The Autistic Collaboration Trust in collaboration with S23M Healthcare Solutions is working with education professionals to facilitate sector wide education in the neurodiversity paradigm, the neurodiversity movement, and Autistic culture based on our lived experiences.
The course Introduction to the Neurodiversity Paradigm and Intersectionality is an interactive “deep dive” into neurodiversity and autistic culture. It is creative, collaborative, and goes beyond the usual medical and workplace neurodiversity ideas. Very refreshing to take part in CPD catering to different learning and communication styles. It was the most fun I’ve had in CPD this year! The course book is beautiful.
Dr Sarah Bernard FRACP, Australia
All our education courses are based on Autistic lived experiences and on our intersectional participatory research, very different from education about neurodiversity in the language of the pathology paradigm, which mainly frames neurodivergent people from an external perspective, in terms of deficits relative to the current neuronormative culture, perhaps with a few special splinter skills thrown in for Feel Good Effect. For systematic education, we are curating timeless concepts for nurturing and describing ecologies of care.
Education on these topics is essential for addressing entrenched problems of lacking cultural and psychological safety in schools and universities, and corresponding problems of lacking cultural and psychological safety for students, their whānau / families and communities.
Autists depend on assistance from others in ways that differ from the cultural norm – and that is pathologised in hypernormative societies. However, the many ways in which non-autistic people depend on others is considered “normal”. The endless chains of trauma must be broken.
In mainstream society people don’t understand how Autistic people support each other, love each other, and care for each other in ways that go far beyond the culturally impaired neuronormative imagination.
There is the saying that “It takes a village to raise a child.” The Autistic translation of this saying is “For an Autistic person it takes an extended Autistic family to feel loved and alive.”
Most Autists are not born into healthy Autistic families. We have to co-create our families in our own space and time. In a healthy culture Autistic children are assisted in co-creating their unique Autistic families, but in our “civilisation” this cultural knowledge has been lost and is suppressed.
In many indigenous cultures children with unique qualities are recognised, are given adult mentors with similarly unique qualities, and grow up to fulfil unique roles in their local community, connected to others with unique knowledge and insights, perhaps even in other communities. If we are embedded in an ecology of care, we can thrive and share the pain and the joy of life.
The AutCollab Education Team
- Jorn Bettin, Aotearoa New Zealand
- Dr Juanita Fernando, Australia
- Christyanne Gaspar, United States
- Jolene Stockman, Aotearoa New Zealand
- Brittney Geary, United States
- Communal definition of Autistic ways of being
- Introduction to Autistic ways of being
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Autistic Collaboration TV
- Education in the ND paradigm, the ND movement, and Autistic culture
- Intersectional community powered employee wellbeing support
- Bullying alert system for employees
- Autistic trauma peer support
- Psychological safety baseline data collection
- Neurodivergent Infinity Network of Educators, Canada and global
- Te Hapori Whai Takiwātanga o Aotearoa, Aotearoa
Campaigns / projects
- Ban of conversion therapies
- A mosaic of Autistic lenses
- Autistic communities in public libraries
- Appreciation of neurodiversity in the education sector
- #TakeTheMaskOff, an international campaign dedicated to masking
- Strengthening the local neurodiversity movement, Auckland, Aotearoa