Understanding Neurodiversity and Intellectual Disability

Neurodiversity is a concept that recognizes and celebrates the diversity of human brains and minds. It is not the same as disability, but people who have neurodivergent characteristics may need adaptations at work or school. Approximately 1 in 7 people may be considered neurodivergent or have a brain that works out of the ordinary and that we consider “normal” or neurotypical. Neurodiversity includes people with ADHD, intellectual disability, mental illness, Down syndrome, dementia and TBI (traumatic brain injury), as well as those with autism who have fewer support needs.

Intellectual disability is the opposite of giftedness. People with intellectual disabilities have a lower IQ and poor adaptive skills. They may have difficulty learning and understanding complex ideas and making decisions, as well as taking care of themselves. Down syndrome is unique to other neurodivergent conditions in that it is also accompanied by physical characteristics.

The Neurodiversity Movement is mainly led by autistic people and tends to focus on autism. The word neurodiversity refers to the diversity of all people, but is often used in the context of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as other neurological or developmental conditions, such as ADHD or learning disabilities. Neurodiversity advocates actively dispel myths such as “autistic people who commit sexual assault don't know any better”. Research and education on neurodiversity are increasingly important in the way doctors view and address certain disabilities and neurological conditions.

Understanding that people's brains work differently is at the core of neurodiversity, but blaming neurodivergence for harmful actions is unacceptable. If the world were more accepting of neurodiversity and neurodivergent people, more autistic people could feel comfortable in their own skin. Moderate intellectual disability (IQ): 35-4 This occurs at an early age, always in the first years of life.

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