Neurodiversity is the final frontier of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion movement. The central aim of the D.E.I. movement is improving societal efficacy through the empowerment of people groups who have experienced a history of discrimination. Discrimination against the neurodiverse is long-standing and remains pervasive within cultures around the globe. Yet, many historical figures and influencers of our time could be categorized as neurodiverse and have inspired exponential growth and positive transformation worldwide. Neurodiversity is the concept that conditions like ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism, and more are not the result of biology gone wrong but rather naturally occurring evolutionary variations in neurological structure that remain under-explored and misunderstood. If neurodiversity is part of our human evolution, then perhaps it is key to our survival as a species. If societal efficacy is the aim of the D.E.I. movement, then neurodiversity exploration, education, and empowerment should become the most crucial goal of the movement.

The technological advancements made in the 21st century have afforded us endless possibilities in neurological research. We are discovering new things about the human mind daily. According to the National Science Foundation, we have yet to fully understand the brain of a worm, which is vastly simpler than the human mind. The article, Exploring the Unknown Frontier of the Human Brain, states Neuroscientists don’t yet fully understand how information is processed by the brain of a worm that has several hundred neurons, let alone by the brain of a human that has 80 billion to 100 billion neurons.” The chain of events in the brain that generates a thought, behavior or physiological response remains mysterious.”. The uncharted territory regarding the working of the human mind is as vast and comprehensive as our solar system, possibly even our galaxy. Research yet to be done on the human sensory system is particularly important concerning neurodiversity. Sensory Processing Disorder is one of the most common characteristics shared by those on the neurodiversity spectrum. Neurodiverse individuals do not experience sensory input in the same way neuro-typical individuals do. Exploring the neurodiverse sensory process could lead to discovering the perspective and insight needed to forge a brighter future for humanity.

Any effort to improve the educational opportunities offered to the neurodiverse population will result in the collective advancement of our society. We already know so much about how to educate those with learning differences effectively. However, the systems in place to provide that education are weak and overwhelmed. We need educational programs that promote understanding, integration, relationship building, and opportunity for everyone, the neurodiverse and neuro-typical. Theara provides a clear navigation plan for those serving the neurodiverse community and those within it. This kind of integration and exploration will ignite the power of a Neurodiverse Collective. The power and synergy possible through effective collaboration between the neurodiverse and neuro-typical is unfathomable. We must begin to invest more in this type of collaborative effort. The development of the Neurodiverse Collective, a cooperative endeavor celebrating the collaboration between the neurodiverse and neuro-typical, should be the highest priority of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion movement.

Empowerment does not occur in a silo; it is the outcome of a relationship. We must expand and grow the relationship between the neurodiverse and neuro-typical. To ensure our society’s future well-being, we must grow and develop the Neurodiverse Collective, drawing upon the giftedness and resources therein. For the neurodiverse, empowerment requires the abolishment of all negative stigma associated with neurodiversity. Neurodiversity should inspire reverence rather the fear. The human mind holds the key that will unlock the door of our human potential. I believe that the key is neurodiversity. Therefore, neurodiversity empowerment is a matter of paramount importance. We can not force individuals with atypical neurological systems into atypical education systems. We must empower them to thrive within their diversity. We must move beyond what is comfortable, what appears possible, and what is understood and willingly step into places of discomfort, seemly impossible circumstances, and mystery if we intend to forge a better and brighter future.

Our highest aim should be advancing the exploration, education, and empowerment of the Neurodiverse Collective. Neurodiversity is the final frontier. Let’s work together to eradicate the negative stigmas associated with learning disabilities, differences, and mental disorders. Let’s embrace and encourage the celebration of difference and grow our collective capacity to work, relate, and evolve. Even the most minuscule level of collaboration results in more significant impact, effectiveness, and growth. Consider this your invitation to the Neurodiverse Collective, a movement celebrating neurodiversity and the collaboration of all humanity to ensure efficacy, equity, and empowerment for the neurodiverse. Celebration of the diversity of the human mind will inevitably reveal a brighter tomorrow. Join the celebration and help advance the Neurodiverse Collective!

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