Long before I’d ever heard the term Asperger’s, I learned to accept my bright, shy uncle for who he was. He was funny and soft-spoken, and even though he was nervous in social interactions, he always came to our family gatherings, where he’d take up residence in the perimeter of the room.
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.