by Briannon Lee
It’s time to let go.
Let go of your big manual of mental disorders. We can’t be defined by the way you observe our bodies and minds at work and rest. We will not be limited by your reports damning us to disorder, even when you couch those words in pretty euphemisms.
We’ll take your labels, discard those that are ugly and recreate the ones that define us. Neurodivergent, Dyslexic, Autistic, Anxious, Bipolar, Active-brained, Focused, Sad, Nonspeaking.
Because labels can actually define us. If the definition is ours. The identification criteria ours. The descriptions ours. The books ours. The community ours. The culture ours.
Let go of our children. You’ve made an industry from the delusion that children are disordered, not different. Their parents read your books, attend your workshops, buy your services. It starts with you. The therapists who trained you. The therapists that trained them.
It starts the moment parents look to google for information and support. And the search results are yours. Parents who began wanting a little guidance end up with children in hours of therapy, feeling like nothing will ever be enough to fix their child. Children feeling like they will never be enough for the adults in their lives.
We’ll take our neurodivergent children and give them freedom to develop in their own unique way. We’ll find schools that will include them and educators who will understand them. We won’t change who they are and instead will support their preferred way of thinking, communicating, learning, reading, writing and moving.
We’ll introduce our children to Pride, and teach them their rights. They will grow strong and confident.
They will still be neurodivergent.
Let go of our friends. They come to you figuring out who they are, healing from trauma, trying to cope. They feel isolated and worn down after too many years fighting for survival, and hiding who they are. They might think that they are the problem, that they are broken. Maybe they are broken.
They have to ‘play the game’ to have your signature on a piece of paper that gets them access to medication, housing, or money. Pay for someone to be kind to them. Pay for someone to take notes and recommend more therapy.
We’ll take our neurodivergent friends and help them remember who they are. Dyslexic, autistic, bipolar, distractable, anxious, energetic, depressed, sister, teacher, parent, friend….
We’ll take our friends and hold them while they piece themselves together.
We’ll give them the practical support they need to rebuild themselves.
We’ll write our own books, and build our own services.
We’ll train therapists and we will be therapists.
We are therapists.
It’s time to let go.
Neurodivergent people of the world
This is part of a series of posts addressing themes from the neurodiversity movement and paradigm which will be published during the course of April 2016. To read the rest of the posts, please click here.