Restorative Justice Center
Dec 19, 2022
Thinking Differently Impacts Justice
Why Neurodivergent thinkers might struggle in our legal system – and sometimes with community expectations overall?
“Many people who are neurodivergent risk being misunderstood due to differences in communication, language processing, responses to stress, and other ways they present differently. As a community, it is important that we understand and respect neurodivergence. We must be made aware of, and confront bias. There are labels, stereotypes and assumptions that are not at all helpful when working with individuals. Not all characteristics that put an individual at risk are obvious to the casual observer.
An individual who fits into the stereotype of disability may receive more support and leniency than an individual who does not fit the stereotype, even though both may or may not have differences that make navigating the justice system challenging. One of the primary fears I about from parents of autistic children who struggle with stress management and self-regulation is that they will be misunderstood by the community and will enter the justice system or meet with tragedy because their stress may manifest in an unprepared community.”