Self Determination: A Lifelong Practice

It has been said that if you are not allowed to get up in the middle of the night and microwave a burrito, there’s a good chance you’re living in an institution. The “burrito test,” as it’s often called, is about more than just a midnight snack. It’s about the right to self-determination. At the organizational level, “self-determination” is a position statement or a keyword. At the individual level, self-determination is a component of a Read more…

Pulling Ableism Out of Politics

Trigger warning: ableist language Those who criticize politicians for their harmful stances toward the disability community are often the same people who use ableist language to refer to those politicians. It is good – and crucial – to criticize ideas, actions, and impacts. Meanwhile, it is problematic – and extremely harmful – to criticize people for inherent qualities (real or perceived). When we refer to a politician’s ideas, actions, and impacts, we emphasize that we Read more…

ADHD: From Awareness to Impact

October was ADHD awareness month, though it is a salient example of a neurotype that many people are “aware,” but few actually seem to understand. Discussions of ADHD from those who are aware of ADHD but lack nuanced understanding tend to be riddled with buzzwords like “big pharma” and lamentations of “overdiagnosis.”   Those who are more familiar with the intricacies of ADHD advocacy, however, recognize that one of the most considerable concerns within the Read more…

Halloween and the Five Foundations

Halloween is fast upon us. For those who participate, it brings with it unique situations in which to put knowledge of the five foundations into practice. Of course, it should go without saying that the potential opportunities from any of these activities never outweigh the harm of encouraging children to engage beyond their boundaries. Halloween can look different for everyone, and that’s ok! Let’s explore some potential aspects of the halloween experience and some opportunities Read more…

Statement on the 2018 Division of Early Childhood conference

Greetings, We are writing this to regretfully inform you that Foundations for Divergent Minds (FDM) will no longer be presenting at the 2018 Division of Early Childhood (DEC) National Conference in Orlando, Florida this week. Despite being approved via their established, peer-reviewed process, our adherence to all conference guidelines, and meeting every registration, payment, and confirmation deadline, we have been informed (on a weekend and less than 48 hours before our scheduled arrival) that our Read more…

Bullying isn’t a Kid Problem

“Finally, children are exposed to media that so often takes advantage of the “weird” character for a laugh. How many of the gross neighbors, awkward first dates, and annoying classmates in popular media look like neurodivergent kids and their adult counterparts? How many of their abuses occur with laugh tracks in the background?”

AAC Awareness Day

When people talk about Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), they could be talking about quite a few different things. At its most inclusive, AAC is an umbrella term for all the ways people communicate without, or in addition to, verbal speech. As people usually mean it, AAC is an umbrella term for the communication strategies and supports used by people with disabilities that affect communication. Organizations like the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs Read more…

Nonlinearity and the ND Experience

The world is set up in a way that seems to presume linear development. Such presumptions are evident in milestones, curricula, and much more. It makes sense. Straight progressions, in all their simplicity and predictability, allow us to plan for the future with relative ease. While most people defy linearity at some point in some area of their lives, neurodivergent people often do so constantly – a tendency that neurodivergent people and supporters alike should Read more…

Goal This, Not That! Using the IEP to Set the Foundation for Future Success

There’s a saying among therapists regarding documentation: “If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen.” Similarly, goals and activities that are set up to be documented will likely be worked on, and those that are not will not. That said, it’s crucial to formulate IEP goals that will support the child’s genuine lifelong success. If you were to disappear from your child’s life tomorrow, what knowledge and skills would you want them to have? How do Read more…

Anxiety: An Opportunity to Support Advocacy and Coping

School can be a stressful experience for many children, neurodivergent and not. Parents and other adults who have been through school themselves at some point may find themselves tempted to respond to anxieties with platitudes meant to reassure the child that things will be ok. Often, however, these reassurances take on more of a gaslighting tendency than a helpful one. When children express their concerns about a new setting – or even an ongoing setting, Read more…