Mark Ashurst on Superpeer
Seven Bridges: a survival guide for the neuro-typical
Neuro-diversity is a brave ideal of tolerance, mutual understanding and shared empathy. That's ambitious and long overdue, a measure of commitment to the fundamental human right to be different. But day-to-day reality is tougher. Neurological differences are sources of constant exasperation, which often overwhelm personal relationships, in families, at work, and in wider society. Mark is a former BBC broadcaster who has lived and worked on three continents, including as a speechwriter for President Nelson Mandela. He developed the Seven Bridges Method to encapsulate a rich variety of cultural and philosophical resources. Its goal is to help neurotypicals to keep calm and better navigate the daunting variety of neuro-atypical behaviours. Drawing on credible and established sources, from cognitive psychology to political activism, the Seven Bridges Method applies basic terminology from bridge-building. Different types of bridges (arch, span, suspension) relate to different techniques (voiced dialogue, "Four Ears", negotiation theory) which illuminate the emotional and behavioural challenges that recur in many typical/atypical combinations. For neurotypicals, the assumptions and habits of the straight world can seem suddenly redundant when interacting with a neuro-atypical personality. While every individual is different, many neuro-atypicals successfully "mask" or mimic social codes. This is the norm, but denying or ignoring neurological differences makes cooperation harder. The Seven Bridges Method offers reliable insights that help neurotypicals to adapt, improvise and persevere. Mark is British, based in Amsterdam, and neuro-typical. He is a graduate of Oxford University, Bucerius Law School (Hamburg) and the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management (Vallendar, Germany).