Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Eliana Suarez

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr. Maryam Khan

Advisor Role

Committee Member


The neurodiversity paradigm has received support from many autistic self-advocates and scholars. Although definitions of neurodiversity are always framed to include dyslexia, research into the neurodiversity paradigm that seeks the perspectives of dyslexic people is limited. This qualitative study sought to fill this gap by asking 12 self-identified dyslexic adults how they imagined their life stories would change within a neurodiversity paradigm. A narrative inquiry methodology was combined with the guiding principles of participatory action research and dyslexic methodology. Dyslexic ways of knowing were engaged and illuminated in the research design, writing process and findings. Emergent themes revealed participants’ lived experiences of ableism, hope, help and resistance, and the neurodiversity paradigm inspired visions for systemic change that fosters the wellbeing of dyslexic people and anti-ableist practices to support a paradigm shift. Findings indicate that self-identified dyslexic individuals envision emancipatory potential in the neurodiversity paradigm when implemented alongside an intersectional approach.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season