By Shawn Smith M.Ed., CCC
Welcome to understanding neurodiversity.
Historically a diagnosis has been perceived as a broken part that needs fixing- and once identified that it could be fixed. But, we are not part that need fixing- we are people. Let’s use the analogy of the square peg and the round hole. The individual with a disability being square peg, and society being the round hole.
Until recently the focus has been shifting, contorting, and manipulating the square peg to fit through the round hole. Has this been effective? No it has not. When all we are open to seeing is what we perceive to be wrong, how could we see anything right? The key to understanding neurodiversity is to challenge everything we think we know.
Think of an individual with an invisible disability.
How much of their day consists of someone in their life telling them that everything they do is wrong? think about the impact this has on the perceived “broken person.”
The first step in neurodiversity is unraveling all that has been done.
How is this done? By acknowledging what is right with the individual, rather than focusing on what is perceived to be wrong.
Shawn Smith M.Ed., CCC is the proud founder and CEO of Don’t dis-my-ability consultation services Inc., an innovative, multifaceted company specializing in the emerging field of Neurodiversity located in Fredericton New Brunswick, Canada.
Shawn’s story is unique in that he was diagnosed with ADHD Inattentive Type at age 30. Prior to his diagnosis, Shawn struggled at every level of the public education system. It took Shawn 4 years to complete 3 years of high school, 32 attempts to earn the 18 credits required to graduate including failing grade 10 math 4 times.
Since being diagnosed and taking prescribed medication at age 30, Shawn has experienced a tremendous amount of self-growth in a relatively short period of time and has a unique understanding of his thought process. In 2010 Shawn was accepted to the Master of Education in Counselling Psychology program at the University of New Brunswick on Academic Probation and graduated in 2011 at the top of his class.
Shawn is a self-advocate, entrepreneur, innovator, counsellor and psychotherapist specializing in the emerging field of Neurodiversity. Shawn is a director at large for the Technology in Counselling Chapter of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and a board member of the New Brunswick Career Development Action Group (NBCDAG).
For inquiries regarding keynote and other speaking engagements please contact Shawn directly at [email protected]
“Don’t dis-my-ability; I may not learn in a conventional manner but this does not mean I cannot learn, only that you have not been able to reach me”. © For more information, visit Shawn’s site: www.ddmacs.ca