Understanding Neurodiversity and Neurodivergence

Neurodiversity and neurodivergence are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. Neurodiversity is a term used to describe the range of human cognitive and behavioral differences, while neurodivergence is a term used to describe individuals who have a less typical cognitive variation, such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, etc. Neurodiverse does not mean “not neurotypical”, as neurotypical people are part of the spectrum of human neurodiversity. The opposite of neurotypical is neurodivergent, not neurodiverse.

Neurodiversity is a concept that recognizes that both brain function and behavioral traits are simply indicators of the diversity of the human population. It is important to understand the difference between these two terms in order to promote greater clarity and understanding, and more precise wording, with regard to terminology around neurodiversity. Neurodivergence refers to any structured and consistent way in which the brain works differently for a group of people than for most others. It is important to note that while a group of people can be considered neurodiverse, an individual can only be considered neurodivergent.

Denouncing neurominority groups or neurodivergent individuals as “neurodiversity” is grammatically incorrect, because diverse does not mean different from the majority, but is made up of several different types. The exact number of people who are neurodivergent is unknown, but looking at the prevalence of neurodiversity-related conditions may indicate how common they may be. If you want to diversify your social media feed with neurodivergent voices and advocates, some of the main options to follow are Neurodivergent Activist, Nurturing Neurodiversity, Paige Layle and The Chronic Couple. Promoting the acceptance of neurodiversity may have started with autism and the way it is managed, but it has grown to include many different types of neurodivergents.

Rather than thinking that there is something wrong or problematic when some people don't act in a similar way to others, neurodiversity encompasses all differences.

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