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Neurodiversity & Community Connections

Updated: Feb 28

Navigating the landscape of our experiences requires a shared understanding and collective support.

Figuring it out ourselves is possible, but it’s harder, and most of us fit into multiple spaces and intersections, and face a whole range of challenges as we struggle to find a space where we can comfortably belong.

A large walled road with building outside of it, filled with people in many colours running a marthon.

Isolation is a recurring theme in my work, and building and sustaining communities is a privalege and responsibility for those of us able to do so. I’ve always been big on “self care” and sometimes I have to stop and ask myself whether focusing on caring for ourselves as individuals inadvertently perpetuates the idea that others are unsafe. Many of us have been forced into isolation by family systems, social structures, bullying and fear… is it the only way forward?

Let’s talk about community care. Creating spaces for diverse knowledge and experiences can completely change the stories we have around what it means to be neurodivergent. I’ve seen the impact of shared spaces, witnesses, and community engagement in changing people’s lives and I'm compelled to figure out how to bring the community into individual therapy, and individuals into the community.

A group of people sitting together in a brightly lit room.

There’s lots of ways to do it - support groups is the most obvious. Therapy is a little one-way sometimes, all about supporting you in the space, and not mutually sharing. There’s value in that, but sometimes getting to hear multiple people’s stories as well as sharing your own is much warmer. We can feel like the only one in the world who’s struggling, and knowing that others have faced it - or are facing it - too can be healing. Other times being the one to suggest an idea or a strategy or an anecdote can be proof of the good we can offer without even realising it. There’s a lot of healing in helping others.

Having specific groups that connect to the community that you most resonate with (or the one with the most fun seeming people) can be pretty validating. Yeah, you never know where someone will appear in your life who is just who you needed, but it’s also nice to step into a space and assume that everyone is going to “get it” on some level. Info dumping about a special interest to someone without fear that they’ll interrupt you or make fun of your interests is a big deal.

At the time of writing this, I’m still setting up groups and hoping to make them available to people soon. It’s something I’m really excited about, so if it’s something you’d be interest in, please let me know HERE so you can be informed the moment I have something up and running.

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