So, it’s been a long time, huh?

2020 lasted about six hundred years, but also seems to have flown by in some regards. By the way, please mask up if you absolutely must go out, but also it would be great if you could stay home and stay safe. 

AND WHEN IT’S YOUR TURN? GET THE VACCINE!

When people ask me what I’ve done with my pandemic time, it has occurred to me recently that I’ll be able to answer, “I’ve crammed an entire second Master’s degree into a year…”

Yup – I’m in my final semester of Slippery Rock University’s M.Ed. in Special Education (Grades 7-12).

What am I going to do with that degree?

I still have no idea. But during this time, I’ve found myself becoming an even fiercer disability liberation advocate, especially when it comes to neurodiversity (i.e., conditions like ADHD, Autism, TBI, learning disabilities, ID/DD, and anything else that means that a person’s brain doesn’t work the same way as the – and I use this term loosely – “normal” brain).

It’s not a huge surprise to me – I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was nearly 30, and since then my entire life has made so much more sense. It’s not always about the label. It’s about being able to understand that my brain is literally wired differently than most so that I can forgive myself and allow myself to work with what I have instead of trying to shove my entire being into a mold that has never fit or felt right.

So I’m going to try to write more here. I don’t know if I’ll be successful, but I want to try. One of my classes this semester is “Advanced Study of Autism Spectrum Disorder,” and I feel like I could go wild talking about the implications of current research and practices because SO MUCH of what we know about ASD and other neurodivergences is from the perspective of the outside observer who is most often neurotypical. As a result, I’ve become very interested in listening to and amplifying the voices of those with lived experience – it’s about damn time that we started listening. And I need an outlet where I can shout as much as I want to try to make people understand.

So for right now, I’m going to share some [mostly TikTok] links to neurodivergent folks and organizations I’ve come to love:

Catie Osborne/Catieosaurus

Erik Gude/HeyGude

(Catie and Erik also have a podcast about ADHD, called Catie and Erik’s Infinite Quest – check it out, it’s a lot of real talk about how ADHD brains work, both scientifically and functionally.)

Robin Roscigno/AuTeach

Ido Kedar

Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

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