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Neurodivergent Voices

Intersectional neurodiversity

This is the fourth of six posts where students voice ideas about neurodiversity, fitting in, and what it means to be included.

What’s your experience with intersectionality?

Contributors reflect on how neurodivergence is intertwined with gender, sexual orientation, mental health, race, and more. They caution about making assumptions about LD when human experience is complex.

“I have had a different experience as a white woman with ADHD than a black man with ADHD has had. Not only through the differences of our racial backgrounds and how society treats us because of our races, but also because of our genders. My ADHD is far, far less likely to be used as a weapon against me the way it could potentially be used against a black man with ADHD. The consequences of my ADHD are different than his, and that is important to be aware of when having conversations about ADHD in a room of people with mixed identities.” 


“I am leaning towards identifying as nonbinary, but there has always been a very loud voice in my head that found every single reason why I couldn’t possibly be nonbinary. For a long time, I have been afraid of telling people simply because I worried that my ASD diagnosis invalidated my gender identity. It was an argument I had read often online, and it had a tight hold on my feelings. It all boiled down to the idea that autistic people perceive the world … very differently than neurotypical people, and as such, autistic people’s views about gender were skewed. It is an idea that I have internalized and am only just starting to address and chip away at.”


“I’m realizing that I haven’t thought much about my own intersectionality. As a person with ADHD and social anxiety, not only do I not learn like a stereotypical student, but my intense fear of being evaluated brings extra hurdles to many aspects of my educational experience. School isn’t hard because of one diagnosis or the other – it’s both. But that’s not how we’re taught to approach these things. Instead, I work through my states of being separately: I get academic accommodations for my learning difference and therapy for my social anxiety. In this separation, something is lost.

… I’ve found myself needing something in between a writing center appointment and therapy, and not knowing where to find it.”


“It {video Trans 101: Neurodiversity} really resonated with me because as a Jewish, cis-woman-identifying dyscalculic who has slow-processing, executive function issues, mental health issues, and possibly ADHD. A lot of people’s preconceived ideas about any of the aforementioned aspects make them think they know what I’m going through (when they don’t), or don’t bother to consider any accommodations or clarity I may need at all.

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