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We love this fun tweet on the five neurodivergentNeurodivergent, sometimes abbreviated as ND, means having a mind that functions in ways which diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of “normal.”NEURODIVERSITY: SOME BASIC TERMS & DEFINITIONS Neurodivergent is quite... More love languages from the always insightful Myth.
Emotional bidsAn emotional bid is when we do something to signal that we want attention and connectionEmotional bids are central to every kind of relationship – romantic, social and professional.The Most... More are the pixels of relationship communications and are important to relationship accommodationsRelationship accommodations are the reasonable adjustments we make which allow the other person to meet our needs.Raffael Boccamazzo https://youtu.be/bZ-wCP4tjrg ADHD and Autism Relationship Accommodations - How to Get Your Needs... More. This list is much about recognizing and meeting some common neurodivergent emotional bids in relationships, thus the phrase “love languages”.
We’ll expand on each with selected quotes, images, and videos.
Gottman refers to bids as “the fundamental unit of emotional communication.” Bids can be small or big, verbal or nonverbal. They’re requests to connect.
Bids are often purposely subtle because people are afraid to be vulnerable and put themselves out there. It’s scary to say, “Hey! I want to connect! Pay attention to me!” so instead, we ask a question or tell a story or offer our hand for connection. We hope we’ll receive connection in return, but if not, it’s less scary than pleading, “Connect with me, please!”Want to Improve Your Relationship? Start Paying More Attention to Bids
- Parallel Play, Body Doubling
- Support Swapping, Sharing Spoons
- Please Crush My Soul Back Into My Body
- Penguin Pebbling: “I found this cool rock/button/leaf/etc and thought you would like it”
- Neurodivergent Love Languages and Teamwork
- Spiky Profiles
- Reframe Neurodivergence
- Support Myth
- Need Support?
I like them spooky and you're just my style Said the Leo to the Taurus And if you’d like to stay with me awhile I'll cover us with forest We can stroll across a magic land It's green and it is glowing Lay our bodies in the moss and sand We know and we are knowing
“Strange Astrology” is one of the only proper love songs I’ve ever written. It’s an honest exploration of what it means to love someone who is intrinsically differentOur friends and allies at Randimals have a saying, What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.Randimals We agree. Randimals are made up of two different animals... More than you. It’s about hoping that those juxtaposing qualities and instincts encourage meaningful growth instead of chaos, but knowing that inevitably it will always be a bit of both.FLOOD – Slothrust Break Down Their Spiritual New LP “Parallel Timeline” Track by Track
And I don’t mind Our strange astrology I hope we find You bring the best out in me
Cause some have been asking: Infodumping: talking about an interest or passion of yours and thus sharing information, usually in detail and at length@neurowonderful
SpInsI don’t know who invented the phrase “special interest.” Probably some researcher. Autistic people don’t really love the term because the term “special” has become tied so closely with terms... More and InfodumpsHaving a special interest is like having a crush or being newly in love. It is consuming and delightful. We love to share our special interests and a common example... More
I don’t know who invented the phrase “special interestI don’t know who invented the phrase “special interest.” Probably some researcher. Autistic people don’t really love the term because the term “special” has become tied so closely with terms... More.” Probably some researcher. AutisticAutistic ways of being are human neurological variants that can not be understood without the social model of disability.If you are wondering whether you are Autistic, spend time amongst Autistic people, online and offline. If... More people don’t really love the term because the term “special” has become tied so closely with terms like “special needs,” which we resent.
Nevertheless, somewhere down the line “special interest,” commonly shortened to SpInI don’t know who invented the phrase “special interest.” Probably some researcher. Autistic people don’t really love the term because the term “special” has become tied so closely with terms... More (“spin”), became the term for the characteristically-autistic tendency to develop an obsessionI don’t know who invented the phrase “special interest.” Probably some researcher. Autistic people don’t really love the term because the term “special” has become tied so closely with terms... More with something specific and often obscure.
Some special interestsI don’t know who invented the phrase “special interest.” Probably some researcher. Autistic people don’t really love the term because the term “special” has become tied so closely with terms... More are short lived, and some last the lifetime of the person; but, however long they last, they are intense, delightful, and a vital part of autistic culture.
