Because of all the the work that I do to raise awareness around mental health and neurodiversity specifically, I work in the UK but also in France for different organizations, and I do a lot of public speaking, facilitating and writing for them to raise the profile.
Two of them specifically, Diversity and Ability an amazing social enterprise in the UK and Authentic, which is an innovation consultancy in France, so I do a lot of work with them.
And also I am part of the BPD Bunch, which is a talk show, podcast.
We’re on YouTube, Instagram all over the place.
I’m sharing stories specifically about borderline personality disorder because it’s a very stigmatised, misunderstood mental health condition which has the highest rates or amongst the highest rates of suicide.
This idea of normal and neurodivergent I think probably way back when when a bunch of people undoubtedly people of a certain ethnicity and a certain social class when they got together they probably have some… They probably had some internalized ableism themselves and it’s some shame and some guilt the then fully processed.
So they created this idea of normal so they can fit into that box.
I wasn’t in the room for sure at that point.
So I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me exactly what you said.
And I think you bring a really by the way on sorry on the normal in big air quotes because I’m I’m doing this in case you can’t see me big air quotes on that word.
We actually use the word neurotypical when we talk about neurodiversity.
It’s neurotypical like versus neurodivergent for the moment, but language is changing rapidly.
But just to put that in context and I think the very important point that you brought is that idea of intersectionality, the cross of our identities.
So the experience of someone who is diagnosed let’s say as neurodivergent or is self identifying as neurodivergent with other parts of their identity like socio, economic background, race and ethnicity, language, education, gender, sexual orientation etcetera.
Like all of these different identities come into play and and fortune fortunately in some cases unfortunately in others inform the diagnosis and the care and the support that you’re able to receive and there’s a lot of work to be done to change that or they just don’t have the lived experience to know those situations.
So how can you expect them to know those things unless they they hear it like what we’re talking you know, how we’re talking and or they hear other things, you know, but you can’t expect somebody just to know things without that.
You know even within our community, like there are so many differences.
There’s so much diversity.
Like I can’t know what it’s like to have a physical disability for example and to use a wheelchair or a mobility ad aid.
You know, I I don’t have that lived experience.
So I’m always like constantly seeking like meeting people in the community like asking them and just learning all the time.
Like I was working just the other day on writing a report for a client which is about, you know, events, technology to make events more accessible and inclusive.
Well, of course I can write a lot about the neurodiversity experience and you know, thinking about the five senses and how people’s senses might be like over stimulated in different ways.
But for the physical access, I need to rely on my colleagues who have that lived experience because there’s only so much that I can offer as an ally.