Y is for You

If you’re reading this, then this post is for you.

If you are neurotypical,

This post is for you because neurodiversity means all brains. I know we spend a lot of time writing about neurotypical people and it may seem like we hate you, but we don’t.

We hate the oppression that we experience from neurotypical people as a group which holds enormous privilege.

As a group: At times, we find you really weird and hard to understand. You do things that make very little sense to us. You objectify us in feel good stories which apparently inspire you. You keep insisting that we’re suffering, and you silence us when we say we’re not. When we say that we’re not suffering, you say that’s because we aren’t as “severely” effected by our neurodivergence as some other people. You dehumanise people to prove your point by listing things about them as though they aren’t also about us. You claim that you want to help us and reduce our suffering, but you seem to think that our suffering is because we’re not like you. You don’t seem to want to consider that our suffering is because you are like you. As a group, neurotypical people are very hard to live with.

But, we don’t hate you personally based on your neurotype.

If you are neurodivergent,

This post is for you because I need you to know that you are important. You don’t have to listen to all the messages that society sends you.

You might need varying levels and types of support, including accommodations and medication, in order to improve your quality of life and make opportunities more accessible to you. That doesn’t mean that your brain is broken, disordered or ill. Your brain is beautiful.

You might not be able to make the same levels of contribution to society as neurotypical people make. You might not be able to find secure employment which accommodates your needs. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have value. You have value simply because you are a human being.

You might be unable to do things that abled people do with seeming ease regardless of how hard you try. That doesn’t mean you’re lazy. You’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got.

We’re disabled because we live in societies which weren’t built by and for people like us, but we can keep fighting for equality together. At times, we may need to rest and others will take up the fight until we can return. It will be a long fight, but it is worth it, and those who come behind us won’t have to face the same battles that we’re facing today.

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.