Having an atypical neurological configuration, for example a person who has a developmental disorder and/or a mental illness. The word “Neurodiverse” refers to a group of people where some of the members of that group are neurodivergent.
A neurodivergent person is defined as one whose neurological development and state are atypical, usually viewed as abnormal or extreme. The term was coined in the neurodiversity movement as an opposite for “neurotypical” – previously the term “neurodiverse” was sometimes applied to individuals for this purpose.
The word “Neurodivergence” – (early 21st century from neuro + divergence) – is defined as divergence in mental or neurological function from what is considered typical or normal (frequently used with reference to autistic spectrum disorders) – (https://www.lexico.com/definition/neurodivergence). Several recognised types of neurodivergence, include autism, Asperger’s syndrome, dyslexia, dyscalculia, epilepsy, hyperlexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and Tourette syndrome (TS). Left-handedness, gender identity disorder, homosexuality, bisexuality, and/or asexuality are sometimes also included – (https://psychology.wikia.org/wiki/Neurodivergent).
Neurodiversity – Two Sides of the Coin
The Neurodiversity Concept is VERY Controversial!
Those proposing the medical model of disability identify mental differences as “disorders, deficits, and dysfunctions”. From this point of view, some neuro-minority states are treated as medical conditions that can and should be corrected. Author David Pollak sees neurodiversity as an inclusive term that refers to the equality of all possible mental states. Still others reject the word because they think it sounds too medical.
Read more: Neurodivergent Test
The concept of neurodiversity as applied to autism is criticized for being skewed towards the “high-functioning” individuals of the autistic spectrum or those with milder forms of the condition. Those with “low-functioning” autism are often significantly impaired in their everyday functioning, and may not be able to function effectively with even the extensive use of advanced assistive technologies. Because many of these low-functioning individuals are unable to communicate effectively to express their opinions and wishes, controversy surrounds the issue of who represents them and what represents their interests. Another major point for neurodiversity opponents is that racial or sexual orientation differences do not functionally disable a person whereas neurological differences can.