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The Importance of Teaching Neurotypical Kids About Neurodiversity

A child who is not neurotypical often spends hours upon hours in school being coached. They learn how to read social cues and interact with the people in the world around them appropriately. They are constantly cued, disciplined and watched to make sure this happens. Someone asked a question recently that really made me stop and think.

“Why aren’t neurotypical kids taught to understand the way non-neurotypical kids function?”

If we as a society are going to spend time examining gender and race and reexamining our definitions of them, shouldn’t we also spend time learning about people whose brains might work a little differently than ours?

One of the biggest lessons children without disabilities can learn from children with disabilities is that it’s OK to be different. It’s OK to have different talents, dreams and ways of doing things. You can be happy in life in spite of being different. You can succeed despite major obstacles.

Isn’t that something you desperately want your children to understand?

I know I do.

Yes, being with our children who are different can and will likely be uncomfortable for you and for your children at first, just like it may be uncomfortable when you first spend time with someone from a culture or background very different from your own.

Our children should be included in all aspects of life. They are equal world citizens. Your children who will later grow into adults need to understand how people with neurodiverse brains work, that they can contribute, that they matter.

Let’s increase our understanding for all.

This story originally appeared on An Ordinary Mom.