BOOK DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
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The Differently Wired Discussion Guide
As Debbie writes in Differently Wired, we can all play a role in changing the way neurodifference is perceived and experienced in the world. Here are some simple yet provocative discussion questions to get people thinking, and talking, about how we can best move forward together.
Debbie suggests society embrace a new paradigm where neurodifference is accepted and supported in every aspect of life. Are you in alignment with this vision? Why or why not? What do you think it will take in order for this shift to occur?
Debbie identifies four primary factors she believes are keeping the current, harmful parenting paradigm in place: parents of neurotypical children, the current educational model, the “broken system,” and parents raising atypical kids. Do you agree with her assertion? Which of the four factors do believe is the most powerful contributor? How do you think this factor can best be addressed?
Debbie suggests that “difference is difference is difference” and encourages people to embrace neurodivergence as a broad spectrum rather than fitting people into individual diagnostic buckets. Do you agree with her “power in numbers” way of seeing the one in five people who are neurologically atypical?
Debbie prefers to use the language of “differently wired” over terms like “disorder.” What are your thoughts about this choice? Do you think it helps or hurts the revolution she started?
In reading Differently Wired, did you recognize any personal negative beliefs or prejudices you hold regarding neurodivergence and/or specific diagnostic labels? If so, what are they? Have they changed since reading this book?
What do you believe is the key to reducing and eliminating the negative stigmas associated with certain diagnoses such as ADHD, autism, giftedness, and anxiety?
Debbie believes that openness, transparency, and “speaking our truth” by families raising differently wired kids is an important step in shifting the paradigm, while also recognizing that stigma is real and that disclosure is a very personal decision. Where do you stand on this issue?
Differently Wired highlights the challenges of the traditional education model in meeting the needs of neurodivergent kids, but admits the path forward is unclear and flush with systemic obstacles. What do you see as the biggest roadblocks schools face in supporting atypical students? What changes would you like to see in the educational model to better embrace all kids?
Debbie offers 18 “Tilts” all aimed at helping parents raising neurodivergent kids shift their experience one thought, belief, and action at a time. Which of the 18 Tilts resonated most with you? Which ones do you feel have the most potential to affect meaningful change, both within individual families, and within society at large?
How can you, personally, play a role in shifting the way atypical children, and the families raising them, experience the world? What, if anything, are you willing to do differently moving forward?
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Tilt Parenting, LLC is an educational resource, podcast, consultancy, and community with a focus on positively shifting the way neurodifferences in children are perceived, experienced, and supported, and supporting parents raising differently wired™ kids so these exceptional kids can thrive in their schools, in their families, and in their lives. It was founded by Debbie Reber in 2016.
© 2016 Deborah Reber