Last summer I wrote a blog post about how to spot trainings that were not Neurodiversity affirming.
That did not feel like enough for me so I decided to take it a few steps further and joined by my colleagues Dr. Tiff Lanza LCSW, M.Ed. (They/Them/Theirs) and Christine MacInnis, MSed, MS, LMFT (She/Her/Hers) I co-authored an article published in the California Marriage and Family Therapist Organization’s magazine called The Therapist. We were all super excited both that our article got published and it that it happened so quickly. It was even more exciting to have it in an edition with a Neurodiversity cover.
I have gotten numerous emails thanking me for the article and/or asking me to send a copy of the article. In particular, our review of the current language used was helpful for people. As we know language evolves quickly and we anticipate that even our article will have outdated language at some point in the future. Most therapists and people want to use correct language but do not have the information to do so.
Our article delves into the burgeoning field of Neurodiversity (ND) therapy, critically examining its evolution, challenges, and potential for affirming and empowering individuals with neurodivergent experiences. The authors, themselves neurodiverse, analyze the historical context of ND therapy, highlighting the shift away from deficit-based medical models. The article scrutinizes the controversial Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) intervention and emphasizes the need for client-centered, neurodivergent-affirming practices. The authors also explore the importance of language in promoting inclusivity and provide a comprehensive glossary of relevant terms. Finally, the article underscores the significance of involving neurodivergent individuals in therapy training and explores the intersectionality of the ND community.
Many of us in the ND community are passionate about sharing our experiences with other therapists and the world at large. I know many of us have learned to embrace our own ND experiences during the course of our own education about Neurodiversity. I have been super frustrated seeing people teaching about Neurodiversity who do not have any lived experience and are using outdated and ableist language. We want the therapist world to do better. I encourage all therapists to take some classes about Neurodiversity. You don’t know what you don’t know. I know I have learned much and still have so much more to learn.
You can read the article through the magazine link here.
Feel free to email me if you have any challenges accessing it and I will happily email you a copy.