I’ve been meaning to make this post for a while, but hadn’t gotten around to it. However, i feel bad to have this topic discussed in ‘worst experiences ever’ so I thought now was a good time as any. Apologies for the long post.
Note: Please be respectful in this thread and avoid controversial topics unrelated to connections between neurodiversity and iNat/connecting with nature. Please don’t speculate on or ‘out’ people you know or think are neurodivergent. Please don’t feel obligated to share if you don’t want to. Please be kind to each other. This stuff can be hard…
Neurodiversity is a term to represent the wide diversity of brain types that humans have. It’s most often used to refer to people on the autism spectrum, and also often ADHD, but can also refer to any number of other things.
I have observed that iNaturalist has a whole lot of autistic or otherwise neurodivergent people using it. I didn’t give this too much thought until i learned earlier this year (at age 41) that i am on the autism spectrum as well! At one point i commented on this in an online community with lots of iNaturalist power users and was interested to learn that i am far from the only one. I think there are a few reasons iNat is really appealing for neurodivergent people. One of the big ones, at least with autistic (and maybe ADHD) people is that we often love to hyperfocus and dive into our passions, often known as ‘special interests’. For me and many others, we’ve been told many times that we are overenthusiastic about these things or talk too much about them. Well, iNaturalist is a wonderful place to infodump things like observations and IDs - in fact it is what makes the site work.
I’ll be sharing more of my experiences here when I get a chance, but for now i don’t want to overwhelm everyone so i will link to a twitter thread where i talk about how my connection to nature is both because of and a coping mechanism for my neurodivergent stuff. https://twitter.com/SlowWaterMvmnt/status/1315125824937512960?s=20 . More in my pinned tweet too if anyone is interested.