OccupationalTherapy.com Phone: 866-782-9924


What is a Neurodiversity-affirming Practice?

Katherine McGinley, OTDS

July 15, 2023

Share:

Question

What is a neurodiversity-affirming practice?

Answer

Neurodiversity is a term that was coined in the 1990s by Judy Singer. It is a play-off of the term biodiversity, referring to the normal variation in human brains. This concept includes people with anxiety, ADHD, autism, and many others. This concept suggests that no normal or abnormal brain exists, and we should embrace the differences.

Neurodiversity-affirming practice flips the traditional model of care. Instead, it recognizes all individuals as valuable, just the way they are. Treatment or intervention looks more like affirming who people are and increasing their quality of life rather than attempting to fit them into a standard mold. This practice is most commonly talked about and used for autistic people, which is excellent, but neurodiversity-affirming methods and approaches recognize all brains as valid. Thus, neurodiversity-affirming care is appropriate for everyone.

 

This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course, Reframing Autism From A Neurodiversity-Affirming Perspective Podcast, by Katherine McGinley, OTDS, and Dennis Cleary, MS, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA.


katherine mcginley

Katherine McGinley, OTDS

Katherine McGinley, OTDS, is an autistic occupational therapy student. Katherine has a passion for disability justice and is an autistic advocate. She is currently conducting qualitative research to assist practitioners in understanding how to utilize a neurodiversity-affirming approach when working with autistic individuals who exhibit self-harm and aggressive behaviors. In the past, she has worked with adults and children with developmental disabilities. Her main goals are to improve the quality of life for autistic and other disabled people. 

 


Related Courses

Reframing Autism From A Neurodiversity-Affirming Perspective Podcast
Presented by Katherine McGinley, OTDS, Dennis Cleary, MS, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Audio

Presenters

Katherine McGinley, OTDSDennis Cleary, MS, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Course: #5896Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'I would like for the course or maybe a future course to discuss goal writing from this perspective'   Read Reviews
The autistic community wants healthcare professionals to switch to neurodiversity-affirming practices. What would neurodiversity-affirming practices look like, and how can occupational therapy practitioners make this change? This is part of the Continued Learning Podcast series.

Occupational Therapy And Case Management: Focused On Holistic Care And Functional Outcomes Podcast
Presented by Thomas F. Fisher, PhD, OTR/L, CCM, FAOTA, Dennis Cleary, MS, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Audio

Presenters

Thomas F. Fisher, PhD, OTR/L, CCM, FAOTADennis Cleary, MS, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Course: #5973Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'This podcast answered all of my questions I have been trying to research on my own'   Read Reviews
During this podcast, the learners will be introduced to case management, care coordination, disease management, and the certification process for case managers. Occupational therapists are appropriate for case management positions because of their holistic education as well as their background in mental health and physical disabilities. This is part of the Continued Learning Podcast series.

Disability Inclusion: What Healthcare Providers Need To Know
Presented by Kathryn Sorensen, OTD, OTR/L, ADAC
Video

Presenter

Kathryn Sorensen, OTD, OTR/L, ADAC
Course: #5632Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'I remember taking a client in a power chair 500+ feet down a sidewalk only to find a steel tie down in the way of completing our walk'   Read Reviews
As a person with a disability and an occupational therapist, I have a unique perspective of living in two worlds. In this course, I will share my personal experience and things I wish healthcare providers knew and understood about living with a disability.

Guide to Bariatric Transfers and Manual Handling
Presented by Rina Pandya, PT, DPT, APTA (USA) HCPC (UK), MCSP (UK)
Text

Presenter

Rina Pandya, PT, DPT, APTA (USA) HCPC (UK), MCSP (UK)
Course: #5642Level: Intermediate3.5 Hours
  'This course has given me new ideas to treat bariatric patients especially in the facility i work in! Also it will help in preventing injuries in the workplace'   Read Reviews
Different manual handling techniques, considerations, and safety for patient transfers for bariatric clients, clinicians, and caregivers are addressed in this course. This aids in staff retention, reduces workplace injuries, and prolongs a clinician's career in their chosen field of healthcare.

Transition To Home After A Rehab Stay Podcast
Presented by Krista Covell-Pierson, OTR/L, BCB-PMD, Dennis Cleary, MS, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Audio

Presenters

Krista Covell-Pierson, OTR/L, BCB-PMDDennis Cleary, MS, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Course: #5914Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'It was an easy lecture/discussion stay engaged in'   Read Reviews
Today's healthcare environment makes it difficult to address patients' needs. This podcast will discuss how we can be client-centered and comprehensive while also adhering to time constraints. This is part of the Continued Learning Podcast series.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.