Unpacking Neurodiversity

18th June 2021, 12pm-1pm – Talking Difference

Screenshot from the online event of Matthew, a white man with medium length dark hair in a side parting. He wears a black top and has headphones round his neck. Screenshot from the online event of Kate, a white woman with short pink hair, wearing a stripy, multicoloured long sleeved top. Screenshot from the online event of Clare, a white woman wearing a bright blue top and has dark short hair with a fringe. Screenshot from the online event of Becki, a white woman wearing a pink hoodie, rectangular glasses frames and she has long light brown hair with a fringe.

this stuff is not niche, it’s not little… it’s vital actually.”Kate Fox

Happy Autistic Pride Day! We celebrated by unpacking our cakes and sarnies at our virtual picnic, co-hosted by Kate Fox. We settled down to unpack some ideas and assumptions around Neurodiversity. Importantly, we also spoke about the joys of being neurodivergent and our unique ways of seeing the world. After all, the term Neurodiversity is based on the concept of Biodiversity. This is the idea that nature is all the richer for having a great

variety.

We discussed what Neurodiversity is and how it affects our everyday lives. We then moved on to think about how we can make life more inclusive for Neurodivergent people.

What did we learn?

Difference members; Matthew Moon, Becki Parker, Kate Fox, and Clare Hussey made up our panel of experts who shared their own perspectives and experiences.

Becki described feeling like she had a billion keys and one lock and that throughout her childhood she had tried each and every key. She told us that her diagnosis of Autism, ADHD and OCD has finally given her the right key to understanding herself better. As Kate says, self-knowledge is power!

Clare said that her diagnosis of Dyslexia at the age of 44 came as a surprise, but also as something that allowed her to make sense of her past experiences. She shared that being Neurodivergent gives her an amazing ability to make conceptual and personal connections with others.

We then spoke with Matthew who shared his experiences of growing up knowing that he was Autistic, after receiving a diagnosis when he was a young child. So, the term Neurodiversity is quite new to him but he describes it as the unique ways in which different people experience the world around them, with both its upsides and downsides.

What do we need to do?

“ ..it would be really good if society could meet us halfway and try and adapt things to make them more accessible… so that we’re not always, it sometimes feels like, at a disadvantage’ Becki Parker

It was a brilliant opportunity to share conversations about how we can create a more inclusive, diverse world. We need a world that not only takes away disadvantage but acknowledges difference as essential and amazing.

Moreover, the picnickers highlighted the need for more events like this one, where we can keep the conversation going, so we’re working on that. It is important to keep thinking across the spectrum. In the meantime, you can join us as a member and help us make change happen.

We will post our future events on our social media pages. You can access a recording of the event below. You can also read Richard’s blog post here.

Thank you to everyone who came along and especially to our speakers.

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