Monthly Archives: August 2015

Neurodiversity by Nick Walker

Neurodiversity by Nick Walker (click for downloadable pdf version)

Image:  poster with green top margin on upper and multicolored borders.   Text reads:   Neurodiversity is the diversity of human brains and minds, the infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within our species The Neurodiversity Paradigm is an emergent paradigm in which neurodiversity is understood to be a form of human diversity that is subject to the same social dynamics as other forms of diversity (including dynamics of power and oppression) Principles Neurodiversity is an essential form of human diversity.  The idea that there is one "normal" or "healthy" type of brain or mind or one "right" style of neurocognitive functioning, is no more valid than  the idea that there is one "normal" or "right" gender, race or culture. The classification of neurodivergence (e.g. autism, ADHD, dyslexia, bipolarity) as medical/psychiatric pathology has no valid scientific basis , and instead reflects cultural prejudice and oppresses those labeled as such.  The social dynamics around neurodiversity are similar to the dynamics that manifest around other forms of human diversity.  These dynamics include unequal distribution of social power; conversely, when embraced, diversity can act as a source of creative potential. In Practice Psychotherapists who integrate the neurodiversity paradigm into their work do so by refusing to label neurodivergence as intrinsically pathological. Instead of attempting to "cure" autistic or bipolar clients, for instance, these therapists seek to help autistic or bipolar people thrive as autistic or bipolar people, finding ways of living that are more in harmony with their natural neurological dispositions, and helping them to heal from internalized oppression. Development The Neurodiversity Movement has its origins in the Autistic Rights Movement that sprung up in the 1990's The term neurodiversity was coined in 1998 by an autistic Australian sociologist named Judy Singer, and was quickly picked up and expanded upon within the autistic activist community. The focus of work within the neurodiversity paradigm has broadened beyond autism to encompass other forms of neurodivergence, while at the same time the paradigm has increasingly gained footholds in various realms of scholarship, literature and praxis.

Image:
poster with green top margin on upper and multicolored borders. Text reads:
Neurodiversity is the diversity of human brains and minds, the infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within our species
The Neurodiversity Paradigm is an emergent paradigm in which neurodiversity is understood to be a form of human diversity that is subject to the same social dynamics as other forms of diversity (including dynamics of power and oppression)
Principles
Neurodiversity is an essential form of human diversity. The idea that there is one “normal” or “healthy” type of brain or mind or one “right” style of neurocognitive functioning, is no more valid than the idea that there is one “normal” or “right” gender, race or culture.
The classification of neurodivergence (e.g. autism, ADHD, dyslexia, bipolarity) as medical/psychiatric pathology has no valid scientific basis , and instead reflects cultural prejudice and oppresses those labeled as such.
The social dynamics around neurodiversity are similar to the dynamics that manifest around other forms of human diversity. These dynamics include unequal distribution of social power; conversely, when embraced, diversity can act as a source of creative potential.
In Practice
Psychotherapists who integrate the neurodiversity paradigm into their work do so by refusing to label neurodivergence as intrinsically pathological.
Instead of attempting to “cure” autistic or bipolar clients, for instance, these therapists seek to help autistic or bipolar people thrive as autistic or bipolar people, finding ways of living that are more in harmony with their natural neurological dispositions, and helping them to heal from internalized oppression.
Development
The Neurodiversity Movement has its origins in the Autistic Rights Movement that sprung up in the 1990’s
The term neurodiversity was coined in 1998 by an autistic Australian sociologist named Judy Singer, and was quickly picked up and expanded upon within the autistic activist community.
The focus of work within the neurodiversity paradigm has broadened beyond autism to encompass other forms of neurodivergence, while at the same time the paradigm has increasingly gained footholds in various realms of scholarship, literature and praxis.

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Parents, Intentional Communities & Autistic Safe Spaces

Image:  Blue,red and green framed white rectangles with multicolored text.  First rectangle says: Why was my comment removed? We are an Intentional Community and do our best to maintain an Autistic Safe Space...... Members of an Intentional Community share common values or a social or political ideology.   The intentions of our community are to promote the ideas of gentle parenting, autism acceptance, disability rights & justice,  and to highlight the experiences of Autistic people, who are the only true experts on Autistic lives.  This is NOT a parent support group. An Autistic Safe Space is a space where the dignity, autonomy and civil rights of Autistic people are prioritized over the feelings people have about disability and autism.  Your feelings about autism are less important than our humanity. This is why we have Community Guidelines! These guidelines include, but are not limited to: *no use of functioning labels   *no promotion of "therapies" that are dehumanizing and prioritize compliance over dignity   * talking over Autistic people or dismissing their concerns about ableist comments   *no ableist language   *respecting the privacy and dignity of your Autistic child   *talk of "cures"   *anti-vaccine rhetoric   *describing Autistic people with words like "tragedy", "lost", "burden", etc.   *sympathizing with or making excuses for those who murder or commit violence against their disabled children Those who refuse to follow our guidelines and the intentions of our community will find their comments removed and they will possibly be banned from participating in our community. Second Rectangle reads: BUT CENSORSHIP & FREE SPEECH!!!! Comments are not deleted simply because we disagree with them.  Comments are removed because YOU are making this space unsafe for Autistic or other marginalized people.   Free speech does NOT protect you from having your words challenged, from criticism or  from the consequences of your speech. There are an unlimited number of spaces for you to use oppressive and ableist speech. Not here.  Not ever.   Those who disagree with our guidelines and the intentions of our community are welcome to exercise their freedom by removing themselves. Lower right corner has multicolored image of geometric patterns and two red geometric people flapping.

Image: Blue,red and green framed white rectangles with multicolored text. First rectangle says:
Why was my comment removed?
We are an Intentional Community and do our best to maintain an Autistic Safe Space……
Members of an Intentional Community share common values or a social or political ideology. The intentions of our community are to promote the ideas of gentle parenting, autism acceptance, disability rights & justice, and to highlight the experiences of Autistic people, who are the only true experts on Autistic lives. This is NOT a parent support group.
An Autistic Safe Space is a space where the dignity, autonomy and civil rights of Autistic people are prioritized over the feelings people have about disability and autism. Your feelings about autism are less important than our humanity.
This is why we have Community Guidelines!
These guidelines include, but are not limited to:
*no use of functioning labels *no promotion of “therapies” that are dehumanizing and prioritize compliance over dignity * talking over Autistic people or dismissing their concerns about ableist comments *no ableist language *respecting the privacy and dignity of your Autistic child *talk of “cures” *anti-vaccine rhetoric *describing Autistic people with words like “tragedy”, “lost”, “burden”, etc. *sympathizing with or making excuses for those who murder or commit violence against their disabled children
Those who refuse to follow our guidelines and the intentions of our community will find their comments removed and they will possibly be banned from participating in our community.
Second Rectangle reads:
BUT CENSORSHIP & FREE SPEECH!!!!
Comments are not deleted simply because we disagree with them. Comments are removed because YOU are making this space unsafe for Autistic or other marginalized people.
Free speech does NOT protect you from having your words challenged, from criticism or from the consequences of your speech.
There are an unlimited number of spaces for you to use oppressive and ableist speech.
Not here.
Not ever.
Those who disagree with our guidelines and the intentions of our community are welcome to exercise their freedom by removing themselves.
Lower right corner has multicolored image of geometric patterns and two red geometric people flapping.