This has been picking at me for a while: neurotypical parents belittling and silencing neurodiverse adults. Since it hasn’t happened to me much on a personal level, it hasn’t been pressing enough to write about here.
This week, I was reminded of just how frustrating it is when people pull that nonsense.
Really, it was only one woman who handed out the jabs. She had a little boy with some sort of learning difference that involved executive function challenges and was part of a group conversation on twitter.
Executive function is something I’ve always struggled with, so I thought I’d share my point of view. She shot back with sarcasm, to which I responded by ending the exchange. If you’re not going to be civil, you won’t get my time or energy.
She did the same thing to another member of the chat, as well.
I understand that a parent’s number one concern is their child. When that child is neurodiverse, parents naturally do whatever they can to help them through rough patches.
That said, unless the parent has the same type of neurology, they will never fully understand what it’s like to be fundamentally different. Even if they do have the same neurodiversity, different times and demographics put a unique spin on what their child will go through versus what they did.
That said, wouldn’t talking to as many people who are similarly wired to the kid help shed some light on how to help?
Although no two situations are ever identical, listening to what adults with similar challenges say offers valuable insight into the invisible struggles today’s neurodiverse kids grapple with.
When you belittle us, you turn a valuable resource away.
We have no obligation whatsoever to talk to you. It’s not our job to educate anyone about what we experience. Not everyone in the neurodiversity room wants to share, and that’s our decision to make.
If you want to learn about what it’s like to be neurodiverse, you’re sabotaging yourself by silencing those of us who want to talk about it.