In these pandemic days, advocating for human neurodiversity feels like my full time job. With my therapeutic massage practice shuttered due to COVID19 restrictions, I have at least a few hours each day to focus on my efforts to promote neurodivergence as a natural part of human genetic variation. I feel fortunate to know so many awesome people in the neurodiversity movement, and I am grateful for the support they have offered me both face to face, and via social media. I’ve got my own neurotribe and they are awesome to the core.
I could write a post every day for the next year profiling the divergent people who’ve helped me feel accepted and at home in the neurodiverse herd and still not cover all of them. But, I wanted to shout out three people who’ve made my life better in the last week. At the heart of it, neurodiversity is about community, and these people have helped me feel included, informed, connected, and calmed.
In blog post from September 2020, I wrote about the joy of having synnie friends. One of my favorite people in the synaesthesia community is Lucas Masoch, a musician, composer and multimedia artist. Lucas and I met on Facebook in a private group called “Synesthesia”. I really appreciate knowing other synaesthetes who have the types of interlinked senses that I have, and Lucas and I connected over our shared experiences with chromesthesia which is the perception of sounds, including music, as visual experiences of color. Lucas is featured in Episode 02 of the Weird Sister Podcast, and he offers a fantastic description of his unusual sensory world. You can also find his epic Baumarius Remastered on bandcamp.com. Baumarius is one of the artist names that Lucas Masoch uses, and his Baumarius Remastered is the result of 7000 hours of creative effort distilled into 5 hours of near pristine audio.
The Neurodiversity Project is one of my go-to resources for lectures, readings, and dialogues on various topics related to neurodivergence. Jenara Nerenberg is the founder of the Neurodiversity Project, and she is a journalist, author, producer, and public speaker. She recently penned an essay on the topic of mental health titled “Fire and Light in Madness” about the death of Zappos founder Tony Hseih. Jenara also writes a newsletter, which is a great way to keep in touch with the events hosted by The Neurodiversity Project. And she is the author of Divergent Mind, one of the first books about the ways in which neurodiversity impacts girls and women. I highly recommend Divergent Mind for any reader interested in the neurodiversity movement, regardless of gender.
If you’re on Twitter, please follow Christa Holmans aka Neurodivergent Rebel. They are a true activist who dispels myths and misunderstanding about Autism. Often witty, always on point, and fearless in calling BS on Autism misinformation, Christa’s dynamic videos cover many different topics related to their experiences as an Autistic, genderfluid, queer person with a later-in-life diagnosis. In January, Christa with launch NeuroTaboo, in collaboration with Jude Morrow from Neurodiversity Training International. NeuroTaboo is a series of monthly conversations on taboo topics from the perspective of two neurodiverse individuals. The first episode airs January 25th and will address faith and religion. According to Christa, “This session will benefit Neurodivergent individuals, parents, teachers, spiritual leaders and anyone with a touch of neurodiversity in their lives”. You can learn more about Christa Holman’s projects at neurodivergentrebel.com
In all truth, I know myself to be an inconsistent friend. As a person with ADHD and other neurocognitive differences, my executive function tends to be quite squirrelly. I am off and on social media, sometimes not posting for weeks, and losing touch with people that I know exclusively through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I’m slow to return phone calls and email, and I can get easily overwhelmed, which further impacts my communication. Yet, I hope I am as good a friend to Lucas, Jenara, and Christa as they have been to me. Their generosity of spirit over the interwebs has helped me feel part of something larger. And they inspire me to be the best divergent me I can be.
I feel lucky to know you beautiful humans! Mwah!