- Neurodiversity originally emerged in the 1990’s out of the efforts of autism rights advocates (see for example, Jim Sinclair’s 1993 speech ”Don’t Mourn for Us’‘ which many view as the initial impetus for the neurodiversity movement). In this video (part 7 of a 10 part series on An Introduction to Neurodiversity), I look at the strengths associated with autism. The assets I cover include:
- systemizing ability
- capacity for identifying small details
- sensory sensitivities (which can be either a strength or a challenge depending upon context)
- savant abilities
- special interests, and
- visual spatial skills.
I then look at practical strategies for constructing positive niches for children, teens, and adults diagnosed with autism. These include:
- positive role models
- strength-based learning strategies
- Universal Design for Learning technologies
- enhancing social support networks
- modifying environmental influences
- envisioning affirmative career aspirations
Of greatest importance, however, is helping individuals with autism to know their strengths, and letting those who are helping them know about these strengths. This should be the focus of any intervention used to assist those on the spectrum.
For more information about neurodiversity, see my books The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain, and Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life.
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