Sunday, 28 April 2013

We Need Neurodiversity

I love this quotation from Louise over at Bloom: "Neurodiversity suggests that there are benefits to brains that think differently."
I agree.  
Louise goes on to review this article, which discusses the neurodiversity movement and how neurodiversity is an asset in the world we live in.  We've all heard that the world would be incredibly dull if we were all the same.  We all know that life is more joyful with different perspectives and different ideas.  
Here's a quotation from the article that focuses on some positive attributes that some Autistics have:
"Autistic people, for instance, have prodigious memories for facts, are often highly intelligent in ways that don’t register on verbal IQ tests, and are capable of focusing for long periods on tasks that take advantage of their natural gift for detecting flaws in visual patterns. By autistic standards, the “normal” human brain is easily distractable, is obsessively social, and suffers from a deficit of attention to detail."
Of course all these traits aren't relevant to all Autistics, but I'd say that most of us feel at least some of these qualities apply to ourselves.  Whether we are verbal or non-verbal, "high-functioning" or "low-functioning," or any of the other labels people feel the need to attach to autistic individuals, I think we all - at least in some way - mirror parts of this description.  
We all know that being autistic isn't the easiest thing in the world.  Autism makes life harder for a lot of people.  The Wired article briefly mentions some of the struggles - like chronic underemployment and in many cases unemployment - that are faced by Autistic adults.  But every once in a while, I come across amazing quotations like the ones above, quotations that make me feel proud of my neurodiversity.