Hey guys I need a hand.
I’m struggling my way through finding a new way to see FASD. To appreciate its gifts as well as see its challenges. For me words are the way I shape my thoughts. So I've been trying to be more careful with my words. There is one thing I keep stumbling over – and I’d like you to help me shape it define it – name it. I’ve noticed that among the community of folks with FASD they use the term “Neruo Typical” (or NT for short) to describe what neuro-typical’s like to label “NORMAL”. I really like this – I've adopted that as my new term. It doesn't carry the same baggage for me as “normal”.
What I am struggling with now though is what is the opposite term? What is the right term for “Not Neruo Typical?” I mean is it just that – not neruo typical? I’m searching for a word that indicates a difference without heaping a judgment of good or bad on the difference and I’m coming up blank. I think we need this for making a paradigm shift. I KNOW I need it. So I figured I ‘d ask for help. And I am ashamed to admit the first place I was going to as was other parents of kids with FASD. That’s right other NTs. And I realized I still have a lot of work to do on myself in terms of being ready for this future I imagine, one where people with neuro cognitive differences are recognized as equally valid, different but not less than neruo typical.
I know all this angst over the distinction in words may seem picky or even silly to some people. But I’d ask you to think about the difference between calling someone an “Indian” verses a “Native American” verses a Sioux. One was a wrong (Columbus never made in anywhere close to India) label ( and I'd argue applied with clear derogatory intent), one was intended to be neutral but still externally applied, and the last is the name a people gave themselves.
So I’m asking people affected- how do you define this –what words do you use? What words should we all be using? I see affected people connecting – forming your own communities in person and on line. You should have a voice that is heard and respected. Hello, my name is Tina. I’m neuro typical. And you are?