Education about Autistic culture, the ND paradigm, and the ND movement – for medical professionals, by Autistic people

Join Autistic people from all over the world, committed to the de-stigmatisation of Autistic ways of being and other forms of neurodivergence, in support of the development and delivery of education about Autistic culture, the neurodiversity paradigm, and the neurodiversity movement – for medical professionals, by Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people. Fill in the form below to sign.

The Autistic Collaboration Trust centres the lived experience of Autistic people in the education of healthcare professionals about Autistic ways of being and Autistic culture. All our educational work in the healthcare sector adheres to the Design Justice Network Principles and is envisioned to catalyse the adaptation of healthcare services to the specific needs of Autistic people and corresponding improvements in health outcomes.

If you are Autistic or otherwise neurodivergent, you can add your name to underscore the urgency for Autistic led education based on lived experience. If you are a healthcare professional, you can add your name to demonstrate your commitment to removing the social stigma frequently encountered by Autistic or otherwise neurodivergent colleagues and patients.

Sign

The level of ignorance, stigma, and open hostility that Autistic patients and Autistic healthcare professionals regularly have to deal with is traumatising. There is a need for healthcare sector wide education in the neurodiversity paradigm, the neurodiversity movement, and Autistic culture. Education on these topics is essential for addressing entrenched problems of lack of cultural and psychological safety in the workplace. There are also corresponding problems of lack of safety for patients, their whānau / families and communities.

Education about the neurodiversity paradigm is not the same as education about neurodiversity. It answers an important question:

  • How does the mindset and language of the new paradigm differ from the language in the old paradigm?

Education about the neurodiversity movement builds on the neurodiversity paradigm. It answers three important questions:

  • Why is there an urgent need for a paradigm shift?
  • Who is involved in the shift?
  • Who must learn from the neurodiversity movement?

Education about Autistic culture builds on the results of the neurodiversity movement. It answers three important questions:

  • What is Autistic culture?
  • How does it relate to other cultures?
  • How does it relate to the neurodiversity movement?

I care deeply about the healthcare outcomes of patients and about the cultural and psychological safety of all patients and all healthcare professionals within clinical environments. I recognise an urgent need for education about the cultural contexts, sensory profiles, diverse needs, and the social stigma frequently encountered by Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people.

In particular, healthcare professionals must be introduced to the non-pathologising and non-stigmatising language that has become the expected default within Autistic culture and within the broader neurodiversity civil movement that emerged out of the Autistic rights movement. The required education is very different from education framed in the culturally outdated language of the pathology paradigm, which still presents and rates the humanity of neurodivergent people in terms of deficits relative to the current neuronormative culture.

I support the work of the Autistic Collaboration Trust to facilitate education in the neurodiversity paradigm, the neurodiversity movement, and Autistic culture based on lived experience.

Scope of required education

The neurodiversity paradigm

How does the mindset and language of the new paradigm differ from the language in the old paradigm?

Topics:

  1. Motivation
  2. Terminology
  3. The social model of disability
  4. Dimensions of divergence from neuronormativity
  5. Intersectionality
  6. The communal definition of Autistic ways of being / Takiwātanga
  7. Anthropological background
  8. Exposing the cultural bias of normality
  9. Transdisciplinary understanding of human learning and wellbeing
  10. The connection between neurodiversity and creativity
  11. Ableism and lived experience
  12. Frequently asked questions

The neurodiversity movement

  • Why is there an urgent need for a paradigm shift?
  • Who is involved in the shift?
  • Who must learn from the neurodiversity movement?

Topics:

  1. Historic background
  2. Cultural bias against creativity, critical thinking and transdisciplinary collaboration
  3. Behaviourism in parenting, education, workplaces, economics, and the sciences
  4. Disability in a sick society
  5. Cultural safety and the human rights perspective
  6. Psychological safety
  7. Autistic communities
  8. Towards comprehensive bans of conversion therapies
  9. Overcoming cultural inertia in a time of exponential change
  10. Design BY and WITH neurodivergent people
  11. Advice process
  12. Introduction to Open Space as a transformational tool
  13. Guidance for making good use of Open Space
  14. Critical thinking tools for creative experimentation

Autistic culture and lived experience

  • What is Autistic culture?
  • How does it relate to other cultures?
  • How does it relate to the neurodiversity movement?

