Are neurodivergent people actually in the minority?

Neurodivergence is “having a brain that functions in ways that diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of “normal.”” (quote from Nick Walker’s blog)

That does not mean that to be neurodivergent is uncommon, just that the dominant societal stand of normal is different than what you are.

We know that a minority group can have the loudest voice and biggest influence in many situations….. so it makes sense that it is possible that neurotypical people are in the minority but still dominating the conversations around what is “normal”.

I think many of us hide our neurodivergence and disability if we can, because we are expected to and it’s easier, sometimes safer. Since I have been deliberately not hiding my neurodivergence, and learning to live my life in ways that work better for me, I have been faced numerous times with situations and responses that have been difficult and confronting. If I had just hidden my needs and done what was expected that would not have happened.

It makes me wonder, how many more people like me are out there? It took me 40 years to get to a place where I can begin to say I know who I am, and what I need.  How will they get the information that would help them understand themselves and live better lives?

There are times when I choose not to disclose my neurodivergence because I do not have the energy to face the disbelief, stereotyping and/or discrimination that will result.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 12.33.15 PMimage: text reads”How many people are out there who know they are neurodivergent but are unwilling to disclose the information in order to get the support that would help them? Are they silent and alone, walking through life neurodivergent and hiding it?” over a background of leaves and branches in a tree canopy.

These thoughts give me more confidence to speak up about my life, my experiences and my needs. If neurodivergence is more common than we know then we, those of us who can, need to be open about it so that others can hear and see that they are not alone. When we build community together we build safety and strength… things sorely needed as we push on to a time when diversity is recognised, valued and encouraged as part of society’s normal.

4 thoughts on “Are neurodivergent people actually in the minority?

  1. I’m in a graduate writing program and when I speak about Autism and finding it late in life, one person came up to me to say she thought she was Autistic, too, and she felt SO MUCH better to know she wasn’t alone. We squealed with childhood remembrances that were in common. The next class I had someone who has face blindness who thought SHE was alone. The more we share our stories, the more we can find ourselves. Who knows…maybe we ARE the majority? My husband likes to argue that we’re an “evolution” and if we are, well, maybe there are a lot more of us than people realize, much like women are the numerical majority, yet still a minority.

  2. Reblogged this on Under Your Radar and commented:
    This is absolutely true. We are vastly under-reported, vastly under-estimated, vastly under-represented in every aspect of life and the public conversation. And that’s for a reason. Because stepping out, means — for many of us — stepping off a cliff. And we like being able to live our lives.

  3. Maybe in certain High Tech Industry cities like Austin and San Francisco. Brilliant minds tend to have Autistic children. When those children have children they often will show Autistic traits.

    I think they might be someday – but not just yet. 🙂

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