A symbol representing the blue rose.

Neurodiversity

A cat, I suppose.

"Nobody realizes that some people expend 
 tremendous energy merely to be normal."

    - Blanche Balain, recorded in Albert Camus' notebooks

The core idea behind neurodiversity is to recognize that there's wide variation in the way brains operate, and that specific forms of operation aren't inherently good or bad, but rather better or worse at working towards particular goals within particular contexts.

When aspects of society are arranged around inaccurate assumptions about how people's minds work, we shouldn't require that neuroatypical people change to be included, but instead change society to include neuroatypical people.

(Edited from the original)

Links

Autism

'The autism creature, staring in your direction.'

I was first diagnosed with autism at age 12, after my mom recognized behavioral similarities between me and my also-autistic older sister. Back when she was diagnosed, my mom was suprised that she was quite happy as a result because she had previously thought she was a weird freak for no reason. As for me, I've fortunately just always had a natural calm acceptance of how I work, so I felt more-or-less the same before and after. In fact, the only thing I really remember from the process is that one lady asked my mom vaguely condescending questions about my potty-trained status. Such is life!

TVTropes: Asperger's Syndrome
Reddit: Inside the Aspie Brain
Coping
Is ABA dog training for children?
Youtube: Darius McCollum
Stimming
Defining Autistic Burnout
neurodiversity.com
Autistic Self Advocacy Network

ADHD

Reddit: ADHD Pro-Tips
The ADHD Analog Brain

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia for Writers
Open the Doors

Other

National Institute of Mental Health
Aphantasia: How It Feels To Be Blind In Your Mind
Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical
Stimpunks

Lexicon

neurodiversity: variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood and other mental functions in a non-pathological sense
neurotypical: having a brain which operates in a way that works well within the current societal context one is in
takiwātanga: in their own time and space, autistic/autism

Memories

2020-11-05: "For some reason, today I spent a disproportianate amount of time watching clips from horror movies I've never seen and reading about serial killers, despite avoiding all this type of shit up until now. It was an interesting natural outgrowth of my autism-rooted interest in other humans' minds." (from my journal)

???: I was first diagnosed with autism when I was 12. My mom first sent me after my older sister was diagnosed, saying that I acted similar to her. All I really remember about the diagnosis process was that the person asked plenty of mildly amusing questions about how potty-trained I was. (from my memory)

At A Loss For Words

I think in pictures, sensations, and contextual intensities. As a result, I'm frequently left feeling like, at least when comparing myself to everybody I interact with offline, I greatly struggle to translate my thoughts into a comprehensible, coherent set of words.

I "see" what I'm thinking of, I "understand" what I'm thinking of, but I can't say what I see or understand!

Here's a quick attempt at an analogy: if you're an entrepeneur trying to tell the web developer you keep locked in your closet what color you want your site's navbar to be, you might try saying it's "pink but lighter with a tad of blue" but they will never see the same shade as you. They'll probably try approximating it over and over, asking you "is this good?" over and over, until you're like "close as it can get".

Because of this, I often just don't have any words that adequately describe what I'm thinking or feeling. I've unintentionally derailed many conversations with inadequate language that leaves others trying to dive into something entirely irrelevant to what I'm trying to say, or thinking things about me that aren't true.

I think that sometimes I can sit down, try really hard, and exert out some categorically word-based thought for a bit, but this is the default set of "thought tools" I've been using for most of my life.