LITT: Neurodiverse

LITT logo neurodiverse

Neurodiversity is a viewpoint that brain differences are normal, rather than deficits (1). LITT: Neurodiverse is a space for library staff who are neurodiverse, who have ADHD, Austism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety and other learning disabilities or mental health disorders, to come together and support one another in a positive space.

The Idaho Libraries Neurodiverse listserv is a great way to stay connected between chats. Check out our listserv guidelines before posting.

LITT: Neurodiverse is on hiatus!

Notes from Past LITT: Neurodiverse meetings

Resources

Articles

Audio/Video

Things that have helped (in no particular order):

  • Supportive supervisor/director
  • Avid notetaking, listmaking
  • Visual timers
  • Medication
  • Headphones
  • Using scripts
  • Being proactive with supervisors
  • Fidget toys
  • YouTube channel: How to ADHD
  • 1:1 conversations with supervisors explaining their needs
  • Normalizing differences
  • Not stigmatizing behaviors
  • Formal and informal accommodations

Things to consider:

  • The onus is on the employee to teach the employer and that can be difficult/anxiety-inducing
  • It is sometimes difficult to communicate our needs as we are learning them ourselves
  • Pretending it doesn’t exist or ignoring differences doesn’t help

Resources:

  • When and how to disclose at work
    • Expressing it in creative ways
    • The perception that the disability is part of who you are vs. your whole personality
    • Waiting until it feels safe to do so
  • Benefits and drawbacks of medication
  • Strategies of managing the chaos at work
    • Blocking out time to work on projects
    • Using the Asana calendar to sort tasks
  • Book recommendation: Demystifying Disability by Emily Ladau
  • Getting a formal diagnosis, what’s that process like?
  • How do you get things done when your brain won’t cooperate?
    • Bribery – eating cookies after doing the task, for example
    • Wait until it’s a borderline emergency and use the panic to drive you through
    • Turn it into a game
    • Find a fun and unusual way to do the thing
    • Just get it done, the C’s get degrees approach
  • Future ILA presentation topic: Neurodiverse workers have huge strengths – the task for the employer is to find those strengths and utilize them.
  • How do you respond to people who doubt your diagnosis?
  • The experience of accessing accommodations as an adult student
  • How staff get evaluated
    • Does it fully recognize contributions of neurodivergent people?
    • What would inclusive evaluations look like?
  • Slow librarianship / sustainers vs. rockstars
  • Ask A Manager: My manager says my shyness is seen as rudeness
  • “Fit” in hiring practice
    • If you fit in you have inside knowledge
    • To fit in, neurodiverse folks come up with strategies, which is more work that we’re doing
  • Grit / resilience
  • Productivity / responsibility theater
    • During the pandemic we were forced to innovate and try new things, now we’re told to go back to “normal”
    • How do we keep the good insights we learned?
    • We’re all about flexibility, creativity, and meeting people where they are. If we can’t do that internally, what are we doing?
    • Burnout
  • How are we inclusive internally?
    • You’re not going to get benefits of diversity unless the organization figures out how to foster diversity in itself
  • A common ableist trope in fiction is the villainous disabled character, and unfortunately Cloud Cuckoo Land plays into that trope. It also relies on stereotypes in depicting Seymour’s autistic-coded traits, which is unfortunate.
  • Are there positive depictions of neurodiverse people in media that you know of?
  • There’s a national shortage of a common medication for ADHD, and it is predicted to last for a while.
  • If you are struggling with not having the medication you need, these four tips from the YouTube channel How to ADHD have helped me:
    • Readjust your workload and expectations of yourself – treat it like a “bad brain day”
    • Lean harder on your coping mechanisms and adjust them so they are easier to do
    • Let people know
    • Pay attention to your brain chemistry, you might need to take extra care to stay afloat while you struggle
  • If you’re looking for help managing a disability, the Job Accommodation Network has great resources that may help. For example, on the Autism page, there is a list of accommodation ideas organized by limitation or by work-related function.

Book recommendations:

  • Fast Minds: how to thrive if you have ADHD (or think you might) by Craig Surman, Tim Bilkey, and Karen Weintraub (2014)
  • All Cats Are on the Autism Spectrum by Kathy Hoopmann (2020)

General discussion:

  • ADHD medication shortage
  • Conversation starters, scripted responses
  • Fidget toys

Questions or comments about LITT: Neurodiverse chats? Contact Annie.

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Annie Gaines

CE Consultant
Email / 208-639-4151
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