What is Neurodiversity?
We decided that we'd celebrate neurodiversity this month on all our feeds!
And what better way to kick it off than to talk about what neurodiversity means and why we use the term to describe the different brains and brain functions we see in humans.
Neurodiversity tells us that brain differences are normal, rather than deficits.
Differences don’t have to only be looked at as weaknesses. They’re not problems that need to be “fixed” or “cured.” They’re simply variations of the human brain. The concept of neurodiversity isn’t new. Judy Singer, a sociologist on the autism spectrum, began using the term in the 1990s. Singer rejected the idea that people with autism are disabled. Her view was that their brains just work differently from others.
These brain differences mean different people's brains view, understand and interact with the world in different ways.
This means that people process, and respond to things like sounds, visuals, or physical touch differently. This is because neurodiverse people have different levels of certain brain chemicals, and sometimes different brain structures.
Thinking about brains this way can help reduce stigma around learning and thinking differences.
Neurodiverse people experience, interact with, and interpret the world in unique ways, and those ways can be accommodated. Some people wonder why we should accomodate these differences. And here's why. Neurodiverse people accomodate neurotypical people ALL THE TIME. It's not that hard, it just takes understanding. What are examples of accommodating a neurodiverse person? Allowing someone to wear headphones in a work place to reduce noise and distractions. Allowing different people to control the process they use to complete a task. Ensuring fidgets and other stim tools are welcome and used.
Neurodiverse people offer skills and talents that make educational and work environments better.Schools and work environments are learning more and more about the benefits of spaces that include neurodiverse people. And, different areas of academics and careers over-index for neurodiverse people, like autism and computer programming.