Why I support Neurodiversity.

I support neurodiversity. The meaning of neurodiversity according to John Elder Robison is the idea that disorders such as Autism or ADHD are a natural variation in the human genome. A Neurotypical person is a person who’s mind/brain works in a way that are close to the social norm. I think both neurotypical people and people who have disorders have special talents/gifts.

One of the problems between neurotypical people and Autistic people is that some neurotypical people just CAN’T understand the struggles of an Autistic person. Another problem is social judgment. Picture this, An Autistic woman with high anxiety and sensory issues is sitting in a busy cafeteria in a college school. She starts stimming to comfort herself. A person walks by and gives her a strange look because he doesn’t understand that she is stimming to self-regulate herself and calm herself.

Not all people are like this. I also want to say that not all Autistic people have high anxiety and sensory issues. In fact, I know a couple of Autistic people that don’t have sensory issues like me, that’s why Autism is called Autism spectrum disorder, everybody is different. One Autistic person may have hypersensitivity to sound and may be agitated by the sound of a sweeper (me), another may not be bothered by a sweeper at all. One Autistic person might be able to go up to a person and instantly hit off a conversation. Another Autistic person might be very anxious and will only be able to talk to a person for a few minutes before needing to have a break.

Although I am proud to be Autistic, I sometimes wish that I did not have sensory issues. I would be able to talk to other people in large gatherings if I didn’t have sound hypersensitivity. Yes, I do need breaks from socializing, yes I do have social anxiety, and yes, I am an introvert, but I do like people (once I get to know them).

I support Neurodiversity because Autistic people are different, not less. Just because somebody is covering their ears because they have sensory issues to sound doesn’t mean they are crazy or dumb. I believe that Autistic people should be accepted the way that they are. I believe Autistic people should be accepted if they flap their hands vigorously, I believe Autistic people should be accepted if they rock back and forth, and I believe Autistic people should be accepted if they cover their ears when hearing a loud sound.

Yes, we may look different, but we have talents and gifts. We may struggle with constant anxiety, sensory issues, and socializing difficulties. We may experience sensory overload, shutdowns, and meltdowns. But, Autism has it’s hidden gifts and it’s a part of who we are. We don’t need to be “Normal”.

This is why I support Neurodiversity.

photo credit: Nata Luna brain via photopin (license)

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