…but I’m Neurodivergent
Note: I posted this to my website’s blog in February. It followed the story about the word “neurotypical”, which I shared yesterday. It’s slightly edited and updated (where I referred to times).
The idea for my previous post about the word “neurotypical” first came to me last summer, after I watched the show Atypical. I wrote the post in my head and then forgot about it.
My usual approach to blogging is to write to educate. It’s been somewhat of a vision statement for blogging for well over a decade, through every blog. Even if I’m ranting, I want you to get something out of it that’s not just about me.
I didn’t do any research for my Neurotypical post at all, I just let my fingers type, so forgive me if you read it and thought I was talking out of my ass. Often, I do a ton of research for my posts.
After I’d finished that post, and while I was in the process of grabbing images for it, I came across two other terms, closely related to one another:
According to Autistic author Nick Walker, who knows way more about the terminology than I do, Neurodiversity is the diversity of human brains and minds. He called neurodiversity a biological fact. People are neurologically diverse.
I like this. It doesn’t imply normal/abnormal, right or wrong; it says that we’re all different, and we are. I know I said in my previous post that I don’t like to classify people in ways that marginalize them, but this at least makes sense to me.
I like this one less.
Neurodivergent means having a brain that functions in ways that diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of “normal.”
Yes, some brains do.
After some examples he says,
…neurodivergence is not intrinsically positive or negative, desirable or undesirable — it all depends on what sort of neurodivergence one is talking about.
I think my issue is with the word “normal”, like “typical”.
Note, I do not disagree with Walker, at all. I’m expressing how I feel about the words. Words don’t just have meaning; we have emotional connections to the words themselves. We also have reactions to the way words sound out loud. (You know what I’m talking about.)
Words don’t just have meaning; we have emotional connections to the words themselves.
(I anticipate that readers will highlight that one.)
Maybe it’s my baggage from being bullied as a child or not feeling normal as a kid with undiagnosed ADD/ADHD (I got the diagnosis when I was in my 20s). Maybe it’s that feeling of being marginalized that has stayed with me. We interpret the world and situations based on our experiences so far (another statement worth highlighting, IMO) and so it makes sense that my experience up until now affects my current perception of words and concepts. I have experienced the world for 42 years.
Also, see this post from Un-boxed Brain. I found this one first, and it took me to Walker.
Originally published at findinghealthwellness.com on February 23, 2018.