This blog post was originally published on September 13, 2021. It has been repurposed in recognition of Autism Awareness Month to bring greater visibility to the neurodiversity movement and the voices who uplift it.
The neurodiversity movement has gained tremendous momentum over the past few years, as more individuals recognize the variability of the human brain and what it reveals about how we function, learn, communicate, and interact with the world around us.
In essence, neurodiversity acknowledges and celebrates differences in functioning, as opposed to focusing on the stigma that can accompany terms like “deficits” and “impairments”.
I recently came across this article written by Terra Vance, founder of Neuroclastic and a neurodivergent adult. I was drawn to it for many reasons. One, I think it’s important that the voices of neurodivergent individuals are elevated so that we can all have a greater perspective of how different individuals perceive and engage in this thing called life. Two, I found the context within the article to be very interesting as a treating clinician.
Vance so neatly unravels her challenges with reading fluency in grade school and attributes it to many cognitive skill sets which are not so neatly intertwined and are often co-dependent on one another. Concepts like visual processing, visual attention, motor movement/planning through eye tracking impact not only reading fluency, but also can have significant implications for driving, navigating through familiar versus unfamiliar environments, and even “reading” of social situations.
The multi-modal solutions that Vance suggests only further emphasizes the need for schools, workplaces, and other community locations to demonstrate greater understanding and accessibility to content across different sensory systems given that we all process information a bit differently.
There are elements of Vance’s article that may resonate with different neurodivergent individuals - what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below. If you consider yourself neurodivergent, how do you utilize differences in learning or thinking to approach your daily routine?
References and Resources:
Helping Your Autistic, ADHD, or Dyslexic Child (or Self) with Reading Fluency
What is Neurodiversity?
Devon Brunson, MS, CCC-SLP
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