One in 59 children are identified with autism spectrum disorders and millions of children have been diagnosed with ADHD in the U.S. — yet psychologist Devon MacEachron, PhD believes that there is too little attention given to enabling people with neurologically different minds.
“Neurological differences like autism or ADHD are considered to be dysfunctional, disorders, and disabilities under the medical model of mental health,” she explained. “When most of us think of diversity, we think of things like race or sexual orientation. But there’s a different kind of diversity you might not know about: neurodiversity.”
Neurodiversity is the concept that neurological differences among people should be recognized and respected, and Dr. MacEachron thinks it’s time for this movement to take off.
“Neurodiversity is a part of our genetics and our evolution as a species,” she explained. “The genes for autism and ADHD are not errors, but rather the result of variations in the human genome that have and will continue to have advances for society.”
Dr. MacEachron’s vision is for a neurodiversity-tolerant and accepting society that celebrates people’s differences, rather than antagonizing them. Instead of changing to fit other people’s ideas of normal, children who are wired a bit differently should be encouraged to find their place in the world where they feel they fit.