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Neurodiversity

November 22, 2007

People use the term neurodiversity differently, but Judy Singer, who coined the term (not that it matters), said she was presenting a postmodern approach to neurological difference.

I am also utilizing a postmodern or poststructural perspective when I refer to neurelitism (as in my signature). However, I was a poststructuralist (Foucault, Derrida, etc.) long before I ever heard of Asperger’s syndrome or was diagnosed with it.

Given my life history as a patient in the 1960s psychiatric establishment, when I was (by today’s standards) mislabelled as a schizophrenia, it was an enormous relief, not only to finally have some answers, but to find other people with similar life experiences.

The “being different” part was not important to me. Since becoming an adult, I have usually liked being different (not so, when I was a kid).

Fortunately or not, I am pretty inconspicuous. I really don’t act differently enough from most people I know to be noticable. I can play the game. However, I am different. This Thanksgiving, like almost every other one I have had since leaving my parents’ home, I have spent alone.

Who a person is as an individual is not going to change by attaching a label. While labels can clarify, they have no power in themselves.

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