I especially wanted to focus this blog on issues surrounding ignorance in invisible differences, neurodiversity and disability. So many people encounter ignorance on a day to day basis, whether it be in school, university, the workplace, in day to day life. I always think it isn't anyone's business what someone else is doing with their lives, it can be such a struggle sometimes as it is without the need for ignorance. It can domino effect and have such a devastating impact on self esteem, confidence and mental wellbeing.
One of the most frustrating ignorances is when people assume that if your brain thinks in a different way then they must be "stupid" or "thick" and they can say whatever they like as if the person will fail to understand what is going on. Which is simply ridiculous as so many people are so clever and have such a creative way of thinking, it's just a different way of wiring.
Most importantly though there is a person behind any labels, someone with feelings, someone who probably doesn't feel amazing about themselves as it is.
I recently came across this article in The Telegraph which highlights some of the 'hidden' social and emotional difficulties experienced by teenagers with dyspraxia who don't quite fit in with their peers
"At home, in the security of her own family, this kid is delightfully charming, funny, clever and good-hearted – but, among her peers, she has always been a misfit. Diagnosed in early childhood as slightly dyspraxic, she can be physically clumsy and socially awkward. Her dyspraxia makes her hopeless at ball games and team games but, more importantly, it makes her an outsider."
I found this so relatable as it reminded me of growing up and into adulthood, I showed it to my mum and she had tears in her eyes as she remembered experiences with me. Whilst we will never fully understand what someone is going through unless we are them we can all try and accept someone for who they are and for whatever differences they have. We can all ask a few questions try and find a little bit more before we assume or judge. Just as we also need to appreciate the impact on ignorance on someone's nearest and dearest- it can be heartbreaking. I've always prided myself on being a generally open minded non judgemental person, I might not understand completely what someone is going through but I will always take the time to show a bit of empathy.
To anyone who is experiencing ignorance, whether it be on a daily basis or an isolated incident, whether it be you or your child, please remember it's not your fault, there's nothing wrong with you, please don't blame yourself. I know that's easy to say when you don't have amazing self esteem and confidence and being a literal thinker it's always been something I've found difficult, but you are worthy and deserving of kindness and happiness.
My friend Hannah has always told me "be the shepherd not the sheep" in life our words and actions can work in two ways, they can make someone's day or break them, be a maker and embrace and enrich yourself in diversity.