What if we are a neurodivergent species and there is no such thing as normal?
Many things would change. And parenting is one place we’d see huge differences.
Many parents struggle with doing things differently to respond to their child’s unique needs. There is an unspoken belief that children should fit the mould of our expectations. Often the changes only come when there is an official diagnosis of some sort and an external source of input recommends changes to parenting.
If we started from a place of expecting difference because that is how we are as humans, we’d parent each child according to who they are as an individual. We would relax our expectations and let go of developmental milestones as markers for tracking our child’s progress. Instead we’d pay attention to their inner worlds and how their behaviour is reflecting that.
Knowing that there’s no such thing as normal would allow us to expand into a vibrant, diverse and joyful expression of being family. No longer would we be caught up in the comparison trap because we’d relax into the freedom that having no normal would give us.
I think that we’d find it much easier to be understanding, compassionate and kind to our children. We would be more willing to make time to listen attentively to our children in order to understand their uniqueness.
The linear route to adulthood that many people currently live within would become more flexible. There would be pockets and bubbles and multiple strands all woven together and we’d know that our children would find their own way with our support, guidance and partnership.
In essence, we would find a Yes to each child as a unique expression of humanity. We wouldn’t need to advocate for them, in ways many of us currently do, because our society would already be working from a place of acceptance and understanding. If neurodivergence was our normal then we would discover ease for ourselves and our children. And this ease would support positive mental health.
A world that is set up for Neurodivergence by default is a world in which our species would thrive.
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