What is considered neurotypical?

The neurotypical is a descriptor that refers to someone who has the functions, behaviors, and processing of the brain considered standard or typical. People who are neurotypical may have no idea what they are if the topic has never come up before. A neurotypical person is a person who thinks, perceives and behaves in ways that the general population considers the norm. In addition, institutions such as schools, sports leagues and workplaces are often designed to accommodate people who conform to these standards.

Neurotypical (NT, short for neurologically typical) is a neologism widely used in the neurodiversity movement as a label for non-neurodivergent people. That is, anyone who has a typical neurotype, excluding autistic people or people with ADHD, dyslexia, etc. The term has been adopted by both the neurodiversity movement and the scientific community. It should not be confused with the term holistic, which specifically refers to non-autistic people, who may or may not have a divergent neurotype.

Neurodiversity is an acknowledgment 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. Some use the term neurodiversity to refer to people who have traits and approaches to thinking and learning that are different from what is considered the norm. ADHD Aware states that, over time, some long-term conditions that people consider psychological, such as schizophrenia or antisocial personality disorder, may ultimately become part of the concept of neurodivergence or neurodiversity.

The word neurotypical can be used to describe people whose brain develops and functions in ways that society considers customary or expected by society. The neurodiversity movement focuses on the idea that the developmental differences that can be seen in autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other conditions should not be considered symptoms of disorders. In short, neurotypical is not having a developmental disorder; since most people with mental illness are born without developmental disorders, they are considered predominantly neurotypical from birth. Being neurodivergent should not be considered an inherent deficit, but simply a difference in processing the world around us.

While everyone with a brain disability is considered neurodivergent, not everyone with a neurodivergent disability is considered disabled. The word neurotypical can be used to refer to people who think, learn, and behave in ways that are considered the norm. Bipolar disorder causes thoughts and behaviors that are out of the normal range of what is considered typical. The word neurotypical refers to a person whose brain works in a way that is considered the norm.

However, some people consider mental health conditions to be part of neurodivergence because they can also change the way a person thinks and behaves.

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