Topics:

  1. Autistic language
  2. Learning without imitation
  3. Autistic collaboration
  4. Competency networks
  5. Minimising misunderstandings
  6. Exposing social injustice
  7. Raising healthy children
  8. Creating thriving communities
  9. Towards mutual understanding and a better world
  10. Difference drives humanity forward
  11. Autistic clinicians, nurses, social workers, lawyers, accountants, scientists of all stripes, mathematicians, artists, musicians, engineers, and entrepreneurs
  12. Deep innovation
  13. Evolutionary design

Signatories

Last update: 5 June 2022

Healthcare professionals

  1. Dr. A. Ann Emery, Allied health professional, Psychologist, Canada
  2. Dr. Alan Beach, PhD, LCSW, LMFT, Allied health professional, Clinical Social Work & Family Counseling/Psychotherapy, United States
  3. Aly Dearborn, LMFT, Allied health professional, Psychotherapist, United States, Autistic
  4. Amanda Curran, Allied health professional, Australia
  5. Ana Karemy López Cortes, Licenciatura, Healthcare administrator, psicologa, México, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  6. Andrea Afonso, Physician, Portugal
  7. Andrea Beres, Allied health professional, Psychologist, Australia
  8. Annette Collins, Allied health professional, Australia
  9. Ariel Lenning, Physician, Optometric physician, Optometry, United States, Autistic
  10. Becki Woolf, Allied health professional, United States
  11. Brian Hess, Allied health professional, United States
  12. Brian Moran, Nursing professional, United States
  13. Carol Beatty, Allied health professional, Counsellor, Couples’ Therapist, United Kingdom
  14. Casey Wilson, Allied health professional, United States
  15. Cecilia Barbosa, Allied health professional, United States
  16. Chelsea Mongan, Nursing professional, Nurse Practitioner, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  17. Doraine Raichart, Allied health professional, United States, acupuncturist and Eastern medicine practitioner
  18. Elizabeth Williams, Allied health professional, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  19. Emma Ward, Allied health professional, United Kingdom
  20. Heather King, Allied health professional, Speech-Language Pathologist, Australia, Autistic
  21. Holly Sprake-Hill, Allied health professional, United Kingdom, Otherwise neurodivergent
  22. Iuliana Sava, Allied health professional, United Kingdom, Autistic
  23. Jess Hodges, Allied health professional, Psychotherapist, Australia, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  24. Jessica Kitchens, Allied health professional, Mental Health, AA Therapist and Advocate, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  25. Jessica Newland, Allied health professional, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  26. John Finnegan, Allied health professional, United States
  27. Julie McCarthy, Allied health professional, Australia, Otherwise neurodivergent
  28. Karen Scorer, Allied health professional, United Kingdom
  29. Maija Mills, Allied health professional, Physiotherapy, Canada, Autistic
  30. Marta Louise, Allied health professional, Canada, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  31. Miah Pavlik, Nursing professional, United States, Autistic
  32. Miranda, Nursing professional, Canada, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  33. Monica Boyd, Healthcare administrator, Education, Canada
  34. Nicola M, Allied health professional, United Kingdom, Otherwise neurodivergent
  35. Nicole Lui, Allied health professional, Certified Functional Nutritionist (FNLP, CFNC), Medical Cannabis Consultant (AAFP-EC), Clinical Herbalist (TCM & Western Herbology, working towards board certified), and Spiritual Teacher, Canada & Hong Kong, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  36. Paula Gómez, Allied health professional, Australia, Otherwise neurodivergent
  37. Sandy Rayman, Allied health professional, Therapist, United States
  38. Tara O’Donnell-Killen, Allied health professional, Ireland, Autistic
  39. Dr. Terry Hannan, A/Professor, Physician, General Internal Medicine and eHealth, Australia
  40. Tonya Makar, Allied health professional, United States, Otherwise neurodivergent
  41. Tracey Nelson, Allied health professional, Australia

Patients

  1. Alden Blevins, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  2. Alix Latta, United States, Autistic
  3. Amanda Sutton, United Kingdom
  4. Bailey Wagner, Canada, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  5. Brina Simon, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  6. Caroline Kimrey, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  7. Dan McFarland, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  8. Daniel Aird, Senior Research Associate (Biotech / cancer field; but am very well versed in science), United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  9. Heather Johnson, Writer, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  10. Heather Steeves, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  11. Herman Langkamp, Nederland, Autistic
  12. Jax Bayne, United States, Autistic
  13. Jessica Nabb, Australia, Autistic
  14. Karen Sydow, Australia, Otherwise neurodivergent
  15. Khaenin Rutherford, United States, Otherwise neurodivergent
  16. Linda Guevara, Mexico, Otherwise neurodivergent
  17. Lisa W, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  18. Lucy Reid, United Kingdom, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  19. Martin Bryan-Tell, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  20. Ryan Boren, United States, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  21. Suzanne Galloway, Australia, Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent
  22. Sydney Warner, United States
  23. Traci Collins, United States, Autistic

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4 Responses

  1. I think, with good reason, that I am neurodiverse, though I am just now at age 70 arriving at this realization, and I am exploring this field. I feel quite confident that this explains a lot of the difference that others see in me and that I have felt peculiar in.

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