1. The belief that differing neurologies are a natural part and form of human diversity.

2. The belief that atypical or divergent neurologies are not indicative of disease, defect, disorder, or illness.

3. The philosophy that neurological difference should be celebrated and accepted as natural and normal.

Defiitions by Lydia X.Z. Brown at Autistic Hoya (unless otherwise noted)

“Nothing About Us

Without Us”

When we talk about intersectionality and diversity in children’s literature, it is essential to discuss stories that affirm and feature the authentic voices of disabled and neurodiverse people, instead of allowing the narrative of their lives to be defined by neurotypical and able-bodied people. In searching out books that feature identity-first language (more on that later in this post) and stories that don’t silence or belittle Neurodivergent people, we were able to find some resources that included tips and studies that can be helpful for neurotypical and non-disabled educators, parents or anyone who works closely with children!

What does that mean?

Neurodiversity-Related Terminology

Definitions by Lydia X.Z. Brown at Autistic Hoya 

1. Oppression, prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination against disabled people on the basis of actual or presumed disability.

2. The belief that people are superior or inferior, have better quality of life, or have lives more valuable or worth living on the basis of actual or perceived disability.

How well a person with atypical ways of thinking, communicating, sensing, or moving, can easily navigate an environment.

The ability to make independent decisions and act in one’s own best interests.

The systematic removal of the viewpoints and existence of oppressed people.

People whose brains work in basically the same way as most other people, or whose ways of thinking and processing information are considered more or less “normal” by the standards of their society.

Like “trans” and “cis”, the terms neurotypical and neurodiverse de-center the concept that “normal” can be defined and policed by neurotypical people, and everyone else is an outlier.

Instead, humans simply have varying neurologies, and they are all valid!

There is no one way to be autistic. Some autistic people can speak, and some autistic people need to communicate in other ways. Some autistic people also have intellectual disabilities, and some autistic people don’t. Some autistic people need a lot of help in their day-to-day lives, and some autistic people only need a little help. All of these people are autistic, because there is no right or wrong way to be autistic. All of us experience autism differently, but we all contribute to the world in meaningful ways. We all deserve understanding and acceptance. 

Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
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