Neurodiversity

Visit the Neurodivergent Therapists Directory: http://www.ndtherapists.com

Learn more about Neurodiversity: Trainings

Neurodiversity refers to natural variation in human brain development and functioning. Specifically, there are often differences in our ability to learn, sustain attention, regulate our mood, and engage in social communication with others. Neurodivergent individuals can have significant differences that impact how they interact with the world. For example, a neurodivergent person may have heightened sensory experiences that make it hard to be in large crowds or loud spaces. This can create unique challenges for them, as many spaces have been created for neurotypical people who do not face these same differences.

Neurodivergent individuals are sometimes diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and/or other diagnoses. A diagnosis is not required to identify as neurodivergent, as the neurodiversity paradigm is a non-pathologizing way of viewing brain development and functioning. In addition, there are often many challenges that prevent folks from obtaining a diagnostic assessment. Many people go undiagnosed and/or are misdiagnosed due to limited research and supports for neurodivergent people.

Due to limited research and supports, there has been a history of providers attempting to make neurodivergent people change their behaviors to fit neurotypical standards. Many traditional therapy approaches do not respect these differences and can encourage ableist views. This has caused significant harm to those in the community and has made it harder for neurodivergent people to seek mental health supports. In response to these challenges, neurodivergent folks began advocating for acceptance of their neurological differences. This fight for acceptance is called the neurodiversity movement, which has roots in the autism rights and disability rights movements.

In an effort to increase supports for the neurodivergent community, I developed a directory of neurodivergent therapists who align their practice within the neurodiversity paradigm. Providers listed on the directory identify as neurodivergent and offer a variety of services across the US and internationally. In addition, there is also a growing resource list available on the directory.

Visit the Neurodivergent Therapists Directory: http://www.ndtherapists.com

Learn more about Neurodiversity: Trainings

Neurodivergent Therapists is directory of providers who have been diagnosed as Autistic or self-identify as neurodivergent.

*We use identity-first language (“Autistic person”) when referring to neurodivergent people, as many neurodivergent people have expressed that they prefer identity-first language over person-first language (“person with autism”). Historically, providers have been taught to use person-first language in education settings. There is a large disconnect between how providers and self-advocates feel about this topic, which can lead to many misunderstandings. Due to the overwhelming majority of people within self-advocacy spaces using identity-first language, we use identity-first language to respect their preferences. However, one should always ask a person what their preference is to ensure they are being respectful of that person’s identity and preferences with language.*