Do we need a label in order to be neurodivergent? Nope. We’re neurodivergent with or without a label. With or without our knowledge! Autistic people could be renamed as Pinkies and ADHDers as Greenies – it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference to who we are!

So, do we need a label?

Yes, but only if:

  1. It gives us a sense of identity
  2. It guides us to learn more in books and online
  3. It helps us find our communities – places where we have a sense of belonging, places where we are understood
  4. It gives us the confidence to seek support and understanding from family and friends
  5. It is the starting point for us gaining access to practical support:
    1. State Benefits
    2. Employer adaptations and hopefully the understanding of colleagues
    3. Access to therapy and support groups
    4. Medication, where needed

I’m sure there are more positive reasons for having a diagnostic label. Importantly, those under item 5 require an official diagnosis, and many support groups don’t. The first 4 points we can achieve ourselves.

So what are the downsides of a label? Well, there will always be those in society who will judge us, there will sadly probably always be a degree of stigma. But the only way to deal with that is to keep using our labels and show ’em what we’re actually made of!

Our labels are little beacons to guide us to the places where we can find our people, our learning resources and maybe even our peace.