Despite a number of shared characteristics, similar experiences, and common interests, there is a vast amount of diversity within the Autistic, neurodiversity, and disability communities. At the macro level, these different and sometimes conflicting aspects of our identities can produce opportunity AND obstacle; glee AND gloom; strength AND strife…sometimes simultaneously. A similar multichotomy often exists within the individual as well, complicating things even further. As individuals and as a community, concepts such as acceptance, intersectionality, inclusion, autonomy, and respect are more than trendy terms. For us they are critical – but they can at times feel abstract. How can we live them out in practical, healthy ways and still be our unique, authentic selves? This presentation explores ideas for integrating them into our personal identities, workplaces, schools, and our overall lived experiences while striving for balance and acknowledging that our fallibility does not negate our value.
Learning Outcome (1): Describe ways to live out acceptance, inclusion, and respect both within the neurodiverse community, and as allies for the neurodiverse community. Learning Outcome (2): Identify ways to integrate acceptance, inclusion, and respect into overall lived experiences. Learning Outcome (3): Recognize how to strive for balance in applying acceptance, inclusion, and respect principles practically.