What It Is
Neurodiversity is a term used to describe those of us who think differently. Who have a neurological difference. A genetic variation. We are not neurotypical.
The neurodivergent experience the world in a unique way, which presents some challenges for us to fit into society. As a way of categorizing us, doctors have developed diagnostic labels such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and sensory processing disorder (SPD) just to name a few.
The problem with these diagnostic labels is that they suggest those of us who are neurodivergent have disorders that need to be fixed as opposed to providing an understanding of, and seeing the beauty in, our neurological differences. While some of us have unregulated nervous systems that need some care, we also have gifts that deserve just as much attention as our struggles.
I have received the diagnostic labels of SPD, OCD, PMDD, PTSD, SAD and GAD. You will see that many of us in the neurodivergent community prefer not to use our diagnostic labels as a way of setting ourselves apart, but as a way for us to come together. We are all neurodivergent no matter what our specific differences from the neurotypical may be.
Most of what I have learned about my own neurodiversity I owe to the neurodivergent community on Twitter and to the book, Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, by Steve Silberman.
There are many things you (or a loved one) can do as a neurodivergent to feel safe in a neurotypical world. For more information, please visit my Sensory Processing page.
What You Need to Know About Neurodiversity
by Steve Silberman