The double-bind of discrimination: how stereotypes limit creative opportunities for the neurodiverse community
“Feeling excluded and invisible is typical for neurodivergent people. Pop culture narratives make this worse. We are often infantilised or portrayed as unemotional (almost robotic) people who love tech or who struggle to triumphantly overcome everyday woes. Reducing us to stereotypes and “othering” us shapes how we are perceived by others and by ourselves. The result is an overwhelming number of autistic people who feel isolated, misunderstood, and discriminated against in life and at work,” wrote Ludmila Praslova in their article “Autism Doesn’t Hold People Back at Work. Discrimination Does” for the Harvard Business Review.
The negative impact of internalising stereotypes
“It was only when I found a neurodivergent community that I discovered just how nuanced and diverse we are. We are creative, funny, sensitive, empathetic, accomplished people who help one another work through lifetimes of self-blame and self-hate. Through these relationships, I’ve realized that we are not the problem. Rather, it is miseducation surrounding what it means to be autistic and neurodivergent — especially in the workplace,” Praslova wrote.