Like most forms of social media, TikTok provides us with videos of crazy dance moves, trending challenges and cute cat videos. But more and more, you will see non-neurotypical young adults sharing a slice of their daily life with us and in turn finding fans that can better understand and embrace their differences. People with learning differences like Autism, ADHD, and Dyslexia have never really had a platform to reach the masses like we are seeing today.
Image Credit: https://www.tiktok.com/@paigelayle?lang=en
A recent article from PureWow points out the recent small explosion of trending influencers within the autistic,deaf, ADHD, Dyslexic, and even mental health community gaining popularity on the platform. PureWow’s Dara Katz points to one of her favorite Tik Tok creators, “With more than 131,000 followers, Evelyn (@evelynjeans) is a 21-year-old TikTok creator with autism who can school you in neurotypical privilege, get you up to speed on the myths (and realities) of autism and, my personal fave, her valid but context-less hot takes.”
Katz also points to the TikTok creators within the deaf community sharing ASL videos with legions of fans. Katz says, “The same goes for the Deaf community blowing up on TikTok. @ChrissyCanHearYou, a Deaf creator with 1.2 million followers shares her point of view in simple, high-energy videos that will make any viewer instantly wonder, ‘Am I being accessible enough in my life?’”
And it’s not only social media bringing attention to learning differences in the mainstream. Amanda Gorman, the youth poet laureate star who wowed the world with her poem during the recent inauguration of President Biden, is said to have suffered a speech impediment growing up. Meanwhile, our current president has talked openly about the struggles he has faced with a stutter.
Image Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP
Also on the same day, a firefighter named Andrea Hall signed the Pledge of Allegiance to pay tribute to her deceased father who was deaf. Hall says, “I really just wanted to pay homage to the deaf and hard of hearing community. The words of the pledge are significant not just for us, but for them as well.”
Are you following anyone on social media that strives to help others better understand the non-neurotypical, deaf, blind or any other marginalized community?
Have you seen signs within the mainstream culture that these types of differences within our community are becoming more normalized?
Image: Madison House Autism Organization