Author. Public Speaker. Different. Neurodiversity rights activist Jonathan Mooney: "You're not broken" Jean Winegardner Jonathan Mooney You wouldn’t know to look at him that Jonathan Mooney is a man with a disability.
He is young, handsome, and speaks with an easy style and a confidence that doesn’t reflect early, dire warnings of jail or a life flipping burgers that his early teachers predicted for him. To look at him, you wouldn’t know that he is an energetic advocate for what he calls “a defining rights movement for the 21st century,” the neurodiversity rights movement. Mooney has ADHD and dyslexia and fought his way back from dropping out of school during 6th grade and planning his own suicide to become a published author and travel the country as a dynamic speaker on the subject of disabled children and neurodiversity.
He is the co-founder of Project Eye-to-Eye, a mentoring program that teaches adults and older teenagers with learning disabilities to act as mentors for young children who have similar disabilities. “You’re not broken” Normal is just a context Answering the critics He is. Exclusive: First Autistic Presidential Appointee Speaks Out. When Ari Ne’eman walked onstage at a college campus in Pennsylvania in June, he looked like a handsome young rabbi presiding over the bar mitzvah of a young Talmudic scholar.
In truth, Ne’eman was facilitating a different kind of coming-of-age ceremony. Beckoning a group of teenagers to walk through a gateway symbolizing their transition into adult life, he said, “I welcome you as members of the autistic community.” The setting was an annual gathering called Autreat, organized by an autistic self-help group called Autism Network International. Ne’eman’s deliberate use of the phrase “the autistic community” was more subversive than it sounds.
The notion that autistic people — often portrayed in the media as pitiable loners — would not only wear their diagnosis proudly, but want to make common cause with other autistic people, is still a radical one. Ne’eman spoke to Wired.com in July in his first interview with the media since his appointment. Ari Ne’eman: No. Special Education and the Concept of Neurodiversity.
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