hi everyone i’m amythest and welcome to this week’s episode of ask an autistic I wanna run a Sun to shine a light be the change we want set things right even waiting in the dark for so long the idea of neurodiversity the neurodiversity movement and and the ideas of autism and disability acceptance are topics that have been coming up a lot and I’ve been getting a lot of questions about them so I thought I’d do a video today to talk about neurodiversity and about acceptance and to hopefully clear up a few misconceptions about neuro diversity and answer some of your guys questions about it so let’s get started neuro diversity is a movement that arose out of the social model of disability in response to the medical model of disability and cure culture the neurodiversity movement while being a movement and a concept on its own is also a part of the larger disability rights movement which is a social justice and civil rights movement um by disabled people for disabled people because the neurodiversity movement has arisen out of the life experiences and the struggles and the accomplishments of autistic people and other neurodivergent people it is something that’s kind of hard to define basically there isn’t a neurodiversity manifesto there aren’t rules that you have to follow to be a part of the neurodiversity movement but there are some generally accepted principles these ideas behind neurodiversity to put it simply neurodiversity states that everybody on the planet has a different brain and that’s okay you may have heard the terms neurotypical and neural atypical or neurotypical and neurodivergent these terms are used by members of the neurodiversity community to differentiate the majority that is neurotypicals from the minority which is neural atypical brains there are some people who don’t really like the terms neurotypical and no atypical stating that since every single person on the planet has a different brain that there is no neurotypical and that a better term for neuro atypical might be neural minority but the most widely used terms are neuro typical and neuro atypical neuro typical referring to the larger majority people whose brains might fall under the umbrella of normal that is that they don’t fit the criteria for any neurological conditions or developmental disabilities or mental illnesses people who are neuro atypical or neurodivergent or in the neuro minority however you want to say it they do have different brains in the majority meaning that their brains with the criteria for a neurological condition developmental disability or mental illness or any combination of the three the neurodiversity movement asserts that variation in the human brain is a part of the human experience and then it’s an expected part of being human that there has always been variation in neuro type and that there will always be variation in neuro type and that differences in neuro type aren’t necessarily inherently bad or harmful and that the variations and differences that do exist with a neuro type are not something that should be discouraged or eradicated so what are some of them myths the misconceptions out there about neurodiversity firstly because neurodiversity is very closely entwined with autism and disability acceptance some people believe that neurodiversity means that you don’t do anything to help the disabled person in question that’s not the case some people seem to think that the neurodiversity movement is anti treatment or anti therapy and again not the case the neurodiversity movement asserts that the differences in narrow type things that aren’t harmful but are just a different way of being don’t need to be corrective so what that means is that an autistic persons natural autistic behaviors the ways that they naturally express themselves and communicate shouldn’t be corrected to be more neurotypical looking or more neurotypical sounding and that this is actually harmful to autistic people so in that way yes neurodiversity is against trying to make autistic people seem more neurotypical making that that looking normal that trying to seem less disabled the priority that’s wrong but when neurodiversity isn’t against is things like occupational therapy for sensory processing disorder or speech therapy for speech impairments or speech dyspraxia the neurodiversity movement isn’t against treatments either in fact we support the use of safe and effective treatments medicine biomedical treatments that have been proven and they do not carry a risk of harm greater than the benefit some of these safe and effective treatments might be the use of medication to treat ADHD or anxiety disorders or depression and of course in autistic people who have comorbid conditions that is conditions existing alongside of their autism like insomnia depression social anxiety epilepsy OCD ADHD neurodiversity movement doesn’t say you shouldn’t treat those things in fact you should but what doesn’t benefit from treatments or from biomedical intervention is autism itself there is no key for autism and so what neurodiversity does not support is any attempts to use therapy to force autistic people and children to try to look as neurotypical as possible and the ineffective expensive and or dangerous treatments like mms that people claim to be able to cure or lessen the symptoms of autism neurodiversity does not support anything that isn’t safe or that isn’t scientifically proven kind of in the same vein another myth about neurodiversity is that the neurodiversity movement is against professional diagnosis or that we believe self diagnosis is better while it’s true that there are somewhat two stick people out there who will never receive an official diagnosis whether you pursue a diagnosis for yourself or for your child is is your choice and the neurodiversity movement accepts that not everyone will have the money or the resources or the time or even the accessibility to services to to get a diagnosis there are a lot of reasons that an autism diagnosis might really come in handy particularly for children who need an IEP or a 504 plan or for anybody who’s seeking accommodation in the workforce but again receiving a professional diagnosis is just not a viable option for lots of autistic people on our planet I think pretty much everyone can agree that having a diagnosis can be very helpful it’s just not necessarily necessary to know yourself that you are autistic and to be a part of the autistic community and to be a part of the neurodiversity movement next myth about neuro diversity is that it’s only for autistic people while the neurodiversity movement did start in large part due to the organization of the autistic community it’s pretty widely accepted now that anybody who is neuro atypical or in the neuro minority kind of falls under the umbrella of neuro diversity and is welcome to be part of the community so that’s people who have developmental or learning disabilities like Down syndrome ADHD epilepsy dyspraxia dyslexia and then mental illnesses as well conditions like depression and social anxiety and OCD and bipolar disorder kind of attached to that myth that neurodiversity is just for autistic people is the myth that neurodiversity is only for the high-functioning autistic people I can kind of see how this myth came about especially since there’s such a pervasive misunderstanding of what the differences between high functioning and low functioning autism and what the autistic experience is like and wrong ideas about non-speaking autistic people but there are lots of a non-speaking autistic people or autistic people who would be considered classically autistic or low functioning the support neurodiversity and that do you advocate for autism acceptance and I’ll link to the blogs and writings of a few of these non-speaking autistic advocates in the video description below if you’d like to check that out the last myth that I will cover today is that the neurodiversity movement says that autism isn’t a disability and I’ve touched on this lightly in a recent video but in short autism is a disability autistic people are disabled we are impaired that means that autistic people need accommodation to be able to have equal access in society and to things like education and the workforce that means that we need to have our differences and our impairments thought of and accommodated for so that we have equal access to level the playing field so to speak but neurodiversity asserts that autism as well as being a disability is also a difference and that there are parts of the autistic experience of the autistic neuro tape that aren’t inherently bad or harmful the orange inferior they are just different I hope this videos answered some questions for you guys and cleared up some moving myths and misconceptions about our diversity out there and of course because the neurodiversity movement doesn’t have a leader there’s no manifesto and we’re not this monolith I am NOT speaking for every person who have a case for neurodiversity this is just I think general principles that the neurodiversity movement tends to follow and fall in line with and to conclude I just like say that you guys probably noticed but the books are back pretty exciting I know that many of you guys missed them since we got into summer on the trees in our yard everything got really fluffy and green lots of leaves which is lovely and nice but it really blocked the light in here so I had to move up closer to the window and I was using that white backdrop and I didn’t like it as much I like to be my bed books but thanks to the very generous contribution to my GoFundMe campaign by an anonymous donator I was able to purchase two umbrella lights which you can’t see what I’m looking at them right now so I’ll be fiddling with my camera in the next couple weeks and figuring out exactly how to use these babies and I think it’ll be great and I’m very very grateful to everybody who has contributed to my GoFundMe campaign so far if you would like to check that out again link in the video description as well as a link to my blog thank you very much for watching this episode of ask an autistic I want a renaissance to shine a light be the change we want some things right even away look for so long