So integral are special interests to autistic culture that autistic people will post about feeling depressed and unmotivated because they don’t have an active SpIn at the moment.
It is also quite acceptable in autistic culture to “infodump” on a topic whenever it happens to come up. To autists (an insider short-hand for autistic people), the sharing of knowledge and information is always welcome.7 Cool Aspects of Autistic Culture » NeuroClastic
🐇 …when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by…
Parallel Play, Body Doubling
Parallel play: some people call this being alone together, as in when you’re both reading your own books in the same room, or one person is doing a puzzle while another plays a video game, etc. Just existing together counts too.@neurowonderful
Lost in Translation: The Social Language Theory of Neurodivergence | by Trauma Geek | Medium
I want to spend time in parallel existence with you; let’s be alone together.neurowonderful — neurowonderful: They’re here! Because you…
Related to parallel play is the ADHDer practice of body doublingBut in the world of ADHD, a body double is someone who sits with a person with ADHD as he tackles tasks that might be difficult to complete alone. Many... More.
But in the world of ADHDADHD or what I prefer to call Kinetic Cognitive Style (KCS) is another good example. (Nick Walker coined this alternative term.) The name ADHD implies that Kinetics like me have... More, a body doubleBut in the world of ADHD, a body double is someone who sits with a person with ADHD as he tackles tasks that might be difficult to complete alone. Many... More is someone who sits with a person with ADHD as he tackles tasks that might be difficult to complete alone.
Many people with ADHD find it easier to stay focused on housework, homeworkAs a rule, the point of homework generally isn’t to learn, much less to derive real pleasure from learning. It’s something to be finished.The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get... More, bill paying, and other tasks when someone else is around to keep them company. The body double may just sit quietly. He may read, listen to music on headphones, or work on the task that the person with ADHD is working on. Hard work is simply more fun when someone else is nearby.Getting Stuff Done Is Easier with a Friend
But why does a body double work? There are a few possible explanations. The simplest is that the body double serves as a physical anchor for the distracted individual who feels more focused by the presence of another person in their space. The distracted person feels responsible to and for the body double. This perception translates as-I can’t waste this gift of time.The Body Double: A Unique Tool for Getting Things Done | ADDA – Attention Deficit Disorder Association
But she wasn’t there to procrastinate. For an hour, Ms. Bee, a teacher in her 30s, live-streamed herself sorting the clothes on her account dedicated to ADHD: brainsandspoons. As the live stream went on, viewers jumped in to do their own laundry “with” her.
“Everybody was so encouraging,” said Ms. Bee, who learned she has ADHD as an adult. “It made it really feel like a group project, not just me by myself on camera. It definitely made the time go by faster.”
The ADHD communityWhat I have always been hoping to accomplish is the creation of community.Community is magic. Community is power. Community is resistance.Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Visibility-First-Person-Stories-Twenty-First-ebook/dp/B082ZQBL98/ https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Visibility-Adapted-Young-Adults-ebook/dp/B08VFT4R9T/... More calls the practice “body doubling.”‘Body doubling,’ an ADHD productivity tool, is flourishing online | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
If you imagine that an autistic kid at school is likely to be wrenched out of their attention tunnel multiple times every day, each time leading to disorientation and deep discomfort, you are on your way to understanding why school environments can be so stressful for many autistic students. If you can avoid contributing to that, you may find that you have an easier time with your autistic students: try entering into their attention tunnel when you can, rather than tugging them out of it. Parallel play is one powerful tool for this; start where the child is, show interest in what they’re focused on. If you do need to pull them out of whatever they’re focusing on, it’s best to give them a bit of time.Craft, Flow and Cognitive Styles
Support Swapping, Sharing Spoons
Support swapping: I don’t know if this is a widely used term. I used it to mean when ND people accomodate or support each other, like if I remind a friend hydrate and they ask me if I’ve taken my meds, or a friend helps me write an email and later I help them with homework, etc@neurowonderful
Neurodivergent people, working together, can fill the gaps in each other’s spiky profiles. Go team. Members of the Neurodiversity ERG at Automattic help each other out during synchronous, meatspace meetups, which can be very stressful.
Support swapping can happen during parallel play, making for a nice moment of converging love languages.
