The term 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. Neurotypicality is the state of having a typical neurotype, meaning that a person's brain develops and functions in ways that society considers customary or expected. This is in contrast to neurodivergence, which is when a person's brain develops and functions differently from what is considered the norm.
Neurodivergence can include conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other conditions. 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. Instead, these differences should be seen as natural variations of the human genome. Neurodiversity is an acknowledgment that not all brains think or feel the same way.
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. The word neurotypical can also be used to describe people whose brain develops and functions in ways that society considers customary or expected by society. 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. Mental health conditions can also change the way a person thinks and behaves, so some people consider them part of neurodivergence as well.