Here at The Mom Kind, our goal is to help families embrace neurodiversity. Having a neurodiverse family comes with its own set of dynamics, routines, and hurdles to overcome. For our family, it means that one thing that triggers a meltdown (noise, lighting, sensory input, etc) in one child with autism can calm the other with autism.
Whether you are directly affected by a neurodiverse individual or not, there are many ways to help embrace neurodiversity. Just as any other stigma is overcome, embracing neurodiversity starts with education.
Neurodiversity, is the shortened term for neurological diversity. This term is the diversity of the human mind and all variations of cognitive functioning. This covers Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s, Autism, PDD-NOS), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Dyslexia, Dysplasia, and others.
In Layman’s terms: We all know that skin tone, hair color, and eye color are all normal variances of people. Just like biodiversity, and like cultural diversity, neurodiversity is an acceptance that all neurological status are also normal variances. It is about accepting our differences, and finding ways to work together.
The Neurodiversity movement is an international civil rights movement that helps to promote self-advocacy of neurodiverse individuals. The largest influencing group of this campaign is the autism rights movements. The Neurodiversity Movement was started by autistic individuals who stood to oppose the idea that autism and other such disorders are something to be cured.
Those who advocate for neurodiversity work to have neurodiverse individuals involved can live their lives as they are instead of changing to societal norms and ideals.
The core focus of neurodiverse families is to celebrate the strength and abilities of each family member. Though there are families that contain primarily neurotypical individuals and one non-neurotypical, it is nor the majority. Most families that have one neurodiverse family member, normally have others as well (sometimes with very different diagnosis!). Let’s use our family as an example:
I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and recently discovered I myself have Asperger’s. My husband was diagnosed with ADD as a child. We have four children in our home. His oldest has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Our oldest together is ADHD, our middle daughter has Autism and ADHD, and our toddler son has Autism. We are a VERY neurodiverse family
Parents and Caregivers who embrace neurodiversity can stop looking for a cure or reason, and start working on encouraging their children strengths and help balance working with the weaknesses. Instead of having your child conform to other’s standards, you’re able to help them achieve success in their lives.
Many neurodiverse children (and adults) are reminded so often of the limitations surrounding their diagnosis. An unintentional outcome of this is these children rarely get the chance to achieve. When you are told what you can’t do, you stop listening and sometimes stop trying to do what you’re capable of doing. Once families embrace neurodiversity, they’re able to let go of the disease/disorder mindset and focus on the abilities.
Giving up the mindset of looking for a cure does not mean you are giving up on your child! Instead, by looking at the world through their eyes, you are able to help them even more! You would be amazed at how much my children have taught me about emotions and conversations simply by seeing things from their perspective!
Neurodiverse Individuals Changing The World, For The Better
You may have heard of Temple Grandin before now, but there are many in history that had recorded autistic and adhd characteristics long before these became diagnosis. Albert Einstein was one of those such individuals. Hailed as one of the great scientist of modern history, Einstein was said to have difficulties with social interactions, school, and tactile sensitivities. Other’s suspected by historical documentation to have had Autism are the likes of Michelangelo, Amadeus Mozart, Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, and many more! Imagine if someone had tried to “cure” any of these greats? Our world would be extremely different from where it is now!
The Mom Kind
Learning to balance everyone needs can be hard. Now add in the fact that every child can benefit from different parenting styles, it can be overwhelming at best! That’s where the concept of our site came into play.
Many families like ours have their unique struggles. With all the therapy, counseling, school, sports, church, and day-to-day life, it is hard to keep up! Our goal here is to provide logical parenting advice as well as ease the burden of daily struggles. These include some of the same advice as every household has. Things like organizing tips, recipes, ways to relieve financial burdens, self-help, and more.
Since there are never enough hours in the day, we wanted to provide all these tips in one place. One website dedicated to parents and caregivers just like you. Because let’s face it, when you are hiding in the bathroom for some peace and quiet, you don’t have time to scroll through multiple websites!
We hope you’ll join us on this great new frontier called Neurodiversity. We want to have you the reader involved in the conversations and posts of this site. Always feel free to start a dialogue in the comment boxes, on our social media pages, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alicia Trautwein is an autism parenting coach living in Missouri. She is the creator behind The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families. She is one of the head creators behind the #WeLoeveMoms campaign and is also featured in the “Amazing Moms” coffee table book by Hogan Hilling & Dr. Elise Ho. She shares her expertise along with her experience in parenting children, both with and without autism.