How to Be an Ally to the Neurodiverse Community

Please listen to us before speaking up. We can speak for ourselves and it’s important for us to take the lead when it comes to issues that affect us. We are the experts. Please don’t speak for us or over us but amplify our voices. If you’re part of any kind of committee, focus group, management team, or board and we are missing from it, speak up and demand our inclusion.

Am I “Neurodivergent Enough” for Neuro Pride Ireland?

“I’m dyslexic/dyspraxic. Is that enough?”

“I have PTSD/anxiety/depression. Does that count?”

“I’m pretty sure I have ADHD/I’m autistic, but I don’t have a diagnosis. Can I still join your group?”

And the answer is “Yes, of course, and absolutely!”

There are many neurotypes, neurological profiles, and conditions that fall under the umbrella term “neurodivergent/ND”.

What is ‘Neurodivergence’?

The big question, really, is this: Am I Neurodivergent? Answering that is actually not that hard, so let’s work through it.

All those ‘neuro-‘ words (Neurodiversity, Neurodiverse, Neurodivergence, etc.) build on the same base as things like neuroscience and neurology. They all refer to your nervous system. Mostly, people think of this as being about your brain, but actually it deals with the way not just your brain but your whole central nervous system functions, plus all the nerves that manage automatic body functions, your senses, signals to your muscles and so on. The entire nervous system.

In the widest sense, anything to do with any nerves in your body is included here. When we talk about Neurodiversity, that’s what we’re referring to: that all humans have some level of variance in how their nervous systems operate. There is a diversity across the human population. Not really that controversial or difficult, is it? It’s like saying ‘humans have a diversity of hair colour.’ It is just describing an unsurprising aspect of the human species.