Do you need a good, basic introduction to Neurodiversity 101? Here you go.
Neurodiversity is, according to activist Nick Walker, “the diversity of human brains and minds – the infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within our species.”
Basically, it’s a fancy name for the fact that all our brains and minds are unique and individual. Like snowflakes, no two brains and no two minds are exactly alike.
But that’s not enough! The article also points out that within that range of variation there are some brains that work in a way that society finds acceptable — the neurotypicals. I think it’s safe to say I’m a standard neurotypical, which is not to say that some of the workings of my mind are out of sync with the larger culture, but that I can fit in reasonably well in most circumstances. While someone who is neurodivergent in some way might have extreme difficulty with situations that I find not at all stressful, but that does not mean they are somehow inferior.
Shouldn’t all of this be elementary and taken for granted by teachers, and maybe made part of standard training? I ask because I never did, and it’s taken years of gradual awakening to see what’s going on. It’s also because I’m looking over the midterm status of my students and wondering what I can do to reach some of them who are struggling. I know it’s not because they can’t, but because something I’m doing is failing to communicate.