A while back I wrote an article about my experience when The Mighty approached me requesting to republish one of my blog posts, and it has experienced a surge in views recently as the social media reaction to The Mighty amongst disabled advocates and activists has played out.
My specific objection within my experience with The Mighty was that they did not agree to publish the following sentence because it was too controversial:
“Decisions about treatment, accommodations and supports should be made by the person themselves without being pressured by others simply for the purpose of conforming to societies expectations of normality.”
During the period when my article was being viewed within the context of the stand against The Mighty, someone left a comment on my article, questioning why I left out people who can’t advocate for themselves. As I understood it, they were saying that if a person does not communicate verbally they cannot let others know what they want.
I just want to take this chance to make something perfectly clear.
I do not see the need to distinguish between one group and another when I write about the way neurodivergent people are viewed, because we all should be afforded the same respect and treated with fairness and in ways that meet our individual needs.
Everyone communicates. I do not buy into the discourse that would have people believe not speaking means not communicating. I do not buy into the line that goes ‘that’s fine for you “high functioning” lot, but stop ignoring my poor kid who is worse/more disabled than you”.
image above is a grey wood textured background that contains the words in the following paragraph:
When I write about neurodivergence, my comments encompass all neurodivergence and all neurodivergent people. We may have different variations of challenges, but we all have the same rights as each other and the same rights as neurotypical and non disabled people.
When I write about neurodivergence I include all of us.
Speaking, non speaking. Ambulant, wheelchair users. Rich, poor. Indigenous, migrant. Any gender identity you can think of. ‘Overweight’, ‘underweight’ or in-between. Whatever person you can think of. However they identify. Or even whatever label you want to put on them. All of us.
When I write about neurodivergence I include all neurodivergent people.
All. Of. Us.