Mental Health

Coming back to life

As long as life is framed as a competitive social game failure is guaranteed – because then the suffering of others is simply another great busyness opportunity. A few weeks ago the authors of this article had the wonderful opportunity to hear from from a neurodivergent community in Iceland. We agreed to look for ways of ongoing collaboration.

Nurturing shared understanding in a deceptive world

Human minds can develop amazing capabilities, but at the same time, our cognitive capacities are limited. To ensure we understand each other, we must know our limits, and we must co-create safe spaces for engaging in de-powered dialogue.

Collaborative niche construction

As events beyond human control force us to pay attention to the much richer metaphors of living systems, Autistic people are rediscovering the beauty of collaborating at human scale, and co-creating beautiful works of art as an antidote against the emergence of social power dynamics and the competitive logic of hate and violence.

Nurturing healthy Autistic relationships

Relationships between Autistic people are often more intense than relationships between culturally well adjusted neuronormative people. Healthy Autistic relationships include intensive collaboration on shared interests, overlapping areas of deep domain expertise, and joint exploration of unfamiliar terrain. The intensity of Autistic relationships is based on our ability to hyperfocus and our unbounded curiosity and desire to learn.

Healing from Autistic trauma

Many Autistic people have suffered some form of abuse throughout their childhood from their caregivers. Broken trust is at the core of Autistic trauma. There are no shortage of leverage points for healing from Autistic trauma. Our main challenge consists in progressing the neurodiversity movement in the face of headwind from powered-up established cultural institutions.

Convergent and divergent cultural evolution

Supporting the neurodiversity movement and repairing the human cultural immune system is no longer a luxury, it has become a matter of survival, not only for neurodivergent people, but for everyone who is alive today and for all future generations.

Co-creating ecologies of caring and sharing

Instead of the individualistic perspective, mental health can only be understood in a way that is meaningful for humans at the level of a biocultural organism at human scale. The interactions between us have a direct impact on our nervous systems, cardiovascular systems, and digestive systems.

Cultural evolution towards human scale

The neurodiversity movement is a human rights movement. No one and no organisation can genuinely claim to be supportive of the neurodiversity paradigm without committing to the political goals of the neurodiversity movement. There are no short cuts.

Autistic people are not for sale

The cult of busyness undermines attempts at creating a shared understanding at a very basic level. In a hyper-competitive world the unexpected non-compliant Autistic behaviour is often misunderstood.

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