Here at Chatterboxes, we do the very best we can to not only learn about autism, but to advocate and fight for the empowerment of autistic individuals! Awareness of Autism is only the very beginning of a journey to embracing autism.
We wanted to take a moment to share something about a topic you may have been hearing about from your speech-language therapist or your own research: Neurodiversity and the Neurodiversity Movement.
What is The Neurodiversity Movement?
Neurodiversity means that all brains are different…naturally! Through this perspective, we can appreciate that a neurodivergent brain holds just as much value and should be embraced no less than a brain that falls into a majority or ‘neurotypical’ realm. Neurodivergent refers to an individual who has a less typical cognitive variation, including, but certainly not limited to: Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and sensory processing disorder.
Leading the Charge
Autistic Individuals are helping to lead the charge in the The Neurodiversity Movement: a social justice movement seeking equality, respect, inclusion, and civil rights for people with brain differences. As you know or can imagine, this has been an uphill battle for autistic people, given many factors including:
1) Our society follows a medical or pathology model of viewing autism: ‘Something is wrong and we must fix it’ rather than ‘There is nothing wrong with being autistic and we must not try to encourage or force autistic people to appear/seem non-autistic.’
Remember: There is no cure for Autism; ‘Removing autism’ from a person would change Who they Are entirely. Check out our attachments for more on this topic!
2) Academic curriculums and social expectations are built in such a way that those who differ from the ‘typical’ or learn in different ways are often marginalized, isolated, and made to feel that they need to appear non-autistic in order to succeed or be seen/heard. This often leads to something called Autistic Masking and Autistic Burnout, which can be deadly.
Chatterboxes & Neurodiversity
Here at Chatterboxes, we pride ourselves on being informed, up to date with research, and armed with the best therapy techniques and resources! That way we can support every child and family using an individualized approach. Over the last year, we have taken the time to learn about neurodiversity, to self-reflect on our practices, and to evolve accordingly. This has been a humbling learning experience for each of us. We will continue to learn and listen to the Autistic Voice, as well as share with You! We’ve attached several handouts for you, for those who are interested in learning more!
Upcoming Q&A for Parents and Caregivers | June 14th
We will also be holding a virtual presentation on June 14th with Q&A on Neurodiversity for Parents/Caregivers! In the meantime, please email Kelli at Kelli@TeamChatterboxes.com if you might be interested in attending. We also encourage you to talk to your therapist about any questions, concerns, or feelings this email may have brought on for you.
We welcome your questions, feedback and thoughts on this topic. Should you like to discuss in more detail, please contact your clinician, or our Clinical Supervisor, Kelli Bavaro, M.S., CCC-SLP via email at Kelli@TeamChatterboxes.com