A Membership designed for Neurodiversity-Affirming Therapists

SLP, OT, PT, and Assistant Members have access to neurodiversity-affirming professional development, continually updated research, and resources that support empathetic and respectful, evidence-based, neurodiversity-affirming practices including:

  • Members-only updates from researchers summarizing their latest work.
  • Contemporary Research papers and Terminology that aren’t widely known such as interoception, alexithymia, The Double Empathy Problem, Diversity in Social Intelligence. Autistic Masking and Camouflage, Monotropism.
  • How to conduct respectful, empathetic, neurodiversity-affirming assessments and write strength-based reports using identity-first language.
  • How to write therapy goals in co-production with clients and families that
    • Improve the self-determined quality of a client’s life, based on the physical (sensory), emotional and psychological well-being wants and needs of the client, and not on “normalization”.
    • Foster autonomy and teach clients to effectively protest, and to give or retract consent.
    • Support sensory integration and processing rather than targeting tolerance and extinction.
    • Foster autistic and other neurodivergent identities rather than training autistic masking through traditional social skills therapy approaches.
    • Target self-advocacy, self-determination, and personal agency (and why these objectives are so important).
    • Target self-determined client objectives that solve problems, meet needs and achieve personal goals.
    • Develop authentic, robust communication in the mode determined by a participant, leading to them getting their needs, wants and goals met. 
    • Teach participants how to establish and maintain their personal boundaries and respect the boundaries of those around them.
  • Why eliminating barriers and recommending and implementing environmental supports, modifications and accommodations are just as important as teaching skills.
  • Why access to AAC is a human right, why AAC therapy must shift to focus on autonomy and authentic communication, and why AAC modeling is a best practice.
  • Why training autism acceptance to family members, educators, and professional peers is vital.
  • How acquired neurodivergent patients have their autonomy violated by providers and why our practices must change.

The commercialization of neurodiversity trivializes what the neurodiversity movement is all about, limiting and silencing real activism, distorting its message and its causes. Performative neurodiversity transforms advocacy into individualized, easily marketable products and services that shut down the real purpose of the human rights movement, turning the focus of neurodiversity onto the influencers, companies, or the therapists themselves.

We choose people over profits, which is why Therapist Neurodiversity Collective strives to offer neurodiversity-affirming SLPs, OTs, and PTs access to high-quality, affordable professional development hours that affect meaningful change in our therapy approaches.

Therapist Neurodiversity Collective member standards respect and uphold

  • Human Rights
  • Disability Rights
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
  • CMS and World Health Organization (WHO) Patient Rights and Standards
  • Medical/Hospital/Residential Patient Rights
  • Student Rights
  • Children’s Rights
  • International AAC Rights

Neurodiversity-affirming therapists practice differently.

The use of ABA in therapeutic practices is entirely unacceptable to us. 

  • No use of ABA or behavioral/compliance-based models in therapy practices, including the use of positive reinforcement. There are better ways to address behavior and therapy.
  • No desensitization, tolerance, or extinction targets or therapeutic approaches
  • No neuronormative social or sensory goals (training autistic people to mask their sensory systems, monotropic interests systems, anxiety, etc.)
  • No training neurotypical social skills. We practice differently.

Neurodiversity-affirming therapists refuse to use compliance-based behavioral approaches or any form of ABA,  and do not provide therapy services for neuronormative social skills training. Collective member applicants agree to abandon the following:

  • Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBIs)
  • Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT; Koegel et al., 2016) – NDBI
  • Early Start Denver Model (ESDM; Rogers & Dawson, 2020) – NDBI
  • Joint AttentionSymbolic Play, Engagement, and Regulation (JASPER; Kasari et al., 2006) – NDBI
  • Incidental Teaching (McGee, 2005) – NDBI
  • Project Improving Parents as Communication Teachers (Project ImPACT; Ingersoll & Wainer, 2013). – NDBI
  • PECS® 
  • ABA + relationship-based therapy (ABA used in conjunction with DIRFloortime, SCERTS, Hanen, or similar.)
  • Verbal Behavior (VB)
  • VB-MAPP
  • The Lovaas Approach
  • Pivot Response Treatment (PRT)
  • Natural Language Paradigm (NLP)
  • Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
  • Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI)
  • Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI)
  • ABA Derived Errorless Learning Therapy Models
  • Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI)
  • Positive Behavior Support (PBS)
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)
  • Social Thinking®
  • The PEERS® Program
  • Social Skills video modeling with the intent for the Autistic person to mimic Neurotypical Social Skills, and mask Autistic characteristics
  • Any neurotypical Social Skills training program that teaches Autistic masking or has goals for Neurotypical Social Skills outcomes