The people tell us what they need, and we find the person in the community who can meet that need.
A concept we have taken to calling “sharing spoonshttps://twitter.com/neurowonderful/status/1398175377235726338 Neurodivergent people, working together, can fill the gaps in each other’s spiky profiles. Go team. Members of the Neurodiversity ERG at Automattic help each other out during synchronous, meatspace... More.”What are we working on now? 🥄 #onefreeapp #sharingspoons #communitysolutions #mutualaid (feat. @lindsaymakesvideos)
What is mutual aidPut simply, mutual aid is a form of political participation in which people take responsibility for caring for one another and changing political conditions by building relationships, networks of reciprocity,... More?
“Solidarity, not charity.”
Collective Community Care: Dreaming of Futures in Autistic Mutual Aid
- InterdependenceInterdependence acknowledges that our survival is bound up together, that we are interconnected and what you do impacts others. If this pandemic has done nothing else, it has illuminated how... More, understanding and support
- Gives opportunity to help & careThe activities that constitute care are crucial for human life. We defined care in this way: Care is "a species activity that includes everything that we do to maintain, continue,... More for other in on our own terms and within our own capacities
- Direct support in a community within a community
- It’s much easier to practice asking, offering, receiving, and declining among people who “get it”!
Moving from a rights-based perspective to a justice-based one necessitates a look at our care systems and re-envisioning how our communities function to ensure no one is left behind.Collective Community Care: Dreaming of Futures in Autistic Mutual Aid, Autscape: 2020 Presentations
Please Crush My Soul Back Into My Body
Please Crush My Soul Back Into My Body: deep pressure input good!! Provides proprioceptive input and can soothe body stress responses (always get consent)@neurowonderful
A famous example of the common autistic preference for deep pressure input is Temple Grandin’s Squeeze Machine.
At age 18, I constructed the squeeze machine to help calm down the anxiety and panic attacks. Using the machine for 15 minutes would reduce my anxiety for up to 45-60 minutes (Grandin and Scariano 1986). The relaxing effect was maximized if the machine was used twice a day.
Gradually, my tolerance of being held by the squeeze machine grew. Knowing that I could initiate the pressure, and stop it if the stimulation became too intense, helped me to reduce the oversensitivity of my “nervous system.” A once overwhelming stimulus was now a pleasurable experience.
Using the machine enabled me to learn to tolerate being touched by another person. By age 25, I was able to relax in the machine without pulling away from it. It also made me feel less aggressive and less tense. Soon I noted a change in our cat’s reaction to me. The cat, who used to run away from me now would stay with me, because I had learned to caress him with a gentler touch. I had to be comforted myself before I could give comfort to the cat.
As my “nervous system” calmed down, I required less squeeze pressure to produce a comforting feeling. Gradually, I could reduce the pressure regulator setting from 80 to 60 psi.Calming Effects of Deep Touch Pressure in Patients with Autistic Disorder, College Students, and Animals
But I’m tortured because whilst I don’t want to make a scene or have strangers adding to the overload and overwhelm, I’m simultaneously desperate for someone to give me a massive, firm, bear-hug. To hide me, cocoon me, and shield me from the shock waves that travel from their universe into mine.On meltdowns | The Misadventures of Mama Pineapple
I can think of no logical reasons why swaddleshttps://twitter.com/neurowonderful/status/1398175529212149763 Please Crush My Soul Back Into My Body: deep pressure input good!! Provides proprioceptive input and can soothe body stress responses (always get consent) @neurowonderful A famous example of... More should just be for babies because they are super helpful.
They’re like a hug without physical contact. That’s amazing!soundoftheforest
Penguin Pebbling: “I found this cool rock/button/leaf/etc and thought you would like it”
Penguin Pebbling gets back to SpIns, both inviting people into yours and encouraging other’s. SpIns are a trove for unconventional gift giving.
Neurodivergent Love Languages and Teamwork
Infodumping, parallel play, support swapping, and penguin pebbling are languages of teamwork and collaboration too, especially in distributed work cultures and “communication is oxygen” cultures. If only there were a distributed and work-appropriate equivalent for “Please Crush My Soul Back Into My Body”.
