Call for Participants: Neurodiversity Matters

Neurodiversity Matters is a research study exploring how people are using the language and idea of neurodiversity. We want to hear from people who identify as neurodiverse, neurodivergent, neuroqueer and/or autistic. What do you think about neurodiversity? What does it mean for you? What do you want other people to know about your experience and identity?

We also want to hear from family members of individuals who are autistic/ have attracted an ASD diagnosis/ identify as neurodiverse or neurodivergent. What does it mean for you and how does it affect your relationship with your family member and the larger community? 

We will be interviewing people (ages 18+) who live in Southern Ontario. Interviews are individual and confidential, last 45-90 minutes, and can include communication accommodations and support people. They can take place at a location and time that is convenient for you. Interview participants will receive a modest honorarium. 

Interested? Want to know more? Please contact  neurodiversitymatters@gmail.com.

The Call for Participants can be accessed by the links below. Please forward to anyone you think may be interested.

Neurodiverse Adults

Service Providers

Family Members

When Autistic Students are LGBTQ2+

What educators should know

by: Wendy McGuireDori Zener

Education Canada web exclusive April 24, 2019

People with autism are far more likely than the general population to have non-conventional gender identities and sexual orientations. Here’s how [teachers and school administrators] can support them.

Note: This piece uses both person-first and identity-first language to reflect the different ways that autistic people like to be identified.

Educators are more aware than ever of the need for inclusion for students on the autism spectrum. They are also learning how to build LGBTQ2+ inclusive classrooms. But are they aware of the intersection between autism and sexual and gender diversity? Research shows that autistic people are far more likely than the general population to have non-conventional gender identities and sexual orientations.1 Yet most media representations of autistic people fail to reflect this sexual and gender diversity, leaving many service providers, professionals and family members unaware of these intersections. What do teachers need to know about autistic LGBTQ2+ teens, and what can they do?

Read more…

What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is a term that comes from the disability rights movement in the 1990s to describe a range of differences in brain function, learning and mental health as authentic and valued forms of human diversity.

Neurodiversity (ND), sometimes also called neurodivergence or neuroatypicality, is an umbrella term which includes Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger’s, Tourettes Syndrome, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, dyscalculia and may include Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Schizophrenia, and more. 

Neurotypicals (NT), sometimes called “allistic” or “nypical”, are defined by the neurodiverse community as individuals who do not have a neurological difference or disability.

Neurodiversity activists reject searches for a cure for autism (ASD) and seek acceptance and inclusion without being forced to comply with neurotypical norms of communication and behaviour. 

The terms neurodiverse and neurotypical, which came primarily from the autism rights movement, have been widely adopted by the medical and scientific community.