Our Values

Our Values

Everyone, Neurodivergent or not, is most welcome here to engage, learn, and connect with kindness and respect. We welcome allies to the Neurodivergent community. We do not tolerate hate speech, misinformation, or any comments and contributions that could harm Neurodivergent/Disabled people or other marginalised groups. See our Contribution Guidelines for more information. 

We are proud to be Neurodivergent.

To us, being proud means 

  • The opposite of being ashamed
  • Accepting ourselves the way we are
  • Embracing the diversity and dignity of all people
  • Dismantling a purely deficit-based view of our neurology
  • Shifting the focus from ‘fixing’ the individual to adapting environments and communities to the individual’s needs

It does not mean

  • Dismissing or denying individual impairments and struggles
  • Treating our Neurodivergences as ‘superpowers’ 
  • Feeling superior to Neurotypicals

We use identity-affirming & dignified language.

Language matters. At Neuro Pride, we use the term Neurodivergent to talk about our community. We understand that the neurodiversity umbrella encompasses a huge variety of neurotypes and conditions and a one-fits-all approach to language is neither possible nor useful. Some conditions are caused by adverse life events, illness and injury, some need medical care, some cause debilitating symptoms. Some people might have to avail of treatment and hope for a cure. It is up to each individual how they relate to their own neurodivergence. All we ask is that every person be treated with dignity and talked about with respect, no matter their neurology. 

We do not wish to prescribe how individuals identify and refer to themselves, but we encourage the use of identity-affirming and dignified language, especially if referring to us from an outside perspective. We expect allies and the general public to respect each sub-community’s language preferences. 

Autistic Preferences

Person-first language (short: PFL, ‘person with autism’), despite its good intentions, is detrimental to Autistic people and rejected by the majority of the Autistic community. This is why we use identity-first language (short: IFL, ‘Autistic person’). 

We do not use deficit-based, pathologising language, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger’s Syndrome, high- and low-functioning, mild and severe autism, higher and lower end of the spectrum, social communication deficits, restrictive interests, affected by autism, suffering from autism, at risk of developing autism, symptoms of autism, autism epidemic, comorbid disorders, ASD child, autism mom/dad/parent, etc.

The same applies to ADHD, although unfortunately, its very name contains the words “deficit” and “disorder”. We hope that the ADHD community will come up with a more affirming and less misleading name. One suggestion is VAST (Variable Attention Stimulus Trait), but as long as ADHD is the common name, we will go with ADHD to make sure that we actually reach people.

To us, Autism, ADHD and other neurodivergences are not add-ons, they are our hardware, our neurotypes. They are fundamental to every single one of our thoughts, feelings, experiences, perceptions, and actions. They are not dirty words. 

A lot of us find it disheartening to be exposed to deficit-based language every day. Unfortunately, given its prevalence, some of the materials and sources referenced on our pages might still include this kind of terminology. 

See our Resources for more information. 

We base our work on the neurodiversity paradigm & the social model of disability.

Neurodiversity is like biodiversity, but for brains. Our neurology is not ‘less than’. We do not have disordered or defective ‘normal brains’. Diversity and variation are a vital part of the human experience. We reject pseudo-affirming Neurodiversity “light” narratives.

No model of disability is perfect. We are aware of the criticisms against the social model and don’t think a binary view of social vs medical model is beneficial. However, it is true that a lot of us have been disabled by inadequate systems, societal structures, attitudes, and the lack of supports, services and accommodations in all areas of life. We advocate for societal change, which is why the social model is useful to us. This does not mean we deny or dismiss individual impairments and lived experience. It means we advocate for accessibility and inclusion. 

We work to create an inclusive community.

This is a Neurodivergent-led space for Neurodivergent people – speaking or non-speaking, with or without formal diagnosis – who reside in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland or have a connection to the island. We acknowledge the importance of intersectionality.

We particularly wish to welcome Neurodivergent people who are

  • non-speaking 
  • multiply Neurodivergent / Disabled  
  • chronically ill / struggling with mental ill-health
  • members of ethnic minorities or other marginalised groups
  • parents or carers themselves
  • un- or underemployed, on low income
  • older community members

Whether you just want to explore, connect with the community, or share your story, this is a space for all of us. You are very welcome here. We are glad that you have arrived.  

Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.