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  • Writer's pictureJacqui Grant

Inclusiveness- Uniqueness in a Time of Labels

Connect and Grow Magazine - April 2024 - Edition 8


This month, we welcome Tommy Trout as a new writer.

Tommy is the ambassador for Autism Australia and the owner of Inclusive AF




You don’t have to look very far to see or hear the lamentations of ‘everybody has autism now!’ or ‘everyone wants a label or diagnosis’. I remember a time when people would’ve paid thousands of dollars NOT to get a diagnosis like that.

 

 Indeed, even in the last year, three people who are close to me have been clinically diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I’ll even confess to being initially skeptical of their newly acquired diagnosis; in an age of algorithms and easy solutions, our attention spans are definitely getting shorter.


This was until I heard the stories of their childhoods, the difficulties they experienced and how they kept forcing themselves to fit in and comply with societal norms. It’s humbling to hear the battles people you love have been waging privately.


 

There were so many different paths and experiences leading to the same diagnosis. Which brings me - belatedly - to the crux of this article and edition of Connect and Grow- Uniqueness.






We are who we are, each of us different












Society only hears and sees the label, not the vast array of experiences and personalities behind it. We think of autism, cerebral palsy or psychosocial disability as a personality. A pre-determined set of behaviours and preferences to expect - furthered by clumsy representations on TV shows and movies.

 

Society sees all kinds of different people get diagnosed with the same condition and call ‘bs’ on it. However, the reality is that disability is a small part of the sum of a human being.

 

 

I believe that, ultimately, we are making progress in disability inclusion, although debate rages on how fast that progress is. There are meaningful conversations being had on disability, which is great; the issue is that the person is getting lost in the shuffle.


 

 People are so keen to support the person with autism they fixate on that one part of the - best of intentions with mixed results. It’s further complicated by advocates and ambassadors who have made their disability a core part of their identity. It’s their right of course, but others see it and believe it is for everybody else.

 

 




Let's come together and support each other!











 

The next phase of disability inclusion is to showcase the fabulous breadth of talent, personality and passion of people with disabilities. Now more than ever, the ‘movement’ needs uniqueness and nuance to be the next stage of the conversation. Let us normalise disability and work to remove the stereotypes and monomaniacal view of it as a type of person.

 

If you’re a person with a disability, embrace your uniqueness!

 

If you’re a ‘normie’: enquire and celebrate what makes them unique.

 

It’s never been more important.

 

Written by Tommy Trout

Founder of Inclusive AF






For our other article on neurodivergence and Jacqui's training, you can purchase the Connect and Grow e-magazine in April 2024 or subscribe to always be the first to get your copy.



(C) 2024 Break Free Consultancy Connect and Grow Magazine


Disclaimer: All information is accurate at the time of publication and general in nature. It is the reader's responsibility always to seek professional input and advice.

 

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