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Swedish Climate Advocate Greta Thunberg Poetically Re-frames Autism and Neurotypical Diagnoses



“You are never too small to make a difference” is a quote attributed to 16-year old Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg who has been leading youth climate strikes for the past few years, including “Fridays for Future,” a global movement that encourages students to walk out of their classrooms against inaction toward climate change.

Thunberg has become an activist celebrity and  been in the US for the last week and a half after docking in  New York in late August following a two-week voyage aboard a solar-powered sailboat which is an eco friendly alternative to flying.

The inspirational young leader also stands out because she has Asperger’s, a highly functioning form of Autism,  but has chosen in recent years to embrace the neurological diversity as her ‘Superpower”, as she has described it.

She has poetically described how the diagnosis aids in her work.

During an interview with  CBS This Morning earlier in the month, Thunberg  remarked of the condition, “it can definitely be an advantage to have some kind of neurotypical diagnosis, to be neurodiverse, because that makes you different, that makes you think differently.”

And of course, that is  exactly what the doctor has ordered in this era where children are literally taking over where adults are failing to lead!

“Especially in such a big crisis like this, when we need to think outside the box,” Thunberg told the show. “We need to think outside our current system, we need people who think outside the box and who aren’t like everyone else.”

She has also used her very large platform on social media, including Instagram where she boasts over 6 million followers, to respond to  the“haters” who have come after her for the way she looks or acts.

“When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning!” she captioned an Instagram caption posted in September.”I have Asperger’s syndrome and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And given the right circumstances, being different is a superpower.”

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When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning! I have Asperger’s syndrome and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances – being different is a superpower. I'm not public about my diagnosis to "hide" behind it, but because I know many ignorant people still see it as an "illness", or something negative. And believe me, my diagnosis has limited me before. Before I started school striking I had no energy, no friends and I didn’t speak to anyone. I just sat alone at home, with an eating disorder. All of that is gone now, since I have found a meaning, in a world that sometimes seems meaningless to so many people. #aspiepower #neurodiverse #npf

A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on

She hasn’t always been so open.

“I’m not public about my diagnosis to ‘hide’ behind it, but because I know many ignorant people still see it as an ‘illness,’ or something negative,” she continued. “And believe me, my diagnosis has limited me before. Before I started school striking I had no energy, no friends, and I didn’t speak to anyone. I just sat alone at home, with an eating disorder.”

She concluded, “All of that is gone now, since I have found a meaning in a world that sometimes seems meaningless to so many people.”

Love it!

 

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