There is no such thing as a “neurodiverse individual”. The correct term is “neurodivergent individual”. An individual can diverge, but an individual cannot be diverse. The opposite of neurotypical is neurodivergent, not neurodiverse.
The language of neurodiversity has been with us for some time. Judy Singer coined the word “neurodiversity” more than two decades ago, and Kassiane Asasumasu (formerly Kassiane Sibley) gave us the term “neurodivergent º”. However, the language of neurodiversity is not yet used in a standard way, neither in the community, nor in practice, nor in research. The use of incorrect terminology can spread misinformation and biased views about neurodivergent people and also lead to greater alienation of those affected.
One of the many positive and powerful things about neurodiversity is that the lexicon encompasses ways of capturing the individual differences between all of us (sources of neurodiversity) and recognizing the boundaries of categories (sources of neurodivergence) in a unified framework. The terms neurodivergent and neurodivergence are now used to describe all people whose neurological conditions cause them not to be considered neurotypical. People are individual and unique; just as not all people feel the same way about having a body, nor do all people with different neurodivergent diagnoses feel the same way. Brain Charity's neurodiversity training can help your workplace support neurodivergent employees and celebrate neurodiversity.
While some people refer to themselves as neurodiverse, the term neurodiversity is more commonly used now to refer to a group that spans the full spectrum of brain differences and is made up of neurodivergent and neurotypical people. It also teaches you how to find out if you're neurodivergent and describes what it's like to be neurodivergent. Acquired neurological conditions, such as traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and Alzheimer's disease, can also cause neurodivergence. Special education is also progressing in this field, and approaches are increasingly focusing on how people with diverse neurodivergent tendencies learn best.
But I hope that, in this case, stigma will have difficulty taking root because neurodivergence is closely linked to a phenomenon that encompasses us all: neurodiversity. Neurodivergence is the term used to designate people whose brains work differently in one or more ways than what is considered normal or typical. If you want to diversify your social networks with voices and advocates for neurodivergence, some of the best options to follow are Neurodivergent Activist, Nurturing Neurodiversity, Paige Layle, and The Chronic Couple. In addition, you can learn more about the DSM's description of the disease and about the experiences of people who have this form of neurodivergence.
Since the idea of neurodivergence has grown to encompass a variety of consistent ways in which some brains work differently from others, it shouldn't surprise us to learn that there are many different ways in which neurodivergence is manifested.