Therapist Neurodiversity Collective


10/2/2021, by Julie Roberts, M.S., CCC-SLP

Cited by: Dwyer P. The Neurodiversity Approach(es): What Are They and What Do They Mean for Researchers? Hum Dev. 2022 May;66(2):73-92. doi: 10.1159/000523723. Epub 2022 Feb 22. PMID: 36158596; PMCID: PMC9261839

There are over 100 free neurodiversity resources and educational material links at the end of this article.

Neurodiversity, simply put, is the diversity among human minds… The neurodiversity paradigm starts from the understanding that neurodiversity is an axis of human diversity, like ethnic diversity or diversity of gender and sexual orientation, and is subject to the same sorts of social dynamics as those other forms of diversity—including the dynamics of social power inequalities, privilege, and oppression. From this perspective, the pathologization of neurominorities can be recognized as simply another form of systemic oppression which functions similarly to the oppression of other types of minority groups. – Dr. Nick Walker

Walker, N., & Raymaker, D. (2021). Toward a Neuroqueer Future: An Interview with Nick Walker. Autism in Adulthood, 3(1), 5-10.

Increasingly and alarmingly, clinical professionals and companies that are clearly operating within a highly pathologizing model of assessment and treatment – a medical model that is the anthesis of the Neurodiversity Movement, are selfishly, systematically using a human rights campaign for their own personal bonanza. They are appropriating a human rights movement, watering it down, and commercializing it to advertise or sell their:

Neurodiversity lite has created a cottage industry for therapists, clinics, and companies to sell their associated products, classes, books, and training to the public without having a clue about neurodiversity. Suddenly, everyone is ‘neurodiversity-affirming’ and ca$hing in

If you are spending your money on a neurodiversity product, it doesn’t necessarily mean your money is going to someone who is knowledgeable about the movement, and it doesn’t mean that their product or masterclass or handbook is going to end up helping neurodivergent people in a neurodiversity-affirming manner.

Parents of autistic and otherwise neurodivergent children and teens who are seeking out information about neurodiversity, as well as therapists who genuinely want to learn about the neurodiversity movement so they may adopt respectful and empathetic neurodivergent-affirming practices, are paying outrageous prices for anything associated with ‘neurodiversity’, but are they actually getting their money’s worth?

What are some signs that you’ve wasted your money on a neurodiversity-lite product, book, or class?

Performative Neurodiversity or neurodiversity-light conveniently ignores the genuine reasons behind the Neurodiversity Movement – a disability human rights campaign seeking acceptance, rather than conditional acceptance based on meeting neurotypical standards, inclusion, equitable access, social justice, and civil liberties.

The primary problem with shamelessly appropriating a human rights movement and turning it into one’s personal cash cow is that anyone can sell anything and claim it’s neurodiversity-related, when in fact, what they are selling is not related to the cause at all, or even worse, the things they are selling contain harmful components that are the complete opposite of the end-goals of the neurodiversity movement.


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 entire purpose of the movement, while turning the focus of neurodiversity onto the companies or the therapists themselves. It’s offensive and it’s unethical.  

*** Neumeier, S. “To Siri With Love’ and the Problem With Neurodiversity Lite”. Rewire News Group. (Feb 9, 2018)

den Houting J. Neurodiversity: An insider’s perspective. Autism. 2019;23(2):271-273. doi:10.1177/1362361318820762

Roberts, J./Therapist Neurodiversity Collective. Facebook. (June 22, 2021)

Critical Neurodiversity. “Simon Baron-Cohen, Neurodiversity-lite, and the History of Eugenic Thought”. (Sept. 5, 2021).

Roberts, J./Therapist Neurodiversity Collective. Facebook. (September 13, 2021)

Roberts, J./Therapist Neurodiversity Collective. Facebook. (September 26, 2021)



Therapist Neuordiversity Collective:
8 Signs of a Respectful Therapist 
Self Advocacy
We don’t train social skills
Why We Don’t Use Social Thinking® (or any commercial Social Skills programs
IEP Makeovers for Neurodivergent Students
IEP Makeovers Part 2
Superflex Project
Terms therapists should know
Parents Guide to ABA Therapy
Collective Membership Commitment
How to Be an Ableist Therapist
Eye Contact Goals
ABA Therapy in Skilled Nursing Homes
The Double Empathy Problem
Consumer Beware
Diversity in Social Intelligence
Contrasting Therapy Approaches
Social Skills Training & The Research
Learn Neurodiversity Terminology
Shocking Pro-Neurodiversity Therapy Practices
Question of the Day – Setting Boundaries
Be Aware of These Buzz Phrases
Relevant Themes in Institutional Racialisation in Autism and Research Practice
Explicit and Implicit Biases Toward Autism
A Conceptual Analysis of Autistic Masking_ Understanding the Narrative of Stigma and the Illusion of Choice
Social Cognition, Social Skill, and Social Motivation Minimally Predict Social Interaction Outcomes for Autistic and Non-Autistic Adults
You might be an ableist therapist if
AAC Connection and Autonomy
ABA has not changed
Multimodal Communication
Q & A with Kieran Rose – Autism
We don’t treat Autism
We Practice Like This
AAC Myths
The Tone Police

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Behavior: Self Harm or Aggression
Non-ABA Evidence-Based Practice
Feeding Therapy
Non-ableist Pragmatic Language Therapy
Why not Positive Behavior Support (PBS), Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), or Positive Reinforcement?
Social Skills Training

Additional resources:

Welcome to the Autistic Community – The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network – ASAN

Start Here: a guide for parents of autistic kids – The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network – ASAN

Welcome to the Autistic Community – The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network – ASAN

Understanding the Autistic Mind, Volume 1 – NeuroClastic

Coming Out to Family and Friends as Autistic – NeuroClastic

How Do I Tell My Autistic Child About Autism? – NeuroClastic


“This open access book marks the first historical overview of the autism rights branch of the neurodiversity movement, describing the activities and rationales of key leaders in their own words since it organized into a unique community in 1992. Sandwiched by editorial chapters that include critical analysis, the book contains 19 chapters by 21 authors about the forming of the autistic community and neurodiversity movement, progress in their influence on the broader autism community and field, and their possible threshold of the advocacy establishment.” Editor: Steven K. Kapp

Increasing Neurodiversity in Disability and Social Justice Advocacy Groups – ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network)

Social Media Accounts

(Ours) Therapist Neurodiversity Collective


Autism Inclusivity (over 85k members)-
Ask Me, I’m an AAC user! (24 Hour Rule!) –
Ask Autistic Adults – Resource for Parents of Autistics –
Therapist Neuordiveristy Collective (if you are a therapist) –
The AAC Coach Files –


Facebook Pages

Kieran Rose – Advice for Parents (YouTube)


Julie Roberts, M.S. CCC-SLP

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