Diversity is our strength, and there’s almost nothing as diverse as the scary, but colourful world of people with neurological differences. Some of us have ADD or ADHD. Others are somewhere on the autism spectrum. Others still might suffer from cerebral palsy, dyslexia, dyspraxia, or any number of other neurological issues. But we’re all adults who stand strong and proud together to celebrate Manchester’s neurodiversity.
In a nutshell, Celebrate Neurodiversity Manchester is a social and support group full of members who offer a helping hand to adults in need of some peace and understanding. We strive to cultivate a prejudice-free environment where everyone is welcome, regardless of where they lie neurologically. And once new members join, they can take everything at their own pace. We don’t pressure anyone into small talk or socialisation if they prefer their privacy or if their quirks make them just a bit too timid to talk.
What Can People Do at Our Group?
Some individuals tend to hang out at our regular socials because they’ve just found out what their condition is, so some of our members with that same condition can help them cope. Others just want to talk and make friends. There’s also a fair number of people who just need a cosy little safe space from all the noise out there in the real world. Whatever the reason might be, we welcome new neurodiverse members with open arms.
A Few Words About Us My name is Louise, and in 2017 I was diagnosed with several conditions. They included ASD, ADHD, and dyspraxia. Learning about that at the age of 28 was both easy and scary at the same time. I was relieved to know what I have, to be sure, but there was a new problem. Will the people I know and love still support me when they find out about my neurological problems? How will I cope with the world now that I know what I have and what I (potentially) lack?
There was the option of “keeping it in the closet,” so to speak. However, that would be a huge burden. But I couldn’t exactly proclaim it loud and clear to the world at large. What I needed was a group of like-minded mates. In other words, someone who suffers from issues similar to my own.
I can’t begin to describe what a relief it was to talk to other people who are on the autism spectrum or are afflicted with ADHD. In no time flat, our little Celebrate Neurodiversity Manchester group was taking shape. I needed some good people to help with organisation, so a couple of guys called Lewis and Tim stepped up.
First, there’s Tim, an amazingly intelligent intellectual with Asperger’s. Whether it’s popular culture or current politics, you can talk to Tim about anything. In fact, he might even teach you some German or Spanish while you’re at it! Then there’s Lewis, a sociable, witty individual with cerebral palsy. Because of his experience with young adults on the autism spectrum, he was the perfect man to join our amazing group.
How Do You Socialise when Afflicted with ADHD or Autism?
Celebrate Neurodiversity Manchester has a lot of experience with troubled socialisation. After all, nearly all of our members have been through it. That’s why we highly encourage that you come with a friend or a family member if you feel a bit intimidated. You can also leave or come back at any point; you are under no obligation to stay.
The Celebrate Neurodiversity Manchester Social Group Our group meetings take place at the Foundation Coffee House in the centre of Manchester city. We hold these meetings twice a month, every other Sunday to be exact. If possible, download the Meetup app and follow us (https://www.meetup.com/ADHD-ADD-Manchester-Meetup/) so you can track each social gathering news. Each meeting is free to attend, and any activities can take place, from bowling and fine dining to an open mic comedy night. We like our diversity both in our neurological conditions and our entertainment! And do feel free to suggest your own activities once you join us.