Cultivating Advocacy: Understanding Neurodiversity and Strength-based Perspectives for Educators

On October 25 I will be presenting at the BCTELA (British Columbia Teachers of English Language Arts) Provincial Conference.

This is a fabulous opportunity to share with educators the voices and perspectives of Autistic people – via the documentary Vectors of Autism’ and my son’s wonderful presentation, ‘Dear Teacher: A Letter From H’. He has agreed to co-present with me at the conference and I am thrilled and proud to be including his powerful voice and perspective. It is not be the first time he has presented this moving work, which can be read about here and here.

So many of the teachers I meet and work with are already motivated to take action and guide their instruction to include topics that pertain to social justice issues. This is at the heart of their instruction, and daily they work to help their students understand themselves… and find their voice… and express their experience… as they interact with the curriculum, each other, their lives and events around them, and the world.

I have the opportunity to impact the vision of these wonderful educators and potentially broaden their perspective so that they are able conceptualize and examine the social justice issues inherent in the experience of being Autistic in a world that is primarily not Autistic. I hope to support them in gaining new understanding and insight into the importance of perspectives that honour neurodiversity.

I am excited to work with other educators to examine structures and judgments and ways of seeing in order to better support those who experience and process the world differently. When we, as educators, have a deeper insight and understanding into the divergent experiences of others, we are better able to support our students from a strength-based perspective, to advocate for our students, and teach them to advocate for themselves.

So now goals and objectives clearly in mind, I had better get to work to ready this new presentation…

Next steps…


30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.

©Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2013)   

About Leah Kelley, Ed.D.

Leah Kelley, M.Ed, Ed.D., Writer, Consultant, Activist, Speaker, and Educator, working with Teacher Candidates at UBC. Authors blog: 30 Days of Autism. Projects support social understanding, Neurodiversity paradigm, Disability Justice, and connecting Disability Studies in Education(DSE)to Educational Practice. Twitter: @leah_kelley Facebook: 30 Days of Autism: Leah Kelley
This entry was posted in ableism, advocate, Autism, BC Teachers Federation, BCTF, Dear Teacher: A letter from H, Documentary, Laura Nagle, Neurodiversity, perspective of others, privilege, promote social understanding, Public Education, self-advocacy, Vectors of Autism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Cultivating Advocacy: Understanding Neurodiversity and Strength-based Perspectives for Educators

  1. Pingback: H’s Advocacy and The Teachers’ Response | Thirty Days of Autism

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