If you are a neurodiversity-affirming therapist, join us!

Applicants for membership agree to uphold Therapist Neurodiversity Collective’s Ethics & Values

  • Members are advocates for Disability Rights and Civil Rights
  • Members are advocates for equitable inclusion, and unrestricted access to supports, modifications, and accommodations
  • Members use ethical billing practices in all settings
  • Members adhere to ethical sales of therapy/parent materials/apps/programs
  • Members provide therapeutic programs that are respectful of neurodivergence, such as autistic differences and sensory processing differences, and address the individual’s specific needs as opposed to a diagnostic label
  • Members practice with a presumption of competence and respect for personal agency
  • Members apply a Strength-Based Approach
  • Members are unapologetic in their opposition to the use of ABA, including Positive Supports and Positive Reinforcement (PBS and PBIS)
  • Members use humane and trauma-informed approaches to Feeding Therapy
  • Members provide access to robust AAC with core language, aided language stimulation, and modeling with no prerequisites
  • Members respect Body Autonomy
  • Members do not use Seclusion and Restraint in our Practices
  • Members do not act as Social Skills Trainers/Interventionists
  • Members practice with cognizance of the potentially harmful effects of social skills programs that promote masking
  • Members will use no application of Exposure Therapy (any form of “tolerance” or “extinction”, in Vivo and Flooding, Imaginal), that potentially induces emotional distress, trauma, and PTSD
    This includes ERP, DPT, sensory system desensitization, or any type of operative conditioning or respondent conditioning (behavior modification through conditioning)

SLPs, OTs, PTs, Assistants

Annual Dues – $149.00 USD

Membership is open to individuals who are licensed and credentialed neurodiversity-affirming:

  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Assistants (SLP-Assistant, COTA/OTA, PTA)

     

You may apply to become an official individual member if you meet our provider requirements (credentialed and/or licensed) and agree to uphold our ethics and values.
We do not have practice memberships available.

Therapists, upon vetting, (you must meet membership criteria) credential and/or license verification, members have access to
  1. All member communications from Therapist Neurodiversity Collective
  2. All live and recorded neurodiversity-paradigm-aligned continuing professional education events with certificates for Certification Maintenance Hours/Continuing Professional Education (CMH/CPE)
  3. Access to an ever-growing compilation of research studies, white papers, and scholarly articles arranged by relevant topic and associated with neurodivergent-affirming practices.  Access is solely for use in non-commercial research and/or private study for general knowledge.
  4. Resources: Report Samples, Goal Examples, Ethics, non-ABA/restraint and seclusion behavior solutions, HIPAA at a glance.
  5. Connect and collaborate with licensed and credentialed therapists from around the world in a unique neurodiversity-paradigm-aligned private forum, as well as a private Facebook group where you may participate in case study discussions, problem-solving, client advocacy issues, and work setting dilemmas.
  6. Opportunities to take action with our advocacy and activism campaigns, and we will support you in yours.
  7. Upon membership vetting, list your practice on the Therapist Neurodiversity Collective’s online directory at no additional cost. Our mission is to supply free public access to neurodivergent-affirming therapists who agree to practice with our ethics and values.

Active Collective therapist members who meet all of the directory listing requirements may apply to be listed in the Collective’s online Directory. There is no fee to be listed in our directory. Our mission is to provide the public with free access to therapists who practice with non-behavioral, neurodivergent-affirming frameworks. The Neurodiversity Movement is a Human Rights movement. We choose people over profit.