I feel that Veronica Roth’s books are filled with allegory. I’m certain the social justice message is intended. But what if you frame the factions around the context of Autism?

Abnegation….others before self. How many Autistics let others dictate their needs? Where does self-care rank for a person who is desperately trying to fit in? For me, it used to be pretty far down the list. I’ve learned how to tell people no in recent years, although that can be very stressful too.

Erudite…knowledge seeking. Yep, I have a lot of knowledge. Mainly because I become absorbed in ideas and my mind takes off with the possibilities. I’ll track an idea down to its origins if it interests me enough.

Candor…the truth shall set you free. Unless you speak too loudly. People say they want the truth, but when you speak what you believe no one listens. Being candid can sometimes (most times) end badly.

Amity…kumbaya! Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we all got along and accepted each other? I know I’d be less stressed and more care free if I didn’t have to worry about what other people thought of me.

And Dauntless….the hero in us all. Willing to lay it all down and show what you can do. Protectors of society. Keepers of independence. My wild side.

Divergent. All five factions in one. Outcast. A threat to the norms. Must be cured, yet holds the key to the future. Hunted. Shamed. Cast-off.

Divergent. Maybe that’s a word people could understand to describe Autism. Forget the puzzle piece. Let’s be Divergent. Recognize that the uniqueness is worth fighting for. The Divergent are not less than. They are different. Imagine if the Divergent in the series had been killed off. While some turmoil would have been avoided, secrets would have remained locked away. Most of the turmoil was caused by factions that felt threatened. People were raised to believe the Divergent were inherently bad. Sound familiar?

I don’t believe I’m inherently bad. I’m different. I’m difficult to understand. I don’t fit in a tidy box. I speak too loudly sometimes and people get uncomfortable. I know “too much” which makes “experts”  very uncomfortable. I’m challenged every day to stand up for myself. People judge me based upon a label. I have to be strong enough to stand by what I believe.

Divergent has a nice ring to it.