Neurodivergent individuals, such as
people diagnosed with ASD or ADHD, among others,
shouldn't just be seen through the lenses of the medical model
but within the lenses of the social model
(Dr. J den Houting, 2019).
These words hold so much power for individuals who have been deemed "disabled" and spend their lives trying to fit the model of a "normal" person. But what is truly normal, is defined by the standards and theoretical beliefs of that period in time, society or place. Our old systems and institutions have been built on the assumption that anything different needs to be changed, removed, fixed, or even feared. If you look around and listen to the news, you will quickly realize that we continue to endure the ramifications of such a belief.
My experience as a neurodivergent therapist has been an ever-evolving process. I was trained using the medical model. While previous researches provide valuable information, I have always felt the traditional interventions lack some ingredients to truly support my clients and myself. As I listen to more clients and their families through the years, I have come to realize the impact that the environment/society has on us and our experiences.
Neurodiversity is important for any society to have, and a person's neurodivergence, although negatively interpreted because of its' definition, is not something to be feared, tolerated, or cured but to be supported, encouraged, and understood.
Maria Bernadette Street, MPsy. (Clin.), RP (CRPO) of Street Therapy
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