Education in the neurodiversity paradigm, the neurodiversity movement, and Autistic culture

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The Autistic Collaboration Trust in collaboration with S23M Healthcare Solutions is offering in-depth education in the neurodiversity paradigm, the neurodiversity movement, and Autistic culture based on our lived experience.

The objectives of the Autistic and neurodiversity civil rights movements overlap significantly with the interests of those who advocate for greater levels of cultural and psychological safety in the workplace and in society in general. In the workplace the topics of cultural and psychological safety are relevant to all industries and sectors. Committed allies of the neurodiversity movement such as Dr. Zoe Raos (Te Āti Awa), a gastroenterologist in Waitematā, Tāmaki Makaurau, are starting to speak up about the lack of cultural and psychological safety for Autistic patients and colleagues.

Education on these topics is essential for addressing entrenched problems of lacking cultural and psychological safety in the workplace, and corresponding problems of lacking cultural and psychological safety in local communities.

We offer professional education courses of varying lengths that can be delivered on-site, online, or in mixed formats, including self-paced learning modules, interactive lectures and workshops, and facilitated asynchronous workshops and Q&A sessions via suitable online tools.

All our education courses are tailored for specific audiences:

  1. In-depth education for healthcare professionals
  2. In-depth education for teachers, education professionals, and parents of school age children
  3. Introductory courses for professionals in other industries

All of our education courses are very different from education about neurodiversity in the language of the pathology paradigm – i.e. Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and other pervasive developmental disorders, which mainly frames neurodivergent people in terms of deficits relative to the current neuronormative culture, perhaps with a few special splinter skills thrown in for Feel Good Effect.

The neurodiversity paradigm

Education about the neurodiversity paradigm and intersectionality 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?

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

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?

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

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?

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

Autistic trauma

Education about the many ways in which Autistic people are traumatised throughout their life by the social norms and “normal” living conditions in modern industrialised societies. It answers three important questions:

  • Why are Autistic people severely affected by traumatising conditions and events?
  • How to distinguish between Autistic traits and trauma coping mechanisms?
  • How to best support highly traumatised Autistic people?

Topics:

  1. Sensory overload
  2. Physical symptoms of dis-ease
  3. Mental symptoms of dis-ease
  4. Traumatising diagnostic experiences
  5. Industrialisation and W.E.I.R.D. social norms
  6. Trauma caused by coercive techniques
  7. Trauma caused by social power gradients
  8. Trauma caused by group identities
  9. Avoiding and healing from hypernormalisation
  10. Avoiding and healing from reductionism
  11. Avoiding and healing from behaviourism
  12. Avoiding and healing from bullying
  13. Avoiding and healing from othering

Inquiry

Via our core team of neurodivergent educators and our extended global network we can delivery professional education in all time zones, and we have the capacity to support large numbers of learners in parallel.

Organisations that are committed to providing a genuinely inclusive and culturally and psychologically safe environment for staff / patients / whānau / families / customers /suppliers can inquire about available education courses and delivery formats via the the form below.

Background

Discrimination against Autistic people is comparable to the level of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people 50 years ago. The pathologisation of Autistic ways of being has led to the myths and the pseudo-science that powers the autism industrial complex.