What is the difference between neurodiverse and on the spectrum?

Autistic people, people on the spectrum, or those with other neurological differences are called “neurodivergent.”. Instead of viewing autism as a disorder, people use the term “neurodiverse” to recognize the vast differences, abilities, and strengths that autistic people and other neurodiverse people have.

In the late 1990s, Judy Singer, a sociologist who is also on the autism spectrum, came up with a word to describe conditions such as ADHD, autism, and dyslexia, this word was neurodiversity

. Their hope and goal were to change the focus of discourse on ways of thinking and away from the usual litany of deficits, disorders, and deficiencies.

Different people think differently, not just because of differences in culture or life experience, but because their brains are wired to work differently. Having an atypical neurological configuration, for example, a person with a developmental disorder or mental illness. The word neurodiverse refers to a group of people in which some members of that group are neurodivergent. The development and neurological status of a neurodivergent person are atypical and are usually considered abnormal or extreme.

The term was coined in the neurodiversity movement as the opposite of neurotypical; previously, the term neurodiverse was sometimes applied to individuals for this purpose. The word neurotypical (NT) is the opposite of neurodivergent. Neurotypical means to be neurologically typical, within the typical (average) range of human neurology. The term originated in the autistic community as a way of referring to non-autistic people and is used to describe a person whose neurological development and state are typical, consistent with what most people would perceive as normal.

People whose neurological development is atypical are called neurodivergent. Autistics most often use the term “and people with Asperger's syndrome”. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the basic meaning of the term paradigm as a typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model. The historian of science Thomas Kuhn gave it its contemporary meaning when he adopted the word to refer to the set of practices that define a scientific discipline in a given period.

Those who propose the medical model of disability identify mental differences as abnormalities, disorders, deficits, or dysfunctions. From this perspective, some neurominority states are treated as medical conditions that can and should be corrected. The concept of neurodiversity, as applied to autism, is criticized for being biased toward people on the autism spectrum who function better or those with milder forms of the condition. People with low-functioning autism often have significant impairment in their daily functioning and may not be able to function effectively even with the widespread use of advanced assistive technologies.

Because many of these malfunctioning people are unable to communicate effectively to express their opinions and wishes, controversy surrounds the question of who represents them and what represents their interests. A protest against Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization that is often criticized by the neurodiversity movement. At the same time, Judy Singer, an Australian sociologist, coined the term neurodiversity to promote equality and inclusion of neurological minorities. And while the neurodiversity movement recognizes that parents or autistic people may choose to try different interventions to treat specific symptoms that may be causing suffering, it challenges the default assumption that autism itself is a disease or disorder that must be eradicated, prevented, treated, or cured.

The neurodiversity movement emerged during the 1990s, with the goal of increasing the acceptance and inclusion of all people and, at the same time, accepting neurological differences. Understanding and embracing neurodiversity in communities, schools, healthcare settings, and workplaces can improve the inclusion of all people. In short, there are reasons why all of the terms “disorder”, “disability”, “difference” and “illness” apply to different forms of autism or to co-occurring conditions. For example, the Autism Rights Movement (ARM) is a social movement within the neurodiversity movement that encourages autistic people, their caregivers, and society to adopt a position of neurodiversity, accepting autism as a variation of functioning and not as a mental disorder that must be cured.

There are also those who, while embracing some aspects of the concept of neurodiversity applied to autism, argue that the serious challenges faced by many autistic people fit better within a more classic medical model. Author David Pollak sees neurodiversity as an inclusive term for the equality of all possible mental states. As such, neurodiversity activists reject the idea that autism should be cured and instead advocate celebrating autistic forms of communication and self-expression and promoting support systems that allow people with autism to live like people with autism. But if an autistic person has serious difficulties learning or minimally speaking (which is defined as having less than 30 words), this could be said to go beyond neurodiversity and is more compatible with the medical model.

Neurodiversity is an approach to learning and disability that holds that diverse neurological conditions are the result of normal variations in the human genome. While this is primarily a social justice movement, research and education on neurodiversity are increasingly important in the way doctors view and address certain neurological disabilities and conditions. Gender identities that differ from biological sex (non-cisgender identities) appear to be more common in autism and neurodiversity. .

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