Research shows that 10-20% of the global population is considered neurodivergent. That number only includes those with the resources and ability to be assessed. Despite a significant number of individuals identifying as neurodivergent, school systems, work environments, and social expectations do not account for this difference. A lot of the time, these societal systems are developed with only neurotypical individuals in mind.

Unfortunately, this disconnect between diverse individual needs and constricting social resources/structures has become extremely harmful for the neurodivergent population. Because of this, it is not only important but necessary for individuals to recognize this disconnect and work towards creating a more inclusive social system.


According to the American Psychological Association, ableism is defined as “discrimination against individuals with disabilities or the tendency to be prejudiced against and to stereotype them negatively as, for example, less intelligent, nonproductive, or dependent on

Ableism is deeply rooted in setting neurotypical thinking and processing as the standard in society. This is not only a narrowminded way to view society but it’s also an impossible expectation. No two people think and process the same way. To expect ALL individuals to function the same way is impractical.


One of the best ways we can begin to make positive change in society is by rejecting neurotypical thinking as the standard. Instead, let’s accepting neurodiversity as the reality. Recognizing that all individuals have different ways of thinking and processing is essential in building social structures and systems (e.g., education systems, work environments, social expectations, organizations, etc.) that better encourage growth and prosperity for all individuals.


Neurodivergent friends

Challenge Your Assumptions

Challenging one’s assumptions is no easy task, but it necessary in participating in critical thinking and effective decision making. A good starting point to this is to reflect on one’s own perspective. How have social systems been helpful for you and your way of processing? How have they been unhelpful? Then, consider how the system has been helpful or unhelpful for individuals who have a thinking and processing pattern that differs from yours.

Educate Yourself

One way to create positive change is to increase our knowledge of the situation at hand. What do the current social systems look like? Who created them? What type of person did they have in mind when creating them? When we better understand the problem at hand, we can then begin to create solutions and plans of action.

Get Involved

Involvement can be anything from attending a Neurodiversity Awareness, donating to the cause, or even speaking out against the use of standards in social structures and organizations. Challenging these systems and reconstructing them to be a more inclusive place is not going to be an easy task. However, getting involved now is going to make a huge difference in the long-run.

Celebrating a neurodivergent person

Celebrate Neurodiversity

Lastly, find and use every opportunity to celebrate neurodiversity. The fact that no two people think and process the same way is an amazing thing and is worth recognizing when making social decisions and contributing to organizations. Celebrating our differences allows for all voices to be heard and appreciated. This is something to consider when looking towards our collective future as a society. By uplifting those around us, we can then begin to picture a more inclusive and positive way of living.

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