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Neurodiversity - An introduction

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Definitions relating to neurodiversity can be contentious and non-uniform. It’s important to keep in mind that definitions may change over time due to cultural shifts or patterns of usage throughout society.

I welcome any additional insights and feedback into the terms explored in this and all future blog posts.


 



Neurodiversity is a term first coined by an Australian sociologist, Judy Singer, as part of her 1998 thesis (4). Singer defines neurodiversity as “the limitless variability of human nervous systems on the planet”, and as an advocacy term for the Neurodiversity Movement (4).


Neurodiversity can be used to describe the idea that humans experience and interact with the world around them in a variety of ways, there is no one “right” way of thinking, learning and behaving. Most importantly, differences are not to be viewed as deficits (5).


The Neurodiversity Movement is a social justice movement that aims to improve the status of neurominorities (4)(6). A neurominority are those with medically labelled conditions (Singer, 2016). The conditions commonly include (7):

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Dyslexia

  • Dyscalculia

  • Dysgraphia

  • Dyspraxia (also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder)

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