20 July 2020

I write about anything and everything, but I always write about neurodiversity

Book Cover Portion

“I don’t even know what ‘neurodivergent’ means.”

I’m very used to this response when I’m trying to discuss neurodiversity in publishing. There is no fault in it. Neurodivergent is a relatively new term, and not often heard in the mainstream. It’s a catchall term for people with neurological differences. Autism, dyspraxia, learning difficulties, ADHD, Tourette’s Syndrome, dyslexia, etc. It’s a great word! It allows people to quietly establish that they are disabled and not neurotypical, without necessarily having to be fully vulnerable about their diagnosis.

The reason I use it? I know what terrible stories people are telling themselves when they hear ‘autistic’ or ‘learning difficulties’. I just do. After twenty years, I just know. So, I like to start on a completely new, blank page.

People might be scoffing right now, saying that there is no shame in being autistic or having a learning difficulty. And to that I say, of course there isn’t. No one says that more than I. My entire career is built around saying that, over and over again. But when you’ve lived on the other end of having to reveal your diagnosis, in both professional and personal settings, you quickly become an expert in just how terrible most people’s views and perspectives about these matters really are.

Read the full interview on Booktrust