When I tell people that I have a Learning Disability, I often get people who want to cure it. Many people try to be helpful and offer unsolicited advice. I have had well meaning people offer educational programs, positive thinking, and inspiring stories of people, they knew who overcame their disability. None of the advice offered was intended to cause harm, but toxic positivity has left me feeling frustrated. I also felt ashamed of my disability and feeling like I wasn’t enough. I wanted to hide my disability, rather than celebrate it.
One of the biggest factors in celebrating, my disability is Neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is the concept that brain variations are normal, not problems. A person who is neurodiverse will have different experiences with the world and will need different ways to learn, work, and live.
Accommodations help me to be successful, but they don’t cure me. College graduation, employment and other accomplishments didn’t cure me either. Neurodiversity breaks the stigma that a person needs to be fixed or cured.
Neurodiversity doesn’t just benefit the person with a brain difference, but people who are neurotypical as well. Neurotypical people get exposure to people who have a brain that works differently. Embracing the differences in others creates a richer cultural experience and cultivates compassion. Neurodiversity also shows that we are also far more alike than different. People who Neurodivergent want to be loved, accepted, and included the same as a Neurotypical person.
October is Learning Disability Awareness Month. People need to know what Learning Disabilities are and that they are real. Many people don’t believe that they exist, because you can’t see them. Knowledge is only one part of understanding them. Individuals with Learning Disabilities need acceptance and to be included and celebrated in society. This October I will be celebrating Learning Disability month with articles that I have had previously published.
I hope that my stories will bring awareness and acceptance of Learning Disabilities. I also hope to help others who also share this diagnosis. Most importantly I hope to celebrate being Neurodiverse. People who are Neurodiverse need to have their differences celebrated not cured I hope that you will join me in celebrating this month and beyond.