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Neurodiversity Celebration Week

Updated: Apr 7

It is Neurodiversity Celebration Week and I have many feelings

I think that, in theory, celebrating the fact that everyone’s brains work differently is wonderful. I also know that any neurodivergent people involved with organising the events and coming up with the concept, have done this with love and passion, as this will mean a lot to them.

So, for that reason, I find this difficult.


I worry that with some businesses, for example, this may be lip service. Being ‘inclusive’ without giving deep thought and consideration to it.

There are many neurodivergent people who do not associate themselves, or identify with, this idea of their neurodivergence making them ‘talented’ (everyone on earth is unique and talented, but ADHD, for example, has a huge impact on your life.

Lets not dismiss that and act as though, 'it's OK then, we don't need to do anything to make an effort to get closer to understanding'.

Awareness doesn't need to be raised).

Imagine something that has led to some of the most painful moments of your life

and then you are being ‘told’, perhaps, how you ‘should’ feel about it.

Being told that ‘ADHD is a gift’ by someone who is not neurodivergent, feels dismissive and untrue.

Everybody is important and has value, but what I would love is for society to not be built around (and for), neurotypical brains, so that we are viewed as ‘other’ and ‘difficult to manage'. A ‘problem’, to some, when we raise access needs.

I think that every neurodivergent person should feel how they do. Why should we have to buy into this rhetoric?

Their rhetoric about ME!

As if ‘ordered’ to have this toxic positivity, or masked ideal, that doesn’t allow for any grieving - or for the reality.

Oh yes, please. That will take away how I truly feel!*

I was diagnosed, very late, as an adult and had years of feeling ‘less than’ which

crushed my self-esteem.

If ‘society celebrates’ neurodivergence and puts emphasis on that, how will my experience (and that of others) be validated?

I want my needs to be expressed and these welcomed. To be viewed as essential.

For my feelings to be considered and for the way my brain works to not be an inconvenience, but something that a company can be curious about and can implement changes that will help and support.

Not feeling guilt over this would be fantastic, because (even though I have years of shame that has built up and has infiltrated my system), it can feel like an aside. So, I’m an aside.

It’s me, clearly I’m the problem.

As though a business, or a person, is having to go ‘out of their way’.

Why isn’t it a necessity and not something that is questioned?

We accommodate. This business. Every business, does that.

We know that these are needs and not things that people say might ‘help them a bit, because they feel like it’.

I don’t want to feel belittled.

My worry is that, within the education system and, in life, that if the only language people hear surrounding neurodivergence is ‘let’s celebrate it’ (maybe they put up a banner saying they do), what about the reality of the experience?

Every neurodivergent person is different.

Their feelings will be different.

And categorising everyone in one broad way, without ACTUALLY really saying or doing anything, is problematic.

I don’t want the teachers or childcare workers who view us as ‘problem children’ to continue feeling that way, but maybe, just maybe.. sometimes, the narrowing of their minds, overall, is a factor!

I don’t want the perception of being ‘the problem’ to ever be projected onto anyone.

The idea of that hurts me.

Psychologist William W. Dodson has stated that by the age of 12 those with ADHD will have received 20,000 more negative messages from caregivers, teachers, parents and other adults, than another child. This is disturbing and looking at that feels like a place to begin..

Anyway, if adults were, all of a sudden, to ‘change their minds’ (and view me, and others, differently), I’m not sure being told that we must all be ‘talented’ ('underneath it all'*) is the best way of doing it.

No one should be able to define someone else's neurodivergence, and how they feel about it,  other than that neurodivergent person.

That feels wrong.


Sometimes these phrases can feel like a stereotype.

When someone’s response to my ADHD is that it must be my ‘superpower’, it feels very dismissive.

I love my creative heart and the fact that writing poetry soothes me and gives me a voice, but that does not define my ADHD in any way.

When adults get diagnosed, often, they desperately want to feel seen and understood. They want those who weren’t aware of what they were going through in childhood to try and understand.

When this doesn’t happen, yes, it hurts.

Receiving a diagnosis (self-diagnosis is valid) felt validating, but made me wish I had known before and that there has been support. I blamed myself and felt such deep-routed shame.

Was told

I was ‘lazy’, couldn’t manage my life and it was all my fault. Internalising everything, I hated myself.

When someone tells me that I should feel I have a magic superpower, it's belittling and, as though, that person is not listening.

They are not me!

I write about my ADHD experiences:

Maybe children and young people have moved on massively from where we’ve been and they will move forward and make positive change, yes. This is important and we need to be listening.

I WISH it was the case that no child now feels like I did. This isn't a fact, sadly.

My heart hurts from when no one listened and saw me.

And the majority of people that I am not close to don’t have 'ideal' responses to my ADHD.

There are children now struggling for academic support.

Why isn’t coaching and therapy available on the NHS in the way a person might want and need?

Why are you diagnosed as an adult and then told 'bye' and (potentially) 'here’s some medication'?

(There have been severe medication shortages too).

There is SO much more that can change.

I have so much more to say..

*There is some sarcasm here

My Instagram @taratalksthoughts

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