COVID-19 & Neurodiversity: How to Advocate for People Who May Think Differently

AUGUST 8, 2022 –

In this Community Conversation, we heard an update on COVID-19 and then explored the topic of Neurodiversity. A central premise of the neurodiversity movement is that variations in neurological development and functioning across humans are a natural and valuable part of human variation and therefore not necessarily pathological (e.g., Jaarsma and Welin, 2012; Kapp, 2020). The goal of neurodiversity rights advocates is to expand our definition of what is viewed as normal and acceptable rather than attempting to alter those behaviors as a matter of course.
We explored why it is important for advocates to understand what neurodiversity means and how to advocate effectively for people who may think differently.
Our speakers included: Dale Reisner, MD, Medical Director (OB/GYN Quality & Safety) at Swedish Health Services and Malynnda A. Johnson, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Communication at Indiana State University.
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