Understanding Neurodivergence: Does it Include Intellectual Disability?

Neurodivergence is a term used to describe the concept that certain developmental disorders are normal variations in the brain. It includes people with ADHD, intellectual disability, mental illness, Down syndrome, dementia and TBI (traumatic brain injury), and many others, as well as autistic people. Intellectual disability is one of the most profound of all neurodiverse or developmental disabilities that a human brain can have. This poses challenges for both the individual and the family and the community.

However, people with identity are still human beings who long to be loved and accepted. Instead of harassing and ridiculing, people with identity need love and support so they can live to the fullest. Who knows, many of them have great talents and big hearts, even bigger than most of us. The neurodiversity movement advocates the idea that our brains are different and that everyone (whether neurotypical or neurodivergent) should be treated equally by people, the workplace and external environments.

The self-identifying label “neurodivergent” originally focused on autistic people. However, in more recent years it has been used to describe those who think, behave and learn differently from what is typical in society. Being neurodivergent should not be considered an inherent deficit, but simply a difference in processing the world around us. Neurodiversity is a recognition that not all brains think or feel the same way, and that these differences are natural variations of the human genome. A group of people is neurodiverse, an individual is not.

Neurodivergent refers to an individual who has a less typical cognitive variation, such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, etc. Autism, Asperger's, autism spectrum disorder, pathological demand avoidance disorder or sensory processing disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Some other conditions such as schizophrenia, OCD, antisocial personality disorder, the disorder Borderline personality, dissociative disorder and bipolar disorder can also be classified as a form of neurodivergence. Regardless of whether it is identified as neurodivergent or not, it is important for PGRs to know that neurodivergent people may have different preferences, especially when it comes to communication. It's important to actively listen to anyone who needs reasonable accommodation. Be sure to respect the wishes of others when, for example, they request that something be communicated in writing.

Similarly, if you are someone who has specific needs or preferences, transparency is key; specify what you would like from the people around you, including your supervisors. Openly discuss the differences in processing and thinking and consider how your work can be accessible to all members of the group. Consider preferences when assigning roles to tasks to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the work they are assigned to. SCULPT Guidelines: Visit the digital accessibility website for more information. If you identify yourself as neurodivergent or fall into one of the categories included in neurodivergence and want help or more information, contact Disability Services.

They will offer a person-centered approach to help you as a PGR. Some of the most popular spaces are on view with neurodiverging communities, groups and information sharing on some of the most popular websites and social media platforms. However, since there is no medical criterion or definition of what it means to be neurodivergent, other conditions may also be included in this term. While there is a lot of overlap with the social model, the neurodiversity approach is mainly a call to include and respect people whose brain functions atypically regardless of their level of disability (I'll focus here on autism but neurodiversity has to do with “all types of minds”). Being neurodivergent means having a brain that works differently from the average or “neurotypical” person. Many people who have been an integral part of the neurodiversity movement have multiple disabilities and have significant support needs such as Amy Sequenzia and Mel Baggs. There are several online spaces where groups of neurodivergent people meet exchange information discuss their experiences and struggles and offer advice and resources to each other.

A strategy for intellectual disability involves a combination of appropriate evaluation special education and family and community support. People with neurodivergent characteristics may spend a lot of time trying to adapt to their work environment. This means that a person with intellectual disabilities has difficulty learning and understanding complex ideas and making decisions as well as taking care of themselves. That is an illustration of the social model that says that neurodivergent people have differences that need to be understood not deficits to correct. The social model doesn't solve everything for neurodivergent and disabled people but it does provide guidelines for focusing disabled people as human beings with legitimate needs rather than as problems or burdens. People who are neurodivergent can benefit from education and programs that help them develop their strengths using them to their advantage to live a happy and healthy life.

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