Neurodivergence and why I feel labels are important

In my last blog post I discussed the differences between those of us who are neurodivergent. I emphasised that despite individuals with the same diagnosis sharing many similarities, there are also so many ways in which we differ from each other. Some people believe that because people are so unique and many have overlapping traits with other types of neurodivergence, we should just have one ‘neurodivergent’ umbrella and that’s it – no specific labels. I do see where they’re coming from, as with neurodivergence there are many overlapping traits across conditions and it can be complex; co-morbidity, where the individual has more than one diagnosis, is also common. However, I personally feel that these separate labels are important and will explain why in this post.

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Disability and Neurodivergence – we’re all unique!

Terminology

Neurodiversity refers to the differences and diversity in the way our brains work.

Neurodivergence refers to individuals whose brain works in a different way, e.g. those who are dyspraxic, dyslexic, autistic etc.

Neurotypical refers to individuals who do not have any type of neurodivergence.


I often hear and see generalisations made, particularly on social media, about disability and neurodivergence. For instance, parents ask whether their autistic child should go to a mainstream school or special school. The answer is that it depends on the child – it’s not a one size fits all approach. There are so many factors that determine which school is right for an individual. It depends on their sensory needs, communication, the level of support they require, their academic ability – the list could go on!

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Dyspraxia and Horse Riding

I recently posted a poll on Instagram, asking both dyspraxic and non-dyspraxic people whether they currently or had previously been horse riding on a regular basis. The results were overall as I expected – a higher proportion of people who have dyspraxia had been horse riding than those without dyspraxia. You may wonder why that might be and why I thought to ask it in the first place. I’ll be talking about that more in this post!

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My Experiences in Disability Sport – Part 5: An End and A New Beginning

Previous posts on disability sport:

After the excitement of the School Games, it was then back to school the next day and back to GCSE mocks – not so exciting! I did have a couple of teachers ask me about the School Games, one teacher in particular was really interested, which was nice.

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My Experiences in Disability Sport – Part 4: The School Games

Previous posts on disability sport:

It was January 2012 when I found out that I had been selected for the School Games, which were to be held at the Olympic Stadium in May. Despite finding out about it myself in January, I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone until the following month!

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My Experiences in Disability Sport – Part 3: New Opportunities

Previous posts on disability sport:

As I mentioned in my previous post, having a national classification meant that I was now able to take part in so many more competitions. In 2011 I took part in competitions in Lee Valley, Perivale, Mile End, Bedford, Cardiff and Nottingham. I also took part in CP Sport training days in Nottingham during the Winter.

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My Experiences in Disability Sport – Part 2: Continuing Competing and A New Diagnosis

Previous posts on disability sport:

After finding out that disability sport was something I enjoyed, I continued training during the winter. It did get very cold and I’d often be wearing about four layers! And that was with me running, let alone my Dad and brother who would often be sat in the stands! My brother was given the opportunity to get involved too though which was great – he even gave wheelchair racing a go!

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My Experiences in Disability Sport – Part 1: Beginning to Train and Compete

Previous posts on disability sport:

During primary school I hated PE. I was slow at getting changed into my PE kit, I was slow at running, I struggled to catch a ball. I did not enjoy sports day at all. I think the expression on my face in this photo sums up what I thought of sports day!

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Dyspraxia and Disability Sport: An Introduction and a Guide to Classification

Previous post on disability sport: Disability Sport – A glossary

Sport… something which seemingly involves good balance, coordination, motor skills, and spatial awareness. To some it may sound like a dyspraxic’s worst nightmare! This was the view I had of sport for quite a few years, up until I got into disability sport where the inclusive environment made such a difference in many ways. Disability sport is something which was quite a big part of my life really, as I took part in it for a number of years and had some amazing opportunities throughout this time.

Continue reading “Dyspraxia and Disability Sport: An Introduction and a Guide to Classification”

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