Neurodiversity: It's a Gift.
Jacki Edry, wrote the blog "The Gift of Neurodiversity" for the site Different Brains in order to contribute to her mission of sharing her family's journey of discovering, accepting, and harnessing their neurodiversity. She starts her piece by saying that thankfully, there has been more recognition and appreciation of neurodiversity and even corporations are starting to recognize that these differences are to be understood and celebrated. She believes that every person is blessed with a divine spirit and has a unique task to fulfill in the world and children with these differences will blossom and grow if they are given the guidance they need to do so. She does note, however, that the educational system tends to support normal students versus those with different abilities and this often leads to frustration on the part of the children and the parents. She shares a personal experience she had with her own daughter who was unofficially diagnosed with ADHD and when the school suggested that she go on medication, Edry and her husband decided to instead, cherish their daughter's neurodivergence and found new ways to help her stay on task. They began trying to appreciate her different mind once she got old enough to recognize the difference of her mind compared to her peers. Edry chose to then have "the talk" with her daughter to discuss how she can best concentrate and thrive in school. She wanted to help her daughter learn how to organize her thoughts and reduce distractions in order to streamline thinking and focus on each task. Edry gives example of the exact phrasing she used to talk to her daughter about her differences in her article, so that would be a good tool to look at when preparing to discuss this topic with your own child. She also mentions some of the difficulties that her and her husband faced when discussing accommodations for their children with the school administrator(s). Her children, like many neurodivergent kids, need certain technologies that can aid them in their learning process and even make the environment around them easier to handle. However, there can be some pushback in the school systems on getting these devices for certain students, Edry recommends just to stick to your guns and fight to get your children the accommodations they deserve. She ends her blog post by saying that as children grow and develop their self-awareness and skills, they begin to discover their talents and truly find their "place" in the world. They should be told and eventually, learn for themselves, that their neurodiversity is a gift and it allows them to see their world from a unique perspective. They bring their own innovative and creative ideas to our world and it is important that as parents, you remind your child that being different is powerful and their talents and gifts are unique and special, just like they are.