Stories About Neurodiversity

The social and political movement and its implications for Neurodivergent people

N is for… Neurodiversity!

Instead of the usual “advent” calendar, I’ve been doing an A-B-C countdown to when santa comes. I started with A is for Attention Deficit and have been working my way through the alphabet.

Today I got to ’N’ for Neurodiversity, so I’m halfway there.

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First and foremost, what is Neurodiversity?

The concept of neurodiversity usually refers to perceived variations seen in cognitive, affectual, and sensory functioning differing from the majority of the general population or ‘predominant neurotype’, more usually known as the ‘neurotypical’ population.”

— (Rosqvist et al., 2020)

It is also:

“…a political term to argue for the importance of including all neurotypes for a thriving human society.”

— Judy Singer

Neurodiversity is empowering

The neurodiversity movement also gives us a framework for pushing back against social norms and the societal institutions that have oppressed us for being different.

“Neurodiversity is a political and civil rights movement for the neurological minorities.”

— Judy Singer

The neurodiversity movement seeks to call out and challenge social institutions which perpetuate the oppression of people whose neurocomplexities are outside of the majority.

“It simply names an indisputable fact about our planet, that no two human minds are exactly alike, and uses it to name a paradigm for social change.”

— Judy Singer

What neurodiversity is and is not

As Jesse Meadows explained, neurodiversity is not a euphemism for disorder, nor a synonym for Autistic or ADHD.

Neurodiversity reframes neurocognitive diversity as a normal and healthy manifestation of biodiversity.

Just as biodiversity is critical to the health of ecosystems, neurodiversity assertsthat neurological variation is not only natural, but is central to the success of the human species.

Put another way, this means that when people have a diversity of brains and neurotypes, this is beneficial to humankind.

Neurodiversity is that variety, but the word does not refer to a person, nor to a group of people. It refers to the various neurotypes across individuals, or to the social and political movement.Neurodiversity Is Not A Group of PeopleNeurodiversity is a political movement, a philosophy, and a personal framework.medium.com

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References

Blume H. (1998). Neurodiversity. The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1998/09/neurodiversity/305909

Chapman, R. (2021). Neurodiversity and the Social Ecology of Mental Functions. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 16(6), 1360–1372. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691620959833

Mcgee, M. (2012). Neurodiversity. Contexts11(3), 12–13. https://doi.org/10.1177/1536504212456175

Rosqvist H.B., Chown N., Stenning A. (eds.). (2020). Neurodiversity Studies: A New Critical Paradigm [Internet]. Routledge. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK568483

Singer, J. (1998). Odd People In: The Birth of Community Amongst People on the “Autistic Spectrum”: a personal exploration of a New Social Movement based on Neurological Diversity. [Honours thesis]. University of Technology.

Singer, J. (2020). What is Neurodiversity?. [Blog post]. https://neurodiversity2.blogspot.com/p/what.html

Published by Jillian ADHD 2e MB

Jillian has Child and Youth Work diploma as well as a BA in Psychology. Jillian worked on the front lines of Social Services agencies from 2003 - 2012. Jillian has taken numerous continuing education courses and has attended various workshops focused on supporting neurodiverse children, in particular children with ADHD.

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