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What is neurodiversity?

Written by Kit Norman

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    Jan 19, 2023, 2 min read

    Neurodiversity refers to the diversity of human brains and minds, and the idea that neurological differences, such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and others, should be recognised and respected just as cultural and ethnic diversity is. This concept challenges the traditional view that certain neurological conditions are inherently pathological and should be "cured," and instead recognises that these differences are a natural part of human diversity.

    The term "neurodiversity" was first coined in the late 1990s by the autism community, and has since been embraced by those with other neurological conditions as well. The neurodiversity movement aims to shift societal attitudes towards neurological differences, and to promote acceptance, understanding, and accommodations for individuals with these conditions.

    One of the key principles of neurodiversity is that neurological differences should not be treated as medical conditions that need to be fixed or cured, but rather as variations in the way that brains and minds work. This perspective recognises that individuals with neurological differences have unique strengths and abilities, and that society can benefit from their contributions.

    Another important aspect of neurodiversity is the idea of "neurodivergent" individuals having the right to self-determination and self-expression. This means that individuals with neurological differences should have the right to make decisions about their own lives, including how they want to be treated and supported, and should not be subject to involuntary treatment or interventions.

    The neurodiversity movement has led to increased awareness and acceptance of neurological differences, and has led to the development of more inclusive and accommodating services, policies, and accommodations for individuals with these conditions. However, there is still much work to be done to fully recognise and support the rights and needs of neurodivergent individuals.

    Overall, neurodiversity recognises that neurological differences are a normal and natural part of human diversity, and that individuals with these conditions should be accepted and valued for who they are. It's important for society to recognise and value the strengths and contributions of individuals with neurological differences and to create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

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