What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity celebrates the marvellous array of ways in which our brains develop. Each brain is exceptional, contributing to our unique experiences and reactions to the world. Neurodiversity encompasses both neurotypical (typical brain development) and neurodivergent (divergent brain development) individuals. Neurodivergence refers to those whose brains have taken a different developmental path, including individuals with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, developmental language disorder, Tourette syndrome, and more. The list evolves as our understanding grows. 

Strengths and Challenges: A Unique Tapestry

Being neurodivergent presents a mix of strengths and challenges, exclusive to each individual. It shapes one’s identity and influences how they perceive themselves and their value in society. These differences are not ‘flaws’ that need fixing—they are distinctions in the functioning of one’s brain.
A Personal Journey: Neurodivergent Identity
For many, being neurodivergent is a significant aspect of self-identity. It molds perspectives and experiences, contributing to a deeper understanding of oneself.

Neurodivergent-Affirming: Embracing Our Differences

Neurodivergent-affirming is about recognizing neurodivergence from a strengths-based standpoint and accepting the diverse neuro-types for what they are—different but not deficient. It rejects the medical model’s language implying ‘disorder’ or ‘deficit,’ seeking to move beyond mere tolerance to genuine acceptance.

A Dynamic Spectrum: Moving Away from Linear Labels

Neurodivergence is not a linear spectrum or a fixed description, as previously thought. It’s a complex interplay between environmental factors, internal states (like mood and resilience), and individual characteristics. An individual’s neurodivergence can manifest differently or vary in intensity over time based on these factors.
For instance, an autistic individual’s characteristics may shift based on environmental factors and personal circumstances. This illustrates the importance of understanding the dynamic nature of neurodivergence.