Forget the aisle-there are so many neurospicy flavor packets we get our own store! Too often people hear “neurodivergent” and think Autistic or ADHD and dyslexia. But neurodivergence is way more than most people realize. In this episode, Molly & Angela share the origin of the word neurodivergence, its original definition, the fabulousness of Neuroqueer, and how important it is for folks to realize the vast diversity of the human mind.
Neurodivergent K says…
Kassiane Asasumasu, aka Neurodivergent K, coined the term “neurodivergent” saying, “I am multiply neurodivergent. I am autistic, epileptic, have PTSD, have cluster headaches, have a Chiari malformation. Neurodivergent just means a brain that diverges. Autistic people, ADHD people, people with learning disabilities, epileptic people, people with mental illnesses, people with MS, or Parkinson’s or apraxia, or cerebral palsy, or dyspraxia, or no specific diagnosis, but wonky lateralization or something. That is all it means.”
Attribution is important. Kassiane is a biracial, neurodivergent activist and her voice should not be muted by the overwhelming whiteness of the current neurodiversity movement.
Nick Walker, author of “Neuroqueer Heresies” is another important person to remember when having this conversation. Get her book!!!
Angela got themselves in trouble by sharing a page from BrainFacts.Org and asking which conditions qualified as neurodivergent. Some folks in the community felt that this was embracing a medical model to neurodivergence. Not actually, that wasn’t the point. The point was that there are LOTS of ways someone can be ND and this was an opening to that conversation.
And that conversation is IMPORTANT for people’s quality of life. Molly and Angela dig in to how understanding the vast spectrum that is neurodiversity helps in various areas of life…like school for Molly’s little, end of life care for folks with dementia, and military members.
Lost for Words
In a recent conversation with a professional in educational psychology, the person mentioned that they were diagnosed ADHD in first grade and regularly pulled out for math intervention. They continued struggling with math throughout school, college, and in everyday life. They have a masters degree and still, not a single time, did anyone every use the term “dyscalculia.” Not only is this a personal neurological condition, but it is one that many of their students have as well! This is not their fault, but rather the fault of a system that is not educating folks on concepts that matter. Molly and Angela talk about various areas of education, medicine, and even other professions where these words should be known and used regularly, but more importantly how self-advocacy depends on them becoming common knowledge instead of special interests.