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I Asked This Question:

by Sally Willbanks
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I Asked This Question:

What do you find the most difficult thing is about being neurodivergent?

I asked this in an Instagram story, searching for truth from neurodivergent people themselves.  I was looking for openness and honest answers, shedding light on the difficulties neurodivergent people face in their lives.  Their answers leave me feeling like we need to do so much more to help this vulnerable community.  Here are some of the responses:


“Feeling like I have to justify the way I am to NT’s”

“The overload of my senses, it really hinders me daily”

“People not understanding that we function differently, in many ways.  Few really understand us…”

“Sensory overload and socializing”

“Being talked over”

“Assumptions from people on what we can/cannot do”

“Relating to my immediate family”

“The way society wants us to be motivated, active and busy every waking moment”

“The exhaustion and confusion from having to explain myself all the time to NTs”

These answers leave me questioning the role of neurotypical people in the happiness and satisfaction of the lives of neurodivergent people.  Most of the answers are actually controllable, not by the people who answered the questions, but by the neurotypical people in their lives.  In a private conversation, one of the respondents suggested to me that perhaps this is likely a reason comorbidities such as anxiety, depression and oppositional defiance disorder exist.  If neurotypical people were more understanding, compassionate and empathic, changes would no doubt be made to the world in which we live, changes that would encompass the needs of all people with disabilities.  Neurotypical people need to accept neurodivergent people for who they are, believe them when they talk of their experiences, and do what they can to ensure the lives of neurodivergent people are productive, successful and happy.

Wouldn’t it be nice if when I asked that question, all I heard were crickets chirping?

by Sally Willbanks


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