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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It’s called a spectrum for a reason…

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“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism” is a phrase I’ve heard so many times, yet a phrase that couldn’t be more accurate! There are traits that everyone with autism will have to some extent or another, such as difficulty in social communication. However, there is a reason autistic spectrum disorder is called autistic spectrum disorder….

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Awareness and acceptance: there’s a difference

This week (2nd-8th April) is World Autism Awareness Week! My little brother, Ramsey, was diagnosed with autism just over a year ago. If you would like to read the blog post I wrote for last year’s autism awareness week, here is the link: https://theblogwithonepost.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/world-autism-awareness-week/

I used to hear people emphasise how much more important autism acceptance is than awareness, and if I’m being honest, this used to confuse me. I would think “But surely if people are aware of autism then they will be understanding?” It’s not until you have a family member with autism, or are autistic yourself, that you really gain an insight into the difference. Whilst I still believe awareness is very important, so is acceptance.

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World Autism Awareness Week

AutismIt’s World Autism Awareness Week this week (27th March – 2nd April)! My little brother, Ramsey, has autism. We’ve known he’s had autism for a while now, but it wasn’t until this week that he was officially diagnosed with autism. Although the majority of people have heard of autism before, not enough people understand exactly what it is. I had an idea of some of the aspects of autism before finding out that my little brother had it, but I really have learnt so much more about it recently. So seeing as it is World Autism Awareness Week I thought I would share with you what I know about autism as well as talking about some common misconceptions. I’m determined to raise as much awareness as I can!

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Dyspraxia Awareness Week

It’s Dyspraxia awareness week this week!! (12th – 18th October)dyspraxia

When I tell people I have dyspraxia, 99% of the time the response I’ll get is a blank look on their face along with: “What’s that?”
So that’s why I’m posting this, to try to raise some, even if it’s only a little, awareness of dyspraxia.
I’ll start off with saying that I don’t mean dyslexia…people often get confused as they both sound similar and due to the fact that there is a lot more awareness of dyslexia, people think that that’s what was meant.

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