Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month

Lily Thivierge, Staff Writer

Every April America celebrates Autism Awareness Month. This month is for recognizing, appreciating, and educating about neurodivergence and the people who have it. 

Neurodiversity is caused by different developmental disorders that cause someone’s brain to function differently than the average person’s, or neurotypicals, brain. Though causes of atypical brain function come from developmental disorders, neurodivergent people don’t have slower functioning brains, just a way of thinking that can heavily differ from the general population. 

Diagnoses that fall under the neurodivergent classification include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, Dyslexia, ADHD, epilepsy, hyperlexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). All of these impact a person’s life extremely differently but all cause atypical brain function. 

Neurodiversity is often seen in a negative light, but it doesn’t have to be. Of course sometimes it is difficult to be the minority in a neurotypical world, but it isn’t always that way. Stanford University created the Neurodiversity at Work research project to help research and educate employers about the benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace.  People with ASD can be inflexible, but they can also be dedicated specialists who apply themselves in a field they are passionate about. People with ADHD don’t always do well with rules but their creativity is unmatched. They also can be very energetic and hyperfocus which allows them to dive into a task.