scholar) first coined the term neurodiversity. The social movement of neurodiversity is strongly tied to the social model of disability. Neurodiversity inclusion is a civil rights mindset. The focus on inclusion is a global movement, there is a global push to move toward inclusive neurodiverse communities.


The original mindset focused on a Medical Model is a fixed mindset of disability, seeing the neurodiversity as a problem that needs correcting. Whereas now it is socially acceptable to look at neurodiversity from a growth mindset, neurodiversity is a natural form of brain development. The goal is to accommodate all neurodiverse people in all areas of life. When we consider we have 100 billion brain cells, they all connect in various ways, in different ways; it is no surprise that we all are different. It is easy to assume other people will present, see, process, or act like us and that is not the case. Everyone benefits from being able to be themselves around other people.


The terminology we use to describe some of the diagnosable behaviors, under the umbrella of neurodiversity, are Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, ADHA, Tourette Syndrome, Acquired Neurodiversity, Mental Health, Autism, DCA, & Dyspraxia. These neurodiverse terms are often stereotyped to have a negative connotation, but in fact, there is a lot of positive that comes along with neurodiversity. Some of the positives are creativity, authenticity, hyper-focus, innovative thinking, resilience, sensory awareness, honesty, & verbal skills. These skills bring energy and passion to the work environment.


I will discuss my journey to diagnosis in Part Two.

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