The neurodiversity movement is a social justice movement that seeks to view people with autism and other cognitive or neurological impairments as normal human beings with behavioral differences. This movement has become increasingly important in the way doctors view and address certain disabilities and neurological conditions. Neurodiversity advocates believe that society must work to eliminate stigma, create adaptations, and fully accept people with autism as capable of contributing to society. However, there has been a violent reaction against this practice, with some claiming that it does not represent them and ignores the plight of those with severe autism. The term “neurodiversity” was coined in the late 1990s by sociologist Judy Singer, who argued that autistic people had been oppressed in the same way as women and gays, and suggested that their brains are simply wired differently from those of “neurotypical” or non-autistic people.
Autistic culture, the self-defense movement of autistic people, and the affirmation that autism is a valid way of being emerged from the first autistic social groups of the 1990s. Knowledge about neurodiversity and respectful language are also important for doctors, since they can address the mental and physical health of people with differences in neurodevelopment. For the neurodiversity movement to leave its mark, old thinking patterns must be questioned. A balanced stance on neurodiversity offers key principles for guiding the development, implementation, and evaluation of early interventions. Understanding and embracing neurodiversity in communities, schools, healthcare environments, and workplaces can improve the inclusion of all people.
Since autistic individuals function in a way of thinking and being that is different from what was originally perceived as “normal”, they would be considered neurodiverse. It is important that we all promote an environment conducive to neurodiversity and recognize and emphasize the individual strengths and talents of each person while also supporting their differences and needs. Neurodiversity advocates continue to label those who express their desire for treatment or cure as Nazis and eugenicists. Protesting organizations such as Autism Speaks is a common practice among those who support the neurodiversity movement.