Appreciate the strange astrology of our spiky profilesThere is consensus regarding some neurodevelopmental conditions being classed as neurominorities, with a ‘spiky profile’ of executive functions difficulties juxtaposed against neurocognitive strengths as a defining characteristic. Neurominorities, Spiky Profiles,... More coming together.
Join the Randimals in learning about spiky profiles.
“What makes us different, makes all the differenceOur friends and allies at Randimals have a saying, What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.Randimals We agree. Randimals are made up of two different animals... More in the world.”
And I don’t mind Our strange astrology I hope we find You bring the best out in me
Strange Astrology by Slothrust
Thanks for learning about neurodivergent love languages with us. If you’ve got time, stick around and reframeWhen we successfully reframe public discourse, we change the way the public sees the world. We change what counts as common sense. Because language activates frames, new language is required... More. To understand neurodivergent people in relationships of any kind, we must reframe. We reframe disability and difference with our Four Pillars.
Real help against the onslaught. Staying alive is a lot of work for a disabled person in an ableistable·ism /ˈābəˌlizəm/ nounA system of assigning value to people's bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normalcy, productivity, desirability, intelligence, excellence, and fitness. These constructed ideas are deeply... More society.
The place where we belong does not exist. We will build it. Anti-ableist space for passion-based, human-centered learningA human-centered education: • Cultivates Purpose-Driven Classrooms • Ends Dehumanizing Practices • Demands Social Justice • Builds a Human-Centered World https://youtu.be/JsrsgM6LqiI https://youtu.be/h9gQXG9T1RM Build human-centered classrooms around four values: • Learning... More compatible with neurodiversityNeurodiversity is the diversity of human minds, the infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within our species.NEURODIVERSITY: SOME BASIC TERMS & DEFINITIONS Neurodiversity is a biological fact. It’s not a perspective, an approach, a... More and the social model of disabilityIn the broadest sense, the social model of disability is about nothing more complicated than a clear focus on the economic, environmental and cultural barriers encountered by people who are... More.
Digital sociologyBut, there is something sociology must do. It is our disciplinary imperative to understand societies. Just as communication studies understands forms of communication, sociology must understand the social. If we... More, neurodiversity studies, disability studies, and syncretism, in the open. Improving science by restoring the humanities.
Stay relevant in a constantly changing world. Dismantle ableismable·ism /ˈābəˌlizəm/ nounA system of assigning value to people's bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normalcy, productivity, desirability, intelligence, excellence, and fitness. These constructed ideas are deeply... More in your spaces. Enable dignity through access.
Myth’s “Ask an Autistic” YouTube series is an important part of our journey here at Stimpunks. We’re glad to support their work.
StimpunksStimpunk combines “stimming” + “punk” to evoke open and proud stimming, resistance to neurotypicalization, and the DIY culture of punk, disabled, and neurodivergent communities. Instead of hiding our stims, we... More Foundation challenges the typical approach to helping people who are neurodivergent or disabled. We know what it is like to live with barriers and what it means to not fit in and have to forge our own community. Stimpunks knows that neurodivergent and disabled people have human needs. We offer a humane approach to help our community thrive.
Through Stimpunks Foundation, we:
- Offer financial and mutual aid;
- Hire our community members as consultants;
- Provide a learning space designed for our community; and
- Support our community’s open research efforts.
One in four U.S. adults have a disability. However, our community receives only 2% of US grant funding, and only 19% of us are employed. We can’t just let that be the truthJustice, equality, fairness, mercy, longsuffering, Work, Passion, knowledge, and above all else, Truth. Those are my primary emotions.Very Grand Emotions: How Autistics and Neurotypicals Experience Emotions Differently » NeuroClastic https://youtu.be/uPRa6G2a48E... More. We have to challenge the normNormal was created, not discovered, by flawed, eccentric, self-interested, racist, ableist, homophobic, sexist humans. Normal is a statistical fiction, nothing less. Knowing this is the first step toward reclaiming your... More and change the narrativeWhen we successfully reframe public discourse, we change the way the public sees the world. We change what counts as common sense. Because language activates frames, new language is required... More around people who are neurodivergent or disabled.
Stimpunks Foundation seeks to do just that. Learn more at stimpunks.org.
7 thoughts on “The Five Neurodivergent Love Languages”