Thursday, January 13, 2011

N is for Neurotypical

N is for Neurotypical.

(Our word for what a lot of the world calls "normal")

Something highly over-rated.

Something that we are not.

The squashed family is mostly Neurodiverse.

Jake has Autism.

(OK, technically he carries a PDD-NOS diagnosis, sometimes called "autism light" as opposed to full-blown-hits-all-the-points-in-the-DSM autism.  He is clearly on the Autism Spectrum, has an Autism Spectrum Disorder; there are just so many different ways to say this and they all boil down to the same thing.  I am not one for mincing words or finely parsing exactly where on the spectrum his particular snowflake variation falls. I keep it simple, say he has Autism, leave it at that. Autism is not a word I am afraid of.) 

Ethan has some ADD. Also?  Probably a higher than average propensity towards anxiety.

Me?  ADD, baby.  I'm all ADD-rific.  Also?  I'm more than a wee bit neurotic.  (But you knew that, already, no?)

My husband, the boys' father?  I don't talk about him that much here.  He is my polar opposite, as much a private man as I am a compulsive over-sharer.  And I try to respect that.  His stories are his to tell.  Or not. 

And did I ever mention that my mother has ADD, too, finally diagnosed when she was in her 70s?

Apples don't fall far from trees, do they?  No indeed.


Not in my basket.

We think differently.  Sometimes making lightning leaps to land in an instant where others' plodding steps might take them months to get to.

Other times we find truly intolerable a circumstance you find merely mildly annoying.  Or pleasurable.

Our brains are different.

To quote Temple Grandin's mother for the thousandth time: Different, not less.

I'm thinking of printing up a t-shirt, our slogan:
"Say it loud: Neurodiverse and Proud"

It should have rainbows and snowflakes on it, but also be manly enough for boys to wear.

Could you, would you wear one, too? 

Join us here in the neurodiverse zoo?

(And no, I have no idea why I just channeled Dr. Seuss there.  But I find that so amusing, I'm going to stop myself from editing it out & let it stand, in all its goofy glory.)

This post has been inspired by and linked up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday writing meme. We're obviously up to the letter "N" this